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Best bang/buck configuration on new X1 Carbon

X1/X1-Carbon (X1C) series specific matters only
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Best bang/buck configuration on new X1 Carbon

#1 Post by LoveCarbon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:40 am

Hello, I'm a new user here! I'm about to get my first Lenovo ThinkPad from my company and I can choose my own configuration.

We are buying from Lenovo (ThinkPro Lease) and I can configure the Thinkpad to my asking.

- Should I order 4G cellular?
- There are three different displays, should I get the HDR 2560? Or will my eyes hurt?
- Big difference between i5 and i7?

Thanks everybody!

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Re: Best bang/buck configuration on new X1 Carbon

#2 Post by BillMorrow » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:45 pm

hello carbon.. :)
welcome to the forum..
for ME, if i were to order a new X1 i would go full bore, highest spec..
without roaming the lenovo web site, if it were me i would get the 4G, highest spec display (oled and touch if possible together).. remember under win10 you can change the display from tiny print to as large as you would like.. i don't remember all the standard resolutions (getting old! :( )
AND i would want the best cpu available..
it is all, i guess, a balancing act..
you'll like the X1, it is a fitting heir to the thinkpad legacy.. well, except for the keyboard which could be the old style but i guess they can't get it in that this form factor..
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
Sysop - forum.thinkpads.com

She was not what you would call refined,
She was not what you would call unrefined,
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

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Re: Best bang/buck configuration on new X1 Carbon

#3 Post by w0qj » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:48 pm

Hi Carbon... nice name ;)

Guess you've set your heart on a 14" X1 Carbon as your daily driver... nice choice!

Please note that for your 14" X1 Carbon, only your SSD can be upgraded (and with a great effort).
ie: User *cannot* upgrade RAM, cannot upgrade CPU, and cannot add 4G Cellular later.
A maxed out computer would future-proof your ThinkPad.

I've been using X1 Carbon Generation 4 (X1C4) as my daily driver, and recommendation is this:
(Mine is maxed out, and I'm glad I did so!)

0. Do max out your X1 Carbon, if budget allow, and in the following priority/order:
RAM, SSD, LCD, CPU, 4G_Cellular

1. RAM: 16 GB recommended. Note that you cannot upgrade your RAM in the future; it is soldered into X1 motherboard.
Many programs and browsers nowadays don't care how much RAM you have on your system.
Many website browsers preload video into your RAM even if you don't ask for it!!

As a concrete example, I had browser with 20+ tabs open, Email program, MS Word/Excel, and X1 Search (www.x1.com).
My computer was consistently over 8 GB RAM usage.
From actual experience (with my previous X1C3--but that's another story), 8 GB RAM plus Swap Memory Drive (Virtual memory) will noticeably slow down your system, even with your SSD installed.
Hence 16 GB RAM recommended in such a situation.

2. SSD size.
If you plan to use your computer for 3-5 years and no company/IT department in-house upgrades (since your unit is ThinkPro Lease), it would be best to future-proof it with a larger SSD.
500 GB is good size; 1 TB would be even better.
My 1 TB SSD is almost full.

3. LCD.
If you need to work outdoors or in the field, suggest you get the brightest LCD available.
The highest resolution LCD panel feature a very bright 500 nits for 14" X1 Carbon 2018.
Lower resolution LCD seem to be of lower max brightness of 300 nits.
Note that Touch Screen LCD further reduces the max LCD brightness, and uses more battery power, and is heavier (Touch Screen LCD lid is thicker).
I specifically avoided Touch Screen LCD for above reasons (and I hate fingerprints on my screen).

4. CPU.
4a. Suggest you get Windows Professional; it doesn't cost much more than the Home version.
4b. Get i7 CPU if you heavily multi-task (like my above case) or absolutely must get results asap (if you compile coded programs, Photoshop, Virtual Machines, etc.)
Otherwise i5 is sufficient for typical user's daily activities.

5. 4G Cellular (also known as Mobile Broadband, or WWAN).
Again, User *cannot* add 4G Cellular later (need built-in antennae in your LCD panel).
Therefore do order 4G Cellular if you think you may need to use this feature!

I've been using 4G Cellular (Mobile Broadband) on all my ThinkPads since T42 (that's why I stick with Lenovo/ThinkPad).
It's very useful if you absolutely must have the fastest and trouble-free internet connection while on the road!
I've used mine while on bus, train, ferry, taxi, etc.

Sure, you can in theory share your smartphone hotspot with your X1 Carbon, but I've found connection is not always reliable from actual field use (especially in a foreign country).
Again, if you absolutely must connect to internet ASAP quickly and trouble-free, 4G Cellular is the way to go!

6. Also consider an on-site warranty for max computer uptime.
My ThinkPad always use the max 5-year On-Site Warranty.

As you can see, I'm a very satisfied user of X1 Carbon ;)

Do have FUN configuring your X1 Carbon!

www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X ... 682.0.html
www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X ... 428.0.html
Daily Driver: X1 Carbon 4th Gen (X1C4): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS WQHD | LTE WWAN | Win7 Pro
Current Thinkpads: X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

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