X1C3 display options?

X1/X1C series specific matters only
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pgoelz
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X1C3 display options?

#1 Post by pgoelz » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:11 pm

Hi all. I'm a VERY long time X61s user looking for a new laptop. I love my two X61S machines (one 1.6GHz and the other 1.8GHz and both upgraded to SSD) but they just barely keep up with things like 1080P Netflix and Tivo streaming so I'm reluctantly thinking it is time to upgrade.

I have decided I REALLY want the Trackpoint, so my research has led me to the X1C. I think the best fit for me is a used Gen3, but I am a little fuzzy on the pluses and minuses of the various screen options.

Can I assume that all non-touch screens are matte finish and all touch screens are glossy?

Is there a downside to the IPS display? Like a tendency to develop spots?

If one of my major uses is viewing streaming 1080P videos, am I better off with a 1920 X 1080 display (ie, viewing HD content pixel for pixel) or will a higher resolution display look just as good if the 1080P video is displayed full screen?

Is there a significant battery hit on the higher resolution displays?

And a couple secondary questions....

Does the i7 run hotter than the i5 for comparable CPU load (like viewing 1080P video)?

Is the X1C3 fully and totally Windows 10 compatible?

Thanks,
Paul
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#2 Post by w0qj » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:50 am

As a fellow end-user of X1C3, we believe that you would enjoy your X1C3!

We have two (2) units of X1C3 (X1 Generation 3, circa 2015), and from our anecdotal observations both units had almost the same battery life among them:

Unit #1) X1C3(i7): i7-5500U, QHD (2560x1440) matt non-touch IPS, 8GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, Windows 8 Pro 64bit

Unit #2) X1C3(i5): i5-5300U, FHD (1920x1080) matt non-touch IPS, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro 64bit

- - - - - - - - - -
Answers as below:
1) Yes, we also chose Thinkpads for its TrackPoint!
***As daily intensive end-users of both X1C3(i7) and X1C3(i5), we can report that there is very little anecdotal difference between these 2 machines. Specifically, both are very similar in battery life, despite the i7/i5 and QHD/FHD differences.

As such, may we suggest that:
~If plan to use X1C3 outdoors, may we suggest X1C3(i7) with QHD, especially since you've stated your primary purpose is to decode streaming videos which is CPU intensive.
~If plan to use X1C3 indoors, may we suggest X1C3(i5) with FHD; our own X1C3(i5) had extensively played movie files from SSD satisfactorily!

2) LCD Screens for X1C3:

2a) For X1C3, all touch screens are glossy screens, which in our humble opinion is very distracting.
Also, for touch screens the LCD cover is slightly thicker/heavier, and uses slightly more battery power.

2b) Therefore we chose matt screens. All matt screens are non-touch.
Both our QHD and FHD had "perfect" screens upon arrival.
No spots or uneven LCD lighting.

2c) The QHD (2560x1440) is IPS, which is a slightly brighter LCD (from memory it was 280 NITS, but need to check).
Basically if you plan to use your X1C3 outdoors, the brighter QHD is definitely helpful, from personal experience.

2d) Our FHD (1920x1080) is IPS, which is a slightly dimmer LCD (our internet research said was 243 NITS).

2e) 3rd LCD option for X1C3: cheaper option of non-IPS FHD LCD, but we don't have that.
Be very careful when buying X1C3 for FHD; the IPS FHD vs non-IPS FHD price difference is substantial.

3) As to your question of viewing streaming 1080p videos, it would be perfectly OK to buy a FHD (1920x1080) IPS screen. Again, if you feel there is a chance of viewing outdoors, then by all means get the QHD (2560x1440) IPS screen, if budget allows.

An interesting point: my personal daily work LCD screen resolution is 1920x1080, on my QHD (2560x1440) IPS screen.
In short, we bought this X1C3(i7) with QHD for its BRIGHTER LCD screen, as we anticipated occasional outdoor use.

4) Both X1C3(i7) and X1C3(i5) ran at about the same temperature; both machines felt comfortably "warm" on your laps during battery use. Both machines never felt overly hot on our laps.

5) X1C3 is fully Windows 10 compatible; we have successfully upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for our X1C3(i7) machine!

6) Finally, here are a few good critical reviews of X1C3:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-Thi ... 033.0.html
http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptop ... arbon-2015

7) As an aside, my personal machine is now a X1C4 (X1 Generation 4, circa 2016), because X1C4 offered 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage.
The X1C3 maxes out at 8 GB RAM and 512 GB storage.

***Should you have further questions, do feel free to post again!
Last edited by w0qj on Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Daily Driver: X1 Carbon 4th Gen (X1C-4): i7-6600U 2.6MHz; 16GB DDR3 1866 MHz; 1TB PCIe-NVMe; 14" WQHD 2560x1440; LTE EM7455 Mobile Broadband; Win7 Pro 64bit
Current Thinkpads: X1C-4 | X1C-3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
Also: IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

pgoelz
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#3 Post by pgoelz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:12 am

Wow, first of all thanks for the very detailed response. Looks like the X1C3 i7 FHD is probably where I want to be. But it has been a frustrating search for a replacement for my perfect little X61S. I love the size and particularly love the fact that the power plug is on the RIGHT side. I sit on the right side of the couch when I play with my X61S and having the cord go straight to and over the arm of the couch is very neat. With the X1, I lose all of that.... it is bigger and less stable on one leg, and I would have to double the cord back under the laptop and to the arm of the couch. Hey, its the little things ;)

How much of an issue is it that the X1C3 does not take NVMe SSD? My research found that little tidbit and it is troubling, since almost all P.2 SSD I can find are NVMe.

The other day I stumbled across the Thinkpad 13, which I had never head of before. Seems to be a very close cousin to the X1C, less sleek and less expensive. Trouble is that it looks like it is either too new or not a popular leased machine and there aren't many of them on the used market. And most of them are Celeron powered Chromebooks.

I may take another look at the X230 if I can find one real cheap. Not FHD, but powerful and smaller.

And I really liked the Dell XPS13 but no trackpoint. Worse, I have had absolutely terrible experiences with Dell support to the point that I swore off Dell.....

I even thought about doing the X62S thing but that MB seems just a bit too quirky for me....

Ah, it has been fun!

Paul
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:26 am

Move over to the left, or rather: buy an additional armchair...
Change from couch-potato to chairman! :mrgreen:

pgoelz
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#5 Post by pgoelz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:25 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:Move over to the left, or rather: buy an additional armchair...
Change from couch-potato to chairman! :mrgreen:
Thought of that. But my wife likes the left side of the couch ;) Life's rough ;)

Paul
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#6 Post by w0qj » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:50 am

Seems like you have done your homework ;)

(1) Yes, the other reasons we (reluctantly) upgraded from X1C3 to X1C4 because:
a) NVMe support for X1C4 (vs X1C3 which only supports the ACHI and not NVMe)
b) X1C4 was the last to support Windows 7

So yes, we also had concerns of X1C3 SSD upgrade/replacement 4-6 years down the road. [IF you can still get this from Lenovo by then].
But there are definitely replacement SSD's, so don't think this is an issue if 500 GB or even 1 TB sized SSD is big enough for you by then.
eg: Sandisk X400, with up to 1 TB SSD, an ACHI PCIe SSD:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=120968
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SM951-512 ... 9K4H2R57RH
http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-SM951-512 ... sung+sm951


Since ours is a company machine, we simply decided to use X1C4 with Win7 Pro for above reasons.
Didn't want to worry about ACHI SSD replacement 4-6 years down the road.
(So with X1C4 SSD replacement in 4-6 yrs time, we expect a bigger sized SSD available for a premium price).

(2) Thinkpad 13 vs Dell XPS13
Sorry, no contest, in the 13" notebook space other competitors (eg: XPS13) rule the roost.
Thinkpad 13 had been out for a few years now, but I have never seen one in the wild.

But X1 Carbon rules the 14" notebook space!

(3) X230: We also have this machine in our small fleet, we also love this machine ;)
We just did HDD>>SSD replacement for this out-of-warranty machine, and this unit flies after that!
(it had i7, 8 GB RAM).
This unit uses the matured 2.5" SATA HDD interface, which is still very common right now, and more than good enough for the remaining lifetime of this machine!
(Read: cost-effective big capacity SSD upgrades).

As an aside, the X230 is fully upgradable to Windows 10 Home; we have done this also.

***But once you have seen the 14" X1 Carbon LCD vs X230 12.5" there is no turning back ;)
Daily Driver: X1 Carbon 4th Gen (X1C-4): i7-6600U 2.6MHz; 16GB DDR3 1866 MHz; 1TB PCIe-NVMe; 14" WQHD 2560x1440; LTE EM7455 Mobile Broadband; Win7 Pro 64bit
Current Thinkpads: X1C-4 | X1C-3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
Also: IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

pgoelz
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#7 Post by pgoelz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:16 am

w0qj wrote:***But once you have seen the 14" X1 Carbon LCD vs X230 12.5" there is no turning back ;)
Yes, I know. I have seen one and aside from my concerns about the power plug placement I liked it enough to not really want to pursue an X230.

Question.... the X1C4 has a USB "C" port.... what it its purpose? If I wanted to connect a USB peripheral, I'd just use one of the regular ports. I saw a vague reference to being able to charge the X1 via the USB "C" port (which would address my concerns about the power port placement) but that doesn't sound very possible since it would require a major voltage step up.

Paul
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#8 Post by w0qj » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:42 am

Only the X1 Generation 5 (circa 2017) has the USB "C" port.
(ie: X1C4 and X1C3 does not have USB "C" port, and does not support this).

Have fun deciding ;)
Daily Driver: X1 Carbon 4th Gen (X1C-4): i7-6600U 2.6MHz; 16GB DDR3 1866 MHz; 1TB PCIe-NVMe; 14" WQHD 2560x1440; LTE EM7455 Mobile Broadband; Win7 Pro 64bit
Current Thinkpads: X1C-4 | X1C-3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
Also: IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

pgoelz
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Re: X1C3 display options?

#9 Post by pgoelz » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:54 am

w0qj wrote:Only the X1 Generation 5 (circa 2017) has the USB "C" port.
(ie: X1C4 and X1C3 does not have USB "C" port, and does not support this).

Have fun deciding ;)
Ah, gotcha. The Gen5 won't be in my price range for a while ;)

Paul
Paul Goelz
www.pgoelz.com
Rochester MI USA

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