Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 vs Yoga Gen 7: Clamshell or convertible?
Lenovo recently announced the latest generation of the ThinkPad X1 lineup, including the classic ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the X1 Yoga convertible. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and X1 Yoga Gen 7 both bring big improvements to the table in their respective families, and they share a lot of the same DNA. They’ve historically been some of the best business laptops out there, and two of Lenovo’s flagship ThinkPads for years.
But there are still some notable differences, the most notable being the fact that one is a clamshell and the other is a convertible. That one difference also has other implications in the design, portability, and more. If you’re trying to decide between the two, we’re putting them side-by-side to help you make the right choice for your needs.
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10||Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7|
|Dimensions||Starts at 1.12kg (2.48 lbs)||Starts at 1.38kg (3 lbs)|
|Price||Starting at $1,639||Starting at $1,749|
This specs list alone makes it clear that these are two extremely similar laptops in terms of their specs. The main differences here are in the design and display, so let’s dive right in. Performance should be nearly identical, so we’ll leave that for last.
Display: ThinkPad X1 models have OLED now
One of the big news with the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga models is that they now come with OLED panels, but they’re still quite different in a few ways. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon gives you more configuration options than ever. It starts with a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) panel, which can be upgraded with touch support and a Privacy Guard. Then there’s a 2.2K IPS panel that’s sharper but not as bright, and then the 2.8K OLED model that’s bound to look stunning. If you want the most sharpness possible, then the Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel is still an option, and it now comes with optional touch support for the first time.
The ThinkPad X1 Nano doesn’t give you as many options, but it has some advantages, too. For one thing, all the models include support for touch, since it’s a convertible. Only two options for the X1 Carbon include touch support, and that doesn’t include the OLED panel. The ThinkPad X1 Nano also comes with a Lenovo pen that’s stored in the laptop itself.
The X1 Nano also starts with a Full HD+ IPS panel, and you can add an anti-smudge coating or a Privacy Guard. The final option is an Ultra HD+ OLED panel, though, arguably the best display option of the bunch. It combines the super-sharp resolution with the benefits of OLED, plus touch support, so it’s bound to be a fantastic experience. Both laptops still have great displays, so you won’t go wrong with either one. But if you want the cream of the crop, the X1 Nano reaches slightly greater heights.
Above the displays, the two laptops also have identical cameras. They start with a 720p HD webcam, but you can upgrade to a 1080p camera and add Windows Hello facial recognition if you want to. Plus, there’s a new option with a feature called Computer Vision, which adds some smart features. For example, previous ThinkPads had optional human presence detection, but with computer vision, the laptop can also tell whether you’re approaching the laptop to use it or if someone (or something) was just walking by, so it will only wake up when it actually needs to.
As for audio, both laptops have a non-specific Dolby Atmos speaker system and a quad-array microphone setup with Dolby Voice, so you should sound loud and clear during video calls.
Design and ports: The ThinkPad X1 Nano is a convertible
Another major set of differences between these two laptops has to do with their design, including their form factor. As we’ve mentioned, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a convertible, meaning you can use it like a regular laptop, but also as a tablet, and in a variety of different stances. That also means it supports touch across the board. Meanwhile, the X1 Carbon is a classic clamshell, and while you can add touch support to the display, it’s always going to be a typical laptop.
The differences extend to the overall appearance, too. Both laptops still carry the iconic ThinkPad lineage with red accents, a TrackPoint in the keyboard, and duplicated mouse buttons above the touchpad. However, while the X1 Carbon Gen has its classic Deep Black chassis, the X1 Yoga comes in Storm Grey. It’s not exactly a ground-breaking look, but it does stand out among the ThinkPad family.
Being a convertible also has some implications in size and weight. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is noticeably heavier than the X1 Carbon, starting at 3.0lbs versus 2.48lbs. That’s not an insignificant difference, but it’s to be expected with a convertible. The 360-degree hinge plus the fact that it needs a glass cover for the display contributes to this difference. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga is also slightly thicker, measuring 15.53mm, while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon maxes out at 15.36mm with a Full HD webcam (14.95mm if you get a 720p camera).
In terms of ports and connectivity, the two laptops are pretty much identical. You get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0b, a headphone jack, and an optional nano-SIM slot. That also means they both support 4G LTE or sub-6GHz 5G if you want it, as well as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
Performance: Big upgrades for both
Just like their respective predecessors, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Nano are identical as far as performance goes. This time, they’re both getting big upgrades with Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors. This is a big deal for two reasons. For starters, it’s the debut of the new hybrid architecture Intel is using, mixing high-performance cores with more power-efficient cores to balance battery life, thermals, and performance as necessary.
It’s also a big deal because for the first time, the ThinkPad X1 laptops all come with the option for P-series processors. These processors are available for the first time in Windows laptops, and they have a higher 28W power rating, meaning they use more energy but deliver more performance. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 and X1 Yoga Gen 7 are two of the very first laptops announced with these new processors.
Along with that, both laptops now support and include LPDDR5 RAM for even faster speeds, along with a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, which should reduce any wait times when loading files or opening games. Both max out with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, so, once again, they’re pretty much the same, and they’re both great.
Choosing between these two laptops mostly comes down to the form factor you prefer, and the implications it has on portability. If you’re like me, the convertible form factor of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is a must. It gives you more flexibility in how you use the laptop, and it includes touch and pen support across all its configurations.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a regular clamshell laptop, which is less flexible. But on the flip side, it’s noticeably lighter and slightly thinner, so if you’re planning to be on the move often, it might be a better option. It also sticks closer to the iconic ThinkPad look if that’s something you adore.
Beyond that, the differences are minor. There are a few different display options, and the X1 Nano giving you the best possible combination with its 4K OLED panel, but the X1 Carbon is far from bad. It’s also available with a 2.8K OLED display, which is more than sharp enough for a 14-inch laptop. The X1 Nano is technically better, but you’ll have a great experience either way. As for performance, they’re exactly the same, barring any potential differences in the cooling system because of the different form factor.
At the end of the day, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. If you want a convertible, go with the X1 Yoga; if you want something lighter, the X1 Carbon is for you. Neither of these laptops is available to buy yet, and they’re planned to launch in March. We’ll be sure to add purchase links below once they’re available. In the meantime, you can check out our list of the best laptops you can buy right now.