MBA vs Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DrumApple, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. DrumApple macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2009
    I'm killing myself debating between a new 13" MBA or the new Thinkpad X1 Carbon. I'm bilingual in OS, so it doesn't matter much to me. The main thing pushing me towards the X1C is the screen (and keyboard), I HATE glossy screens. Thoughts? I do mostly web, word processing, music, some light Photoshop and movie editing work occasionally.

    BTW this infographic is interesting:
  2. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    If you're on a Mac forum, expect to get bias results learning toward the MBA.

    I've been a Windows user all my life and after making the switch last year, I'll never look back. I suggest the MBA and dual boot when needed.

    The graphic is interesting. Thanks for sharing. It's also from Lenovo so the result would be skewed towards it too.
  3. Team Timm macrumors regular

    May 17, 2012

    Being as we are all on the same forum, I would have to go with the MBA.

    And you realize the infographic is from Lenovo? (bias opinions)

    Edit: iAppl3Fan, you beat me too it. :)
  4. filmbuff, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    Wow, now I want an X1 Carbon. That thing looks awesome! The screen on the Air is fantastic though, I would like an anti-glare screen for lots of word processing on the road but Photoshop and video work is a lot better with a colorful, glossy screen. The X1 is about $300 more than the Air.

    I did think it was funny that the graphic showed jets and racecars under "some other things made of carbon fiber" and a roll of aluminum foil under the Mac. :) In real life CF is essentially plastic and Aluminum is probably better for looks, heat distribution, and durability.

    I do want to know how Lenovo got a "surround sound experience" from a laptop :D
  5. DrumApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 30, 2009
    Yes, I realize it's from Lenovo and it is skewed a bit. But it is pretty accurate, although reviews of the X1C generally show less than 8 hours of battery life as the graphic claims.

    I could buy one of those anti-glare film adhesives from Moshi and put it on the Air, but I pretty much refuse to spend that much money and not get what I really want! Plus it does diffuse the screen slightly, and is a pain to apply perfectly...
  6. m.demian, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    m.demian macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2012
    The main things going for the X1 are the Matte screen with larger resolution and possibly better wireless card. Everything else internally is nearly identical with both base models having 128GB SSDs, 4GB memory, and the i5 (although the Air's is slightly higher clocked).

    The base model X1 at $1,329 is $130 more than the base Air. If you qualify for the Education discount, then you can get an Air with the 256GB SSD upgrade for $1,349 at Best Buy - double the storage of the same priced X1. Otherwise, you can get the base 13'' Air (with edu discount) for around $1,049 at Best Buy.

    It depends if the extra screen resolution and matte screen are worth it for you. I have no idea how the Lenovo warranty works, but according to that image you posted, it seems like they may include a 3-year warranty?

    I think the better comparison is between the Asus UX31A and the 13'' Air. At Best Buy, the 256GB SSD version of the UX31A is $1,300, $50 less than the discounted version of the 256GB Air. Also, you get an IPS 1080p screen. The trackpad and drivers are obviously better on the Air, but it's not like the Asus's are unusable. Overall, the Asus UX31A is probably the best ultrabook on the market right now.
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The Carbon looks nice, especially the larger display. The keyboards are probably about the same. I don't know how good the trackpad is, and in my opinion the trackpad is one of the best things about Apple laptops.

    Something else interesting is that the only way to get 8GB RAM on the Carbon is to order the $1679 model. With the Air you can choose that option even on the base model.
  8. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    According to the Lenovo website, the Carbon can't be configured with more than 4GB of memory. The largest available SSD is 256GB ( not sure if it's easily replaceable ). My biggest problems with it:

    1) Not enough memory ( maybe you can upgrade it yourself... not sure )
    2) Doesn't have OSX

    I think my choice would be quite an obvious one...
    The Carbon looks quite nice to be honest, but it wouldn't fit my needs.
  9. felixgun macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2012
    X2 on this.

    I have an MBP and just dual boot Win 7 and Mac OS X. It runs great in windows 7 too. I used to have a top of the line Lenovo laptop (that out-spec'd the MBP) for work and my MBP killed it in every way possible as far as boot time/speed of computer in general is concerned. Also, if re-sale value is a concern (as it is for me as I always like to upgrade sooner then later), the MBA you get will re-sale for WAY more then any Lenovo laptop. I am both a mac and PC user and that's honestly and unfortunately an un-biased fact.
  10. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    If ur thinking about the MBA, portability must be on your mind, else u would be looking at a MBP right?

    Too me, 13" is just about the biggest I can tolerate for a "literally" laptop. I have a 11" myself, but maybe u have an ample lap, fine.

    Never been a fan of IBM, now Lenovo, they just look too "business-like" as they ably advertise it to be. Ewww that eraser head, but OK one doesn't have to use it, but still a sore thumb, to me.

    3 years warranty is the only thing I like about it. 3G option interesting but anybody can tether off our smart phone when needed right.
  11. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Toss up - really depends on whether you want to live in Windows or in MacOS. I'm glad to see the competition - Apple needs to keep coming out with new stuff...
  12. elppa, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Lenovo X1 Carbon is very nice machine indeed. It looks fantastic (in my eyes) and it is really cool how they have put a 14" screen in the 13" form factor. The keyboard and trackpad look excellent as well. And of course it will be super durable.

    Ideally I'd like the X1 with OS X. I am comfortable use Windows, but I don't enjoy using Windows - so I would always go with the Air.

    Overall the graphic is fun and does a nice job of highlighting the advantages of the X1 Carbon. My only quibbles:

    - Two points are devoted to vPro, which sounds cool but is actually useless to most consumers (I assume this is not a business purchase).
    - Find an independent review where the X1 Carbon gets better battery life than the Air - I think you may struggle.

    If you were doing one for the Air, you would probably highlight its unique hardware features such as Thunderbolt, Powernap, asymmetric fans along with software features like iCloud, the Mac App Store.

    And the cheaper prices. No one likes paying PC tax. :D
  13. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    This is the one area (Ultrabooks) where Apple actually makes a competitively priced laptop.

    The screen on the MBA is actually pretty good IMO.

    Fighter aircraft also use quite a bit of aluminum in their construction.

    At least other laptop makers are moving away from flimsy plastic.

    When I was getting a super thin laptop, I considered the Asus Zenbook Prime, but the MBA appeared to be made better.
  14. Ibamac macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2012
    The Lenovo X1 gets fabulous reviews, and it can be configured to 8GB ram: It's also the first Lenovo laptop to have a trackpad said to rival the one on the MBA.

    The only drawback I've seen is that it does not have an IPS screen (I like the IPS screen on my Lenovo X220). There are a number of reviews online comparing the two. All the Lenovo computers are substantially cheaper on the Barnes and Noble student site or the shareholders site, if you have access, and everything is constantly on sale for different prices. They price their computers like commodities, with different prices almost daily.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy either choice.
  15. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Only by buying the $1679 model.

    You can get a 13" Macbook Air with 8GB RAM for $1299.

    Neither does the Air. If either one did it would be a great feature.
  16. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
  17. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    No, it doesn't exist yet… but Lenovo have indicated the option will be coming "soon".

    The i5 won't be that much slower than the i7. It's not like the i7 is quad core or anything. They are both ULV. The marginal gains of the i7 will be very marginal.
  18. m.demian macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2012
    And that's why the Asus UX31A should be discussed here. Good pricepoint relative to other ultrabooks and comes with 1080p IPS display.
  19. wditters macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2012
    The i7 with 8Gb configuration is set for release early October.
  20. Ibamac macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2012
  21. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    The X1 looks impressive, but I thought Lenovo would be more competitive with the prices, especially on the "base" model
  22. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    Ive been eyeing the x1 carbon. it is a sweet machine. I try to remind myself that I already have a 2012 air and to not give in. I dont need more credit card debt thats for sure.
  23. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    The infographic is from Lenovo and is heavily biased, as you might expect. Go read real reviews if you want a real comparison.

    The X1 Carbon is known to get terribly hot, its measured battery life is actually 4:44 (almost an hour less than a MBA), has a shitton of bloatware and it's quite expensive at $1400. A 13" MBA with the same specs except with a .1GHz faster CPU is $200 less.

    I personally wouldn't sacrifice 50 minutes of battery life, an awesome trackpad, pretty design, OS X, .1GHz and 200$ just to get a matte scree, a carbon fiber body and bloatware but of course I'm biased and we're on an Apple forums.
  24. Barna Biro, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    Well yeah, maybe the i7 is not useful for most users, but when it comes to compiles times ( especially when compiling often ), every second you can save counts :) ( you're anyway willing giving up a nice amount of speed for mobility, so losing even more isn't that cool )


    Nice, but I'm curious if we'll see a 13" rMBP at around the same time ( or early next year ). It will not be easy to choose between a 13" rMBP and the Carbon ( especially since the Carbon doesn't come cheap either ) :)
  25. aeboi macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2009
    Bay Area
    retail pricing is irrelevant, Lenovo always has discounts on their systems

    matter of fact you can get the base carbon for $999+ tax right now

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