WIP: X1 Carbon Gen 7 review

This is work in progress note. Ultimately it will be split into individual notes, and published under a larger note, in Thinkpad X1 Carbon.

I recently purchased a Thinkpad X1 Carbon (Gen 7, with 10th gen processor)1 and installed NixOS on it.

Setting up Linux

Installing NixOS on X1 Carbon Gen 7

What works

  • Hi-res display
    • 4k resolution
    • 5k resolution via thunderbolt
      • requires 5.9 kernel (linuxPackages_testing on NixOS), or this patch
      • Netflix videos can be choppy; mpv works well though.
    • GNOME selects 200% scaling for both
  • Audio
  • Microphone (and Yeti microphone)
  • Fingerprint reader
    • Works in both login screen & command-line sudo
  • Suspend
  • Web camera
  • Trackpad
    • Nearly as good as that of a Macbook

Stability issues


Software issues

I enjoy using GNOME (see GNOME delights), but these issues prevent it from being perfect:

  • Trackpad gestures, such as two-finger swipe to go back, do not work on web browsers, with the exception of GNOME Web (which has buggy hardware acceleration)
  • Google Chrome is slow and laggy. Chromium works fine, though.
  • Redshift will not work on Wayland; and GNOME’s night light is broken on 5k tiled display.


X1 Carbon: satisfactory performance, not for heavy use

Battery Life

Never measured. But looks to be around 6 hours (more than enough for me). I used the default nixos-hardware configuration; and reddit has some tips. A fellow programmer reported 5 hours.

Next computer

My next computer, if I choose to buy one in ~3 years, will be similar to the X1C7 but with a bit more performance (assuming battery life does not suffer); i.e., if I were to make this decision again, I’d consider Thinkpad X1E or P1 - but with integrated graphics (nvidia has poor support on Linux).