"Best business class Ultrabook currently on the market"5.0 starson by ostaylor
Pros: Gorgeous, bright, matte screen (I don't want 1080p)
Best keyboard available and TouchPoint which I love
Touchscreen is a necessity for Win8 IMHO
Battery life very good and charges very quickly
Great for video conferencing, fast start and run
Cons: Power port looks like a USB port - irritating
Power brick is bigger than the laptop (exaggeration, but sheesh)
No built-in Ethernet, comes with dongle
Little SIM port on back is non-functioning and easily opens when pulling laptop out of lapptop case
Summary: Ok, I splurged - X1 Carbon Touch with Core i7, 256GB SSD, 8GB of memory and the 2 year extended on-site warranty (which was on sale for $60). Landed in Canada, I negotiated it to just under $2,000 from Lenovo direct. My employer has been buying trash laptops of late and with the amount of time I spend on mine, I justified it as an "investment" which my wife laughed at (thankfully).
Bad news - it took about a month to get the thing. The shipping date just kept being extended.
Good news - it arrived 10 days ago and I LOVE THIS LAPTOP. Minor, surprising glitch when the wifi board packed it in after two days (I have had many ThinkPad laptops and never required servicing). However, this proved to be a great test of my warranty upgrade and as promised, on the next business day, a polite young technician swapped out the wifi board without issue. Only problem was I had to clean his drool off my keyboard afterwards (kidding, but he really wanted my laptop).
The touchscreen is responsive and even after only a week of solid work I am finding it intuitive, productive and helpful to be able to touch the screen for many activities. For me the jury is still out on Windows 8... I won't dwell as this isn't a Win8 review but my initial impression is that it is cool, but kind of a glorified start button replacement. 'Nuf said on that...
The build quality (should I say the apparent or perceived build quality??) of this notebook is the best I have ever experienced. Rock solid, firm, little to no flex anywhere, solid but still light. The screen is bright, matte (which I hugely prefer) and to me, the right resolution. 1080p on a laptop might be great if you want to spend a lot of time watching high def movies. I don't, but will watch the occasional one I suppose. For the vast majority of the way I use a laptop, this screen is ideal. They have squeezed a 14 inch, high definition screen into a very reasonably sized and weighted laptop. The screen real estate and native DPI is an excellent balance and makes material readable but clear.
In terms of the physical size, I use the same small laptop case that I used for my X201 and while snug on the ends, it fits very nicely. The laptop looks svelte and professional.
As a business oriented laptop, my only complaint might be that Ethernet connectivity is limited to a USB dongle which takes up one of the two USB ports and is prone to be lost or forgotten when needed. The trade off may be a thinner laptop which I appreciate and our office wifi gets better all the time so hopefully this won't be a big irritation going forward. One of the reasons I prefer Ethernet in the office is our extensive use of Lync video conferencing. I have noticed that both the video and sound (microphone and speaker) quality are far superior to my old ThinkPad. I have a Jabra USB speakerphone which is very nice and very convenient controls etc. but I suspect I will use this less and less as the voice and sound quality on the X1 Carbon Touch is very good.
My only two issues with this laptop are the power bar and the price. The power bar is too big for a small laptop and the new plug design looks almost exactly like a USB port (believe me, you can't plug USB peripherals into it, I've tried about 10 times). In terms of the price, it is obviously not the cheapest option out there. One of the key things for me was the reputation of reliability and the TouchPoint mouse - once you force yourself to get used to these, I honestly believe they are the most productive way of cursor navigation and it is hard to go to a touch/track pad. Having said that, the trackpad on this laptop is very good and I have not had to turn it off due to constant cursor jumping which has been a big problem for me in the past (particularly the Samsung Series 9 which forced me to sell that laptop).
I'm only 10 days in but I can see myself using this laptop for 2 years and being very happy.