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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs. ThinkPad X390: one of them is better

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo's iconic ThinkPad is surprisingly diverse. If you enter the Lenovo site you will find traditional laptops of all sizes, 2-in-1 style devices and a variety of powerful and efficient configurations. The ThinkPad X390 is one of the most recent members of the line, and brings Lenovo's presence within the space of small laptops to a new 13.3-inch variant, which puts it face to face with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon from 7th Generation, a popular device. Do you want to know which of the two will be better for you?


Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon X390 Review 19 1500x1000Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

From a distance it will cost you work to know what is cul. Both have the same black and red aesthetic that is so consistent and recognizable; Even holding them in your hands they feel the same, thanks to their soft touch materials. Also, both are subjected to the same MIL-STD-810G military certification process and their durability is excellent. The ThinkPad X390 is made of aluminum and magnesium alloys, while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon mixes magnesium alloy with carbon fiber, but both are capable of resisting the same tunda and still functioning.

Their aesthetics are also basically the same. Both chassis are black, both have the ThinkPad logo (which turns on with a LED light on the cover), the same red TrackPoint button in the middle of the keyboard and the same two buttons on the touch panel. Don't choose one over the other because of its appearance, that's for sure. However, the X1 Carbon with 4K screen stands out a bit thanks to a very attractive carbon fiber fabric texture on the lid.

The difference lies in the size. The ThinkPad X390 has a 13.3-inch screen and not very large bezels; Its measurements are 31.19 x 21.7 centimeters. The ThinkPad Carbon X1, meanwhile, has a 14-inch screen and measures 32.28 x 21.69 centimeters. That's right, the X390 has the same depth as the X1 Carbon, but it's not that wide. Also, something that might surprise you, the X390 has a thickness of 1.7 centimeters and weighs 1.28 kilos, compared to the X1 Carbon, with its 1.47 centimeters thick and a kilo of weight. Thus, the X390 is only smaller in one dimension.

Both use similar keyboards with great sensitivity and precise sensation. Its touch panels and TrackPoints are also almost equivalent, although the X1 Carbon touch panel is slightly larger. Nor is this what determines your decision.

Finally, connectivity is another almost (though not quite) identical area. The X390 offers two USB-C ports, one with Thunderbolt 3, an Ethernet connection (which requires an adapter), a first-generation USB-A 3.1 port and an HDMI port. The X1 Carbon also has another first-generation USB-A 3.1, and its two USB-C ports are compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

The ThinkPad X390 is a bit smaller, but the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is thinner, lighter and better equipped.


Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2018 Review 16 1500x1000Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

The ThinkPad X390 uses Whiskey Lake processors with four eighth-generation cores, up to the Core i7-8565U, while the X1 Carbon can be configured with a tenth-generation Intel Comet Lake Core i7 processor with up to six cores. That gives the X1 Carbon an important advantage, although both provide good productivity performance and both are limited to Intel integrated graphics. No being particularly outstanding to play and will not accelerate creative applications. However, its PCIe solid state drives are equally fast.

It is on the screen where the X1 Carbon takes the biggest lead. While the X390 is limited to HD (1,366 x 768) and Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 13.3-inch touch or non-touch screens, the X1 Carbon offers a more attractive option in 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) of 14 inches with High dynamic range Dolby Vision and a brightness of 500 nits. That is a great option that many people with the smaller ThinkPad will probably want to have.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a much better screen option and is available in a much faster configuration.


Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon X390 Review 4 1500x1000Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Although the X1 Carbon occupy a little more vertical space in your backpack, it is surprisingly thinner and lighter than the X390. Anyway, none break your back.

The X390 has a battery of 48 watts-hour, while that of the X1 Carbon is 57 watts-hour. At the same time, the smaller ThinkPad has a smaller screen (obviously) and the larger one has the option of a much larger resolution that also consumes more battery. Neither of us impressed us during our battery tests, so in this category we will declare a (disappointing) tie. With either one, you probably want to take the charger with you.

The ThinkPad X1 390 is a bit smaller, but the X1 Carbon is better

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2018 Review 17 1500x1000Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

The ThinkPad X390 costs $ 1,000 dollars ($ 750 on offer) with Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB solid state drive and a 1,366 x 768 display. You will have to invest a little more, $ 1,659 dollars ($ 1,237 on offer) to get a Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB solid state drive and a Full HD touch screen. This puts it in a price range a little harder to justify. ThinkPad fans love her anyway, although her mediocre battery and average screen don't do well when compared to similarly priced laptops.

The price of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $ 1,290 for a Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of RAM, an 8GB solid state drive and a Full HD display. Its maximum configuration will make you pay more than $ 3,520 dollars, with a Core i7-10710U processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB solid state unit and 4K screen. There is no doubt that it is expensive, but the X1 Carbon is a bit more outstanding, more than anything thanks to its incredible screen and its more modern design.

The ThinkPad X390 is the first step of this line into the space of small laptops, but the X1 Carbon is the best ThinkPad.

Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs. ThinkPad X390: one of them is better
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