Linux Tests Are Coming Of The New Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Broadwell)

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 11 January 2015 at 03:52 AM EST. 21 Comments
One of my big highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week was Lenovo's launch of the Broadwell-based X1 Carbon ultrabook/laptop... It looks like the best ThinkPad in years! Many others seem to also think this new X1 Carbon is a winner, and with being one of the first Broadwell designs available in the US, is going to be benchmarked shortly on Phoronix.

Currently my main system as many will know is a Haswell-based ASUS Zenbook that's been giving me nothing but troubles for months (Thermal Issues Appear To Cause My ASUS Zenbook Linux Woes, I Miss My MacBook Pro, Buggy Iris Graphics Gives Headaches, etc) while previous to that I went through several MacBook Pros and before them were a number of ThinkPads... While ThinkPads are no longer nostalgic to many as they once were, the new X1 Carbon design looks like a real winner and is receiving rave reviews from those that have got early hands-on access to the new design. The build quality of the new X1 Carbon is terrific, it's back with more physical buttons over the Haswell model that had some flaws, and the specs are great. The X1 Carbon remains targeted as a business ultrabook by Lenovo.

The Broadwell-based X1 Carbon design currently available for purchase in the US through starts out at $1,199 USD. The base package is the Intel Core i5-5200U processor with HD Graphics 5500, Windows 8.1 x64, 14.0-inch 1920 x 1080 display, 4GB of PC3-12800 DDR3L, 128GB SATA SSD, Intel 7265 AC/B/G/N WiFi, and a battery that supposedly lasts over 10 hours. The ultrabook can be upgraded with a faster CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a faster/larger solid-state drive. About the only downfall to the hardware is that the DDR3L memory is soldered to the motherboard.

The Intel Core i5-5200U Broadwell CPU is dual-core plus Hyper Threading and has a 3MB cache, 2.2GHz base frequency, 2.7GHz Turbo frequency, HD Graphics 5500 that top out at 900MHz, and has a 15 Watt TDP. The price of the Carbon X1 with Broadwell CPU is slightly more than the Dell XPS 13 Broadwell model that's also out already, but the price should be justified if it lives up to my old trusty ThinkPad expectations.

As I'm after getting rid of this flaky Zenbook as my main system, am after a Broadwell design for greater efficiency, and am really excited about the new X1 Carbon, I'll be ordering the initially available model on Monday. As a result, starting in about two weeks or so (haven't found the new ultrabook available yet at any other US Internet retailers), will be the start of a bunch of Intel Broadwell Linux benchmarks and in time the Linux review of the X1 Carbon. I'm very excited to see how the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Broadwell work on Linux! Also only a few weeks out on Phoronix are the Linux tests of the new Broadwell NUC computers.

While I'll test the new X1 Carbon on at least Ubuntu and Fedora -- if not other Linux distributions too, before commissioning it as my main system -- one of the only other questions that remain is deciding whether to continue using Ubuntu or with this ultrabook upgrade switch back to Fedora as my main OS. I used Fedora as my main production platform from around Fedora Core 3 to Fedora Core 9, before moving over to Ubuntu on this critical system, but given the quality of Fedora 21 I'm thinking of returning home to Red Hat.

Stay tuned for a lot of Broadwell Linux tests shortly on Phoronix.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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