Lenovo ThinkPad X390 vs. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X390 review
Lenovo’s iconic ThinkPad line is surprisingly various. Head the Lenovo’s website online, and also you’ll discover clamshell laptops each giant and small, 2-in-1s, and a wide range of highly effective and environment friendly configurations.

The ThinkPad X390 is without doubt one of the line’s newest members, and it migrates Lenovo’s presence within the small-laptop area from the 12.5-inch ThinkPad X280 to a brand new 13.Three-inch variant. That places it up towards the extra mainstream 14-inch ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Which is the higher ThinkPad for you?


Lenovo ThinkPad X390 review Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

View these two laptops from a distance, and also you’d be hard-pressed to inform them aside. They each get pleasure from the identical black and crimson aesthetic that’s so constant and recognizable, and even holding them in hand feels related due to soft-touch supplies. Each laptops additionally cross via the identical MIL-STD-810g army certification course of and sport wonderful sturdiness. The ThinkPad X390 is manufactured from aluminum and magnesium alloys whereas the ThinkPad X1 Carbon mixes magnesium alloy and carbon fiber, however each will take the identical sort of beating and carry on working.

Their aesthetic can also be basically the identical. Each chassis are black, each have the identical ThinkPad emblem (lit with an LED on the lid), the identical crimson TrackPoint in the midst of the keyboard, and the identical twin buttons on high of the touchpad. You gained’t select between the 2 primarily based on seems to be alone.

What is totally different is the dimensions. The ThinkPad X390 has a 13.Three-inch show and small(ish) bezels, and so is available in at 12.28 inches extensive by eight.55 inches deep. That compares to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with its 14-inch show at 12.73 inches by eight.54 inches. Sure, that’s proper, the X390 is deeper than the X1 Carbon, but it surely’s not as extensive. Additionally, and possibly additionally stunning, the X390 is zero.67 inches thick and weighs 2.84 kilos in comparison with the X1 Carbon at zero.62 inches and a pair of.49 kilos. That makes the X390 smaller in just one dimension.

Each ThinkPads use related keyboards that present a lot of journey and a exact really feel. Their touchpads and TrackPoints are additionally roughly equal, though the X1 Carbon’s touchpad is barely bigger. You most likely gained’t select between these two primarily based on their enter.

Lastly, connectivity is one other space that’s virtually — however not solely — equivalent. The X390 provides two USB-C ports, one with Thunderbolt Three, an Ethernet connection (that requires an adapter), a USB-A Three.1 Gen 1 port, and a full-size HDMI port. The X1 Carbon has an extra USB-A Three.1 Gen 1 port and each of its USB-C ports are Thunderbolt Three-enabled.

The ThinkPad X390 is barely smaller, however the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is thinner, lighter, and better-equipped.


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018) review Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments

The ThinkPad X390 makes use of Eighth-generation Whiskey Lake quad-core CPUs, as much as the Core i7-8565U, whereas the X1 Carbon continues to be utilizing the marginally older Kaby Lake R variations, as much as the Core i7-8650U. That offers the X390 a slight benefit on paper, however each are going to supply related productiveness efficiency and each are restricted to built-in Intel graphics. Neither will likely be excellent at gaming and so they gained’t speed up artistic purposes. Their PCIe solid-state drives (SSDs) are equally fast, nonetheless.

The Seventh-generation X1 Carbon was introduced this 12 months at CES with up to date processors, but it surely isn’t out there simply but. In line with Lenovo, it must be launching someday in June.

Whatever the technology, it’s within the show the place the X1 Carbon takes the lead. Whereas the X390 is restricted to 13.Three-inch HD (1,366 x 768) and Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) contact or non-touch shows, the X1 Carbon provides a extra engaging 14-inch WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) choice with Dolby Imaginative and prescient excessive dynamic vary (HDR) and 500 nits of brightness. That’s a pleasant choice that many individuals would miss on the smaller ThinkPad.

The ThinkPad X390 is likely to be barely quicker, however the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a a lot better show out there.


Lenovo ThinkPad X390 review Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

You’ll discover that the X1 Carbon takes up just a bit extra vertical area in your backpack, but it surely’s surprisingly thinner and lighter than the X390. Neither will weigh you down, although.

The X390 has a 48 watt-hour battery in comparison with the X1 Carbon’s 57 watt-hour battery. On the identical time, the smaller ThinkPad has a smaller show (natch), and the bigger ThinkPad can step as much as a a lot higher-resolution and extra power-hungry choice. Neither of those laptops impressed us in our suite of battery exams, and so we’re going to name this one a (disappointing) draw.

You would possibly as effectively seize the X1 Carbon for its bigger show, and also you’ll most likely wish to carry a charger with each laptops.

The ThinkPad X1 390 is barely smaller, however the X1 Carbon is healthier

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018) review Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments

The ThinkPad X390 prices $1,000 ($750 on sale) for a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and an HD (1,366 x 768) show. You’ll make investments a bit extra, $1,659 ($1,237 on sale), to seize a Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a Full HD contact show. This places it in a worth vary that may be a bit more durable to justify. ThinkPad lovers will find it irresistible regardless, however the lackluster battery life and common display screen don’t examine as effectively towards similarly-priced laptops.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon begins at $1,559 ($1,000 on gross sales) for a Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a Full HD show. It’s a bit pricier at $2,579 ($1,934) with a Core i7-8650U, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a WQHD show. It’s undoubtedly costly, however the X1 Carbon stands out a bit higher, largely thinks to its unimaginable show and sleeker design.

The ThinkPad X390 is line’s entry into the small laptop computer area, however the X1 Carbon is the higher ThinkPad choice.

Lenovo ThinkPad X390 | Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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