Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 vs Dell Latitude 9430: Which is better?

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 vs Dell Latitude 9430: Which is better?

We’re starting to see a wide range of business laptops get refreshed with Intel’s 12th-generation processors, and if you’re trying to buy a new one, it’s safe to say you have plenty of choices. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is a standout option, and Dell recently introduced the Latitude 9430, both of which are high-end business laptops. If you’re struggling to choose between the two, we’re here to help.

These are two 14-inch laptops, and they have similar specs, but there are some fundamental differences. Specifically, the Dell Latitude 9430 is available as a 2-in-1 laptop or a clamshell, while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is only a clamshell (though you could also get the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7). That alone could make the decision for you depending on your needs, but let’s take a closer look at the rest of the differences.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 vs Dell Latitude 9430: Specs

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 Dell Latitude 9430
Operating system
  • Windows 11
  • Ubuntu
  • Fedora
  • Windows 11
  • Ubuntu (Laptop only)
CPU
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1240P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.4GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1250P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.4GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1270P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.8GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1280P (14 cores, 20 threads, up to 4.8GHz, 24MB cache)
  • Up to 12th Generation Intel Core i7 with vPro (U15)
Graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe
  • Intel Iris Xe
Display
  • 14-inch WUXGA 16:10 (1920×1200) IPS low-power, anti-glare, 400 nits, 100%sRGB
  • 14-inch WUXGA 16:10 (1920×1200) IPS low-power, anti-glare, touch, 400 nits, 100%sRGB
  • 14-inch WUXGA 16:10 (1920×1200) IPS low-power, anti-glare, touch, Privacy Guard, 500 nits, 100%sRGB
  • 14-inch 2.2K 16:10 (2240×1400) IPS anti-glare, 300nit, 100% sRGB
  • 14-inch 2.8K 16:10 (2880×1800) OLED, anti-glare, anti-reflection, anti-smudge, 400nit, 100% DCI-P3
  • 14-inch WQUXGA 16:10 (3840×2400) IPS low-power, anti-glare, 500nit, 100% DCI-P3, HDR400, Dolby Vision
  • 14-inch WQUXGA 16:10 (3840×2400) IPS low-power, touch, anti-glare, anti-reflection, anti-smudge, 500nit, 100% DCI-P3, HDR400, Dolby Vision
Laptop/clamshell

  • 14-inch 16:10 FHD+ (1920 x 1200), anti-glare, Super Low Power, 500 nits, 100% sRGB, Intelligent Privacy

2-in-1

  • 14-inch 16:10 QHD+ (2560 x 1600), anti-reflective, anti-smudge, Super Low Power, 500 nits, 100% sRGB, Intelligent Privacy, touch and pen support
Storage
  • 256GB PCIe Gen 4  SSD
  • 512GB PCIe Gen 4  SSD
  • 1TB PCIe Gen 4  SSD
  • 2TB PCIe Gen 4  SSD
  • Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
RAM
  • 8GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
  • 16GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
  • 32GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
  • Up to 32GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
Battery
  • 57Whr battery
    • Up to 65W USB Type-C power adapter
  • 2-cell 40Whr battery
  • 3-cell 60Whr battery
    • Up to 90W USB Type-C power adapter
Ports
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Nano SIM slot
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • microSD card reader
  • Nano SIM slot
Audio
  • Quad speaker system (2 x 2W, 2 x 0.8W) with Dolby Atmos
  • Quad-array microphones
  • Quad stereo speakers (two top-firing, two bottom-firing) with Waves MaxxAudio
  • Quad noise cancelling microphones
Camera
  • 720p HD RGB webcam
  • 1080p Full HD RGB webcam
  • 1080p Full HD RGB + IR webcam
  • 1080p Full HD MIPI RGB + IR webcam with Computer Vision
  • 1080p Full HD + IR camera with Dell Express Sign-In and SafeShutter
Windows Hello
  • IR webcam (optional)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint sensor (optional)
Connectivity
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Cellular options:
    • 5G sub-6 Cat2o
    • 4G LTE Cat16
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Cellular options:
    • 5G (Snapdragon X55, 2-in-1 model only)
    • 4G LTE (Snapdragon X20)
Color
  • Deep Black
    • Optional Carbon fiber weave cover
  • Metallic graphite
Size (WxDxH)
  • HD webcam: 315.6 x 222.50 x 14.95 mm (12.42 x 8.76 x 0.59 in)
  • Full HD webcam: 315.6 x 222.50 x 15.36 mm (12.42 x 8.76 x 0.60 in)
  • 310.59 x 215.18 x 13.91 mm (12.2 x 8.47 x 0.54 in)
Weight
  • Starts at 1.12kg (2.48 lbs)
  • Laptop: Starts at 1.27kg (2.8 lbs)
  • 2-in-1: Starts at 1.4kg (3.2 lbs)
Price Starting at $1,639 Starting at $2,245

Performance: P-series versus U-series

Both the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and Dell Latitude 9430 comes with Intel’s 12th-generation processors, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same. Unlike Lenovo, Dell is using Intel’s U-series processors, which have a 15W TDP. Meanwhile, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon features the brand-new P-series, which has a higher 28W TDP, and in tandem, a higher number of cores and threads.

With Intel’s 12th-generation P-series, you can expect up to 14 cores and 20 threads, and boost clocks up to 4.8GHz. That’s for the top-tier model with a Core i7-1280P, and it steps down from there. Most models will have 12 cores and 16 threads instead. However, the U series maxes out with 10 cores and 12 threads, and the performance differences are noticeable. Benchmarks for 12th-generation processors are still very few, but we can already observe some differences in the table below:

Intel Core i7-1280P
(see test)
Intel Core i7-1265U
(see test)
Intel Core i5-1250P
(see test)
Intel Core i5-1245U
(see test)
Geekbench 5 (single/multi-core) 1,790 / 9,312 1,232 / 6,336 1,602 / 7,899 1,560 / 5,414

To be clear, these are random test results, as there haven’t been enough benchmarks to determine an average score for these processors yet. It’s also worth noting that Geekbench scores measure CPU performance and only CPU performance, so it’s not always a good indicator of day-to-day usage. Still, you can get an idea of what to expect from each laptop.

As for the rest of the specs, both laptops with up to 32GB of the new LPDDR5 RAM clocked at 5200MHz, so performance should be similar on that front. For storage, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon can go a bit higher, up to a 2TB SSD, compared to 1TB on the Latitude 9430.

Display and sound: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a lot of configurations

Let’s start by taking a look at the display options, where the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 offers a ton of different configuration options. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio, and it starts with a relatively basic Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display, which can be equipped with a touch screen and a privacy guard. There’s also a slightly sharper 2.2K (2240 x 1400) display, a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display, or an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel with optional touch support. All these options cater to different user needs, so you can truly get what’s best for you. Plus, the OLED display is a first for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and something the Latitude 9430 doesn’t have.

Front view of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Meanwhile, the Dell Latitude 9430 has a much simpler configuration. The clamshell version comes with a 14-inch 16:10 display and Full HD+ resolution. It includes an Intelligent Privacy feature that texturizes your screen when it detects other people looking at it, but that’s about it. It’s brighter than most configurations of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, though, reaching up to 500 nits. Meanwhile, the 2in-1 version has a sharper Quad HD+ (2560 x 1600) panel and naturally, it comes with touch and pen support. This version is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 DX, so it feels more premium. Otherwise, the panels are similar.

Front view of the Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 is three different modes

Above the display, both laptops have the option for a Full HD 1080p webcam with Windows Hello. On the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, you can opt for a 720p webcam without Windows Hello, but that’s not an option on Dell’s laptop. The two laptops can also have human presence detection so the laptop wakes up when you approach it. On the Dell Latitude 9430, this is also a standard feature, which gives it a bit of an advantage in terms of having everything you need by default.

Both laptops have quad stereo speakers and four microphones.

As for sound, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 has a quad-speaker setup with two 2W woofers and two 0.8W tweeters, and it supports Dolby Atmos. The Dell Latitude 9430 also has a quad-speaker setup, and the experience overall shouldn’t be too far off. Both laptops also have quad-array microphone setups, so you should be heard clearly during calls.

All things considered, both laptops have their advantages, but the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has many more configuration options for the display, which makes it easier to get something that’s just right for you. The Dell Latitude 9430 does a good job covering the basics across the board, though.

Design: The Dell Latitude 9430 is more compact, but heavier

Moving on to the design, these are both business laptops, meant to look subdued and professional. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has that iconic ThinkPad design – black chassis with red accents, plus features like the TrackPoint and duplicate mouse buttons above the trackpad.  The ThinkPad design is something you either like or don’t and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. This is a laptop clearly designed for users who want this look and nothing else.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Meanwhile, the Dell Latitude 9430 is simple in its own way. It comes in a new color called “metallic graphite”, a sort of dark silver, which looks premium and sophisticated. It’s still very much subdued and arguably boring, but personally speaking, it feels more premium than Lenovo’s laptop. It’s also a bit more modern, so it doesn’t have things like a pointing stick, which are meant for long-time users who still aren’t used to touchpads.

In terms of size, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is larger in every dimension, including thickness, measuring at least 14.95mm. However, it is lighter, with its weight starting at 2.48lbs.

The Dell Latitude 9430 is smaller, and it measures just 13.91mm in thickness, but it’s heavier. The standard clamshell version weighs 2.8lbs to start, and the convertible variant goes up to 3.2lbs, which is to be expected. Both laptops are fairly portable, but if you have to carry your laptop all day, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon might be better for you.

Ports and connectivity: There aren’t many differences

Coming around to connectivity and ports, both of these are premium laptops through and through. Business laptops typically have plenty of ports, and neither of these is an exception to that. With the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack, which is a great setup to start with. You can plug in most peripherals directly, but Thunderbolt support means you can also use a Thunderbolt dock to connect even more peripherals, including displays and external GPUs.

The Dell Latitude 9430 has a similar setup, but with some differences. You get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader, giving you a bit more versatility in exchange for one of the USB Type-A ports. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your preference, but either way, Thunderbolt 4 support can help you work around any limitations you might have.

The Dell Latitude 9430 only supports 5G in the 2-in1 model

Both of the laptops also come with optional cellular support, but the Dell Latitude 9430 only supports 5G in its 2-in-1 model, which may be a bummer for some. If you get the clamshell version, you can only get 4G LTE. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 gives you the option to choose either 4G or 5G depending on your needs. As for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, both laptops support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 vs Dell Latitude 9430: Final thoughts

While choosing a laptop is always up to personal preference, it’s fair to say that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 has some clear advantages here. The display configurations you can choose from are much wider, and you can tailor the laptop to the exact specs you want. You can get a super-sharp 4K display or opt for something cheaper. You even have the option for an OLED panel, which is still something of a rarity in many business laptops. You also have more options for the webcam allowing you to save some money. The ThinkPad is also lighter and thus more portable, which is another significant win.

If you care about cellular connectivity, you also get more freedom to choose with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, since you can get whatever you want. The Dell Latitude 9430 limits you to 5G only on the 2-in-1 model, which is a perplexing limitation.

Angled view of black laptop

The Dell Latitude 9430 has its advantages, too, but they may be a bit more subjective. It includes a Full HD webcam and Windows Hello support as standard, which is a plus. As some would put it, it doesn’t allow you to make bad decisions in that regard. Plus, it arguably looks and feels more modern and more premium – but again, that’s subjective. And while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has one extra USB Type-A port, some users might appreciate having the microSD card reader on the Dell Latitude 9430.

If you’re looking for a personal recommendation, my preference would still go to the Dell Latitude 9430 for its design, but that’s mostly because the ThinkPad design really doesn’t speak to me. If it doesn’t matter to you, it has some technical advantages that may make it more appealing.

Regardless, the Latitude 9430 isn’t available to buy just yet, so for the time being you can buy the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 below. We’ll be sure to have a link to Dell’s laptop below once it’s available. If you want to explore other options, maybe check out the best Lenovo ThinkPads or the best Dell laptops you can buy today.

    The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 comes with 12th-gen Intel Core processors, new OLED displays, and a Full HD webcam.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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