Laptop Question: Is Thinkpad X1 Carbon worth the price?

Hi all,

I am an incoming freshman at a non-target in the midwest. I hope to work in the finance industry after I graduate, most likely in IB.

I am looking to buy a windows laptop to use as my main laptop in college. I want it to last all four years and am willing to pay a premium for quality. However, I do not want to waste money. In short, I am looking for a "wonderful computer at a fair price."

I have gone through every existing WSO thread that discusses laptops, and most users seem to recommend the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. However, after doing some research, it seems very overpriced compared to computers with the same specs (see below).

Computer comparison

So, is the quality of the X1 Carbon worth it? Is it a "wonderful computer at a fair price," or do some of these other computers fit that description more aptly?

Any and all guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Comments (18)

Jun 18, 2022 - 2:12pm
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Oh wow that's nice... I still have my ThinkPad P51 from college and it's a workhorse. 16+ hours of battery on this sounds great. Could do with a nicer processor. In general I feel the quality of Lenovo products is notably above both Dell and HP, with HP closer than vs Dell. I'd do it, in fact I might.

Array

  • 1
Jun 18, 2022 - 2:25pm
Friedmaneconomics, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have a t14 gen2 and love it. Lenovo also, if you buy the protection plan, provides new parts should something get damaged. They are the only major brand that does that. Dell, even their Alienware brand, replaces hardware that is refurbished. That's big. Also, here's a cheat code for you if you do decide Lenovo, call and ask to speak to a sales specialist and ask them about pre-built models. They build different models in large amounts in expectation for large business accounts and you can get better deals on the specs you want by buying one of them (they're brand new not refurbished nor are they display models stores) rather than "building" your model on the website. That's the big Lenovo cheat code I figured out by chance on my last purchase of my t14. Lenovo all day, in my opinion

Jun 18, 2022 - 2:54pm
nutmegger189, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's basically the windows equivalent of a MacBook (along with the Dell XPS). You don't absolutely need that tier of computer even if you want it to last 4 years. You can get cheaper laptops e.g. HP envy x360, similar specs. Still semi-premium. Most laptops above $600 will last you more than 4 years these days as long as you're not literally tossing it around. If that's your one criteria, there's no need to spend that much.

Jun 18, 2022 - 8:13pm
Roomtempiq, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much for replies so far –– they are extremely helpful. Just writing here to mention that I just realized the formatting of the post was messed up, and I believe it is fixed now.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Most Helpful
Jun 18, 2022 - 11:57pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You can DEFINITELY get one much cheaper from the Lenovo website, they regularly have 40-60% off sales, even on Thinkpads. 

You 100% want Intel 12th gen or a Ryzen based CPU, the 11th gen runs so hot, especially the i7.

Look into the Thinkpad T14 Gen 3, which has 512GB SSD, and intel 12th gen for under $1,300, and that's before student discount (which you should save 10% off easily)

There actually seems like there's something wrong with Lenovo's website for the X1 Carbon Gen 10, which on the splash page says starting at $1,400 but when you click to build it starts at $2,200 which definitely seems wrong. I spent less than $2,200 for a maxed out Legion 7i which has an RTX 3080 graphics card, 32 GB RAM, 2 TB 4th gen SSD etc.

In my opinion nothing comes close to the Thinkpad build quality. XPS is very nice but just doesn't feel as solid in the hands. 

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
  • 4
Jun 21, 2022 - 1:54pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
niubao88

Yup ThinkPad>XPS all day

Agreed

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jun 19, 2022 - 9:42pm
OverWorkedOverPaid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Had similar HP and Dell laptops before switching to a Gen7 X1 Carbon in 2020 and would say X1 Carbon is the best laptop I've had so far. X1 Carbon just seems to be lighter, better build quality and way better keyboard.

Also like the above poster said, buy from Lenovo website when they have those big deals. I think when I bought mine, it was 60% off the sticker price cause of a holiday deal so its not as expensive. Also would get the Gen i7 processor, 16 GB Ram. Would not get the touch screen and 4K display though cause it kills the battery life.

Jun 20, 2022 - 2:47pm
GoodwinMog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The best time to buy is usually around thanksgiving. You'll get a fair discount 

Array
Jun 20, 2022 - 8:10pm
chihayafull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I wouldn't get a carbon for college unless you just have cash to burn. So long as the specs are decent (all the ones listed are), seems fine to go with something more budget-friendly. I'd only buy a $1K+ laptop if I'm getting a decent GPU for gaming as well. When you start working, your company will likely get you one of the carbons since those are in style. idk, just my advice since I was cash strapped in college and I felt bad making my folks front a hefty bill I knew I didn't need. But if parents are willing and paying, then go for it.

Jun 21, 2022 - 3:34pm
Friedmaneconomics, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just revisiting to share what I paid for my pre-built model through calling Lenovo directly about 1 year ago:Lenovo T14 Gen 211th gen I7 processor with turbo boost 4 cores 8 threadsWindows 10 pro 6414" basic 300 nits screen non touch16gb memory512 gb PCIe SSDfingerprint readerBefore tax: $1,480.20

Jun 21, 2022 - 11:19pm
Roomtempiq, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much for the help everyone. I ended up deciding on the Thinkpad E15 Gen 4 with the AMD processor. 512GB of SSD, 16GB of Ram, AMD Ryzen 5 5625U processor.

I ended up paying about $800 before sales tax. I saved ~$40 (5%) with the student discount. I would have paid about the same amount of money for the Intel Gen 11 i7 but I opted for the AMD after I was advised here that the Gen 11 i7 runs hot, and read in other threads that it can be inefficient (battery drain).

Overall, I thought I got pretty solid value, as I got a ThinkPad laptop with decent specs for just over half of what I would have paid for an X1 Carbon with those same specs. The only things I'm currently worried about are the laptop's weight (I have only used very lightweight Mac laptops in the past) and its trackpad –– which doesn't appear as nice as Apple trackpads, and is conspicuously off-center.

Fingers crossed, it lasts four years. 

Jun 22, 2022 - 8:49pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Good time to practice only using keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Get a good wireless mouse e.g. from Logitech

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Jun 23, 2022 - 9:17pm
Roomtempiq, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much for your help. I don't currently have a wireless mouse so I'll 100% do that.

I'm switching to Windows to gain familiarity with the Excel shortcuts, so Excel god status is definitely the goal.

Jun 23, 2022 - 9:16am
icejanitor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Eveniet quis voluptatem vel aut suscipit aliquam est. Soluta eum praesentium velit quis facilis.

Et deleniti non unde quasi in vel. Expedita expedita nihil voluptatem assumenda. Nemo eum et velit est magnam. Illo porro pariatur tenetur et. Quaerat asperiores et veniam nesciunt. Tempora non repudiandae sit possimus minus in.

Rerum aliquam ut et quae et consequuntur. Qui voluptas aperiam voluptas quaerat vel et sint laborum. Cumque reiciendis officiis facilis hic hic culpa. Voluptas amet sit doloribus voluptas est.

Odit odio assumenda tenetur. Excepturi sapiente facere at perspiciatis. Quas consequuntur incidunt magnam fuga vitae voluptas maiores. Harum autem ea sed ipsum sapiente voluptas. Adipisci ipsam aut et officia. Eos enim culpa et excepturi asperiores illo et. Voluptate sequi est accusamus ipsa a labore.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲05) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲09) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲03) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (+ +) 98.0%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Lincoln International (▲06) 99.6%
  • Jefferies & Company (▲11) 99.2%
  • Greenhill (▲07) 98.8%
  • PJT Partners (▽03) 98.4%
  • Macquarie Group Limited ABN (▲22) 98.0%

Professional Growth Opportunities

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲06) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲03) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲12) 98.8%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲05) 98.4%
  • William Blair (▽01) 98.0%

Total Avg Compensation

August 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Vice President (37) $394
  • Associates (204) $256
  • 2nd Year Analyst (124) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (17) $156
  • 1st Year Analyst (404) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (79) $147
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (305) $92