Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 have been paired against each other to see which is the best business laptop you can get
Lenovo launched very compelling laptops in 2023, with some of the best and latest specs on the market. Some of them are so great that they’ve even made it to our selection of the year’s best laptops. Indeed, most of today’s laptops are powerful productivity tools aimed at demanding users, creators, and gamers, but Lenovo has also launched a couple of convenient and versatile laptops that will be perfect for those who have business in mind. But which is the best business laptop for you? Well, stick around and find out as we pit the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 against each other to decide which is Lenovo’s best business laptop for your needs.
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Pricing and availability: You get what you pay for
One of the most determining factors when purchasing a new product is the price tag. Some users out there might be limited by a budget, as they may also be planning on picking up other necessary accessories to go with their new laptop. Either way, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 are available starting at $959 and $1,275, at the time of writing, at Lenovo’s website.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 starts with a more affordable price tag, making it the best alternative for those looking for a more budget-friendly option, and it’s one of the latest models available on Lenovo’s website since it started selling in May. Of course, pricing will also depend on how much power you want under the hood of your new laptop. This model will cost you up to $2,349 if you choose to get the maxed-out version (excluding custom configurations) that has a 13th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, Intel Iris Xe GPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is a more powerful option, which also means you get a larger price tag that usually goes over the 2K line, but luckily, we have seen it selling for as low as $960 with an occasional discount. And if you want the maxed-out version of this laptop, you may end up paying $3,559 for the model with a 13th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage and a gorgeous 14-inch WUXGA IPS display with anti-glare coating. Again, custom configurations might go even higher, but prices fluctuate a lot.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 vs ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11
Lenovo’s design language remains basically unchanged on these two laptops, but there are a couple of small changes that are worth mentioning. For instance, the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 features new color options, including the new Deep Black and Storm Grey colors aren’t a visual feast, but at least the company is giving you more options. The best part is that these color options will also change some of the materials used to build your laptop, as the Deep Black variant comes with a carbon fiber hybrid or CFRP top and an aluminum bottom, while the Storm Grey option comes with aluminum all around.
One of the most important changes came with the slimmed-down bezels that will make your display look larger on any of its four different display options. You also get a lighter package with the new ThinkPad X13 Gen 4, which comes in at 2.41 pounds, down from 2.6 pounds on the previous iteration, even though this will also depend on the model and configuration you go for.
Finally, the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 comes with eight ports, but these will also vary depending on the model you get. You will find two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 1ports, HDMI, Kensington’s Nano Security Slot, an audio jack, and the option for a nano-SIM card slot and a smart card reader.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon looks just like its predecessor. I mean, you could have the 10th-generation model besides the latest iteration, and you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart, as they also weigh the same 2.48 pounds and have the same 0.60-inch thickness. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon feels rigid, durable, and light, with an aluminum bottom and a carbon fiber lid that comes with a solid black paint job or a fiber weave pattern option that gives it a more distinct look.
It also arrives with the same 8-port configuration as its predecessor, which will get you a USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1) port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Kensington Nano lock slot, with space for an optional Nano-SIM slot for cellular variants on the right. Meanwhile, the left side has a dual Thunderbolt 4, a second USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), and an HDMI port.
Display: OLED is a great upgrade, but it’s not necessary
The display department includes some differences that may not seem so evident at first glance, but they will become more relevant as you choose the best screen for your new workstation. First up, we have the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 with a 13.3-inch display that comes in four different configurations. The first three options come with a WUXGA (1920X1200) IPS panel with anti-glare coating, which you can also configure to include 300 or 400 nits of peak brightness, and you can also get multi-touch if you want.
You can also opt for the new and better 2.8K OLED display that will reach up to 400 nits of total brightness. You get the same anti-glare coating, but Lenovo takes things a step further and will also include anti-reflection and anti-smudge to your display that supports Dolby Vision, and you also get Eyesafe’s 2.0 certification.
The camera department also saw improvements if you’re willing to pay a bit more. The base model packs an HD 720p camera with a privacy shutter and fixed focus, which are also available with the other camera options. The next step comes with a 1080p FHD camera. Finally, you can now enjoy a new 5MP camera with a discrete IR sensor.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 features a larger 14-inch display that also comes in four different configurations. The first two come with a WUXGA IPS panel with multi-touch support and up to 500 nits, depending on how much you want to spend. If you want better resolution, opt for the 2.2K IPS or the 2.8K OLED options. Every variant features an anti-glare coating, but only the OLED variant has anti-reflection and anti-smudge. You will also find other nifty features, including the ThinkPad Privacy Guard, TÜV Low Blue Light, DisplayHDR True Black 500, and the same Eyesafe certification you get on the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4. However, remember that these features will vary depending on how you configure your laptop.
The camera department comes with four different options to choose from. The base model will get you a 720p HD camera with a privacy shutter and fixed focus, and then three different configurations with a FHD 1080P camera that will include an optional IR sensor (hybrid or discrete) and a MIPI camera that supports Computer Vision.
Performance, Battery life, and cameras
Lenovo’s new laptops feature some of the best and latest components on the market, meaning that we will find the latest chips from Intel and AMD in the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4. However, AMD processors won’t be available on the Yoga version of the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4. Either way, you will find Intel’s 13th generation U or P Series Core i3, i5, and i7 options to choose from, starting with 6 cores and going all the way up to 14 cores for the most demanding users. You will also find Intel UHD Graphics paired with the Intel Core i3 chip, while the rest will feature Intel Iris Xe graphics. And if you’re leaning more towards an AMD-powered laptop, then you will find yourself with one of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 mobile chips and Radeon 700M integrated graphics.
You will also be able to get as much as 32GB RAM on the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4, with options starting at 8GB. Unfortunately, this is a very important decision, as it is soldered to the motherboard, meaning you can’t upgrade or get more RAM in the future. And if you’re curious about storage space, you will be glad to know that you can have up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD for your files.
And suppose we’re talking about the battery inside the ThinkPad X13 Gen 4. In that case, you will be glad to know that you can now get up to 12.2 hours of battery life, depending on your configuration and usage, according to Lenovo’s tests using MobileMark 25, though that number will be significantly lower in real-life usage. You will be able to choose between an integrated Li-Polymer battery with 54.7Wh or 41Wh capacity that supports Rapid Charge, and it will charge up to 80 percent in an hour with a 65W AC adapter.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 also comes in strong in this department, as it comes with seven different options that include a 13th Generation Intel U or P Series Core i5 or i7 processor with as little as 10 cores and maxing out at 14, and all of them arrive with Intel Iris Xe graphics. You also get more RAM to start with, as the base model comes with 16GB and can go up to 64GB, but once again, you get non-upgradable soldered memory and up to 2TB of M.2 2280 SSD storage.
And finally, you will also be able to get up to 13.95 hours of battery life with this laptop. Yes, it all depends on how you use it, and it will almost always be much lower than that, but it will still last you though most days, and it also supports Rapid Charge which will get you up to 80 percent charge in 1 hour with the 65W AC adapter.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 vs ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11: Which should you buy?
In the end, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 is the best alternative for those looking to get the best business laptop, as it comes with tons of power under the hood and a long-lasting battery that will keep you going no matter what you have to do. It may not be as flashy as other alternatives on the market, but then again, you may be interested in a more elegant-looking design that rises up to your position. The best part is that you can choose to go for a better display or for a longer-lasting battery life, depending on your needs, but you would still be getting one of the best business-focused laptops on the market.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 Editor’s Choice
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 has the upper hand in this battle, as it focused on improving its performance and battery life to become one the best business laptops you can get today.
Brand Lenovo Color Deep Black Storage Up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD CPU 13th-generation Intel Core U-series processors Memory Up to 64GB LPDDR5x Operating System Windows 11 Battery 57Wh battery Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB Type-A, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm headphone jack, nano-SIM slot (optional) Camera Up to 1080p Full HD MIPI RGB + IR webcam with Computer Vision and physical shutter Display (Size, Resolution) 14-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, up to 2.8K (2880×1800) OLED, 500 nits (HDR), 100% DCI-P3 Weight 2.48 pounds (1.2kg) GPU Intel Iris Xe graphics (integrated) Dimension 12.42×8.76×0.60 inches (315.6 x 222.5 x 15.36mm) Network Intel Wi-Fi 6E 2×2, Bluetooth 5.2, optional 5G/4G LTE Speakers 2 x 2W woofers and 2 x 0.8W tweeters, Dolby Atmos Price Starting at $1,729 (MSRP) $1275 at Lenovo $1720 at Best Buy $1800 at Newegg
The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 is also a great alternative to start your business or for those who aren’t so demanding. The best part is that this model will also give you some color options and more than enough power to complete everyday tasks. You also get smaller bezels, which translates to a larger canvas for multitasking.
Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 Good alternative
The ThinkPad X13 Gen 4 may not be the best or the most powerful business laptop on the market, but it will not disappoint, as it comes with top-of-the-line specs and other improvements that make it a smart purchase for those on a tighter budget.
$959 at Lenovo $1250 at Best Buy $1219 at B&H