Lenovo Refreshes ThinkPad X1 Lineup with Kaby Lake Chips, More Battery at CES 2017

At CES 2017, Lenovo has announced fresh updates for their ThinkPad X1 lineup, complete with a new laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1. This comes the same day as the company’s Miix 720 also makes it’s official appearance alongside the Smart Assistant, an Amazon Echo alternative.

Starting with the laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, named after it’s carbon fiber reinforced cassis in order to make it durable, is now powered by Intel’s latest generation Kaby Lake processors. A bump in battery life brings the estimated run time up to 15.5 hours, while a touchscreen option with a Full HD resolution is now also available. In addition, two USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 support also come on the new machine alongside infrared camera support for Windows Hello, NFC, and an LTE-A modem for cellular data.

Furthermore, the display remains the same size at 14 inches with FHD and QHD resolutions available, the body weighs 2.49 lbs, up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM is available, integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 are loaded, and Windows 10 Pro comes pre-installed. Overall, the 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a pretty decent upgrade over 2016’s model, so I assume plenty of you are willing to upgrade.

Next up, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet is also receiving a similar upgrade with Intel’s latest Kaby Lake chips built in, while Windows 10 remains the only OS the tablet ships with rather either Windows 10 or 8.1. You also now get Intel HD Graphics 615, while a majority of the other specifications of the device (such as the body, weight, and dimensions) remain the same, including up to 16GB of RAM, 10 hours of battery with an extra 5 thanks to the Productivity Module (yes, the X1 Tablet is still “modular”), an 8MP rear and 2MP front camera duo, a 12-inch 2K (2150×1440) display, fingerprint sensor, a built-in projector (a feature Lenovo is known for) and a USB 3.0/USB-C/Mini DisplayPort/microSD card slot/nanoSIM I/O lineup.

As many called it last year, the X1 Tablet makes for a pretty great Surface competitor. But since Microsoft’s rumored to be refreshing the device this year, Lenovo may have to really depend on the changes made in the 2017 model to carry them through until next year.

Finally, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga for 2017 now supports Intel’s Kaby Lake chips as well, with an infrared camera now available for use with Windows Hello. In addition, the design has gotten slightly thicker, with the new IPS model at 17.05mm over 16.8mm last year and the OLED model at 17.4mm over last year’s 17mm. This obviously isn’t a major difference, but it is worth noting nevertheless.

In addition, an LTE-A modem is now installed for cellular data connection.

Of course, the same 14-inch FHD IPS, WQHD IPS, and WQHD OLED models are still available alongside up to 16GB of RAM, up to 16 hours of battery life (up to 10 hours on the OLED models, oddly), a fingerprint sensor, NFC, and Windows 10 Pro.

All in all, each of these new devices looks to be a worthy upgrade over 2016’s models. Thanks to the new Kaby Lake chips in each, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 lineup for 2017 seems pretty strong. Of course, only real world use will give us a definitive conclusion, so stay tuned.

The X1 Carbon will start at $1349 and be available next month, the X1 Tablet will be available starting at $949 from March, and the X1 Yoga will be available next month as well starting at $1499.

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