The two laptops look pretty similar — that is, until you put them side by side. They share the same sleek black carbon-fiber aesthetic and sturdy build quality, but the Yoga is noticeably larger. It’s also significantly heavier, weighing in at 3.1 pounds compared to the X1 Carbon’s 2.5 pounds. The Yoga is more of a throwback to ultraportables from a few years ago whereas the X1 Carbon looks and feels more modern.
And while both laptops feature 14-inch screens, the Yoga’s display has significantly larger bezels around the top and sides. You can choose from 1080p and 1440p options, and you can also opt for that higher resolution with Dolby Vision HDR. That feature will make black levels and bright highlights look better on supported videos from services like Netflix.
Another difference? The X1 Yoga’s Wave keyboard isn’t as deep as the Carbon’s, as it’s built to pull the keys into the case when you fold over the display. Still, it’s ultimately better than what you’ll find on most thin laptops. The keyboard feels on par with Dell’s XPS 13, and it’s far better than Apple’s flat MacBook keyboards. The trackpad is just as smooth and accurate as the Carbon’s, and ThinkPad purists will appreciate the return of the red TrackPoint nub.
As for other components, the X1 Yoga has a physical-privacy shutter to block its 720p webcam (which is far easier to switch than the Carbon’s). When it comes to ports, there are two USB-C Thunderbolt 3.0 sockets, two traditional USB 3.0 connections, a full-sized HDMI port, a headphone/mic jack and microSD and Micro SIM slots around the back.