Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon SSD Upgrade | Full Specs

Upgrade the SSD storage drive in the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, but the RAM is not upgradable. See how-to upgrade plus the full specs and top-selling models in this article.

I’ll also display a chart of all the generations of X1 Carbon Thinkpads with their associated machine types so you can quickly identify which X1 Carbon you have.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon has been around for a number of years, introduced in 2012 in fact. As of this writing, there are now 8 generations of the X1 all built on the solid Thinkpad line. It’s quite easy to upgrade the SSD storage on an X1 Carbon laptop. You remove a few screws, then take the back cover off and the SSD drive is in plain view.

The SSD is an M.2 type 2280 PCIe drive.

The Thinkpad X1 Carbon laptops are all based on the Intel chipset processor and have a 14-inch display.

The 7th. generation of the X1 Carbon has:

  • Either the Intel 8th. or 10th. generation i5/i7 processor.
  • Either 8GB or 16GB of onboard RAM.
  • You cannot upgrade the RAM on the X1 Carbon.

The 8th. generation of the X1 Carbon has:

  • The Intel 10th. generation i5/i7 processor
  • Either 8GB or 16GB RAM soldered to motherboard.
  • You cannot upgrade the RAM on the X1 Carbon.

The 9th. generation of the X1 Carbon has:

  • The Intel 11th. generation i5/i7 processor.
  • Either 8GB, 16GB, or 32Gb RAM soldered to motherboard. Type LPDDR4x-4266.
  • You cannot upgrade the RAM on the X1 Carbon.
  • PCIe NVMe, PCIe x4.

How To Upgrade The SSD Storage On A Thinkpad X1 Carbon Laptop With Full Specifications | Easy Solutions And Tips:


How To Upgrade Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon SSD

The newer models of the X1 Carbon only have 5 screws holding the back cover in place, the older models had 7 screws. Once the back cover is removed, you can visibly see the M.2 SSD drive, it is held in place by one screw. Simply remove this SSD drive and replace it with a new one.

Steps to Upgrade X1 Carbon SSD Drive:

  1. Remove A/C adapter if it is connected.
  2. Boot the X1 Carbon and press the F1 key to enter the BIOS.
  3. Select Config > Power and disable built-in power.
  4. Remove the screws holding the back cover in place and lift out the back cover.
  5. Remove the screw that holds the M.2 SSD drive in place.
  6. Remove the M.2 SSD from it’s slot.
  7. If a thermal pad is attached to the SSD, remove it and attach to the new SSD.
  8. Carefully insert the new SSD at about a 20 degree angle into the drive slot, install the screw.
  9. Reinstall the back cover and screws.
X1 Carbon M.2 SSD Drive
X1 Carbon SSD Drive Location

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Thinkpad X1 Carbon SSD Options And Part Numbers

Find the available SSD drives and their specs in the table below. I compiled these from the Crucial.com website. The prices are accurate as of this writing.
The best way to ensure you purchase the correct SSD is to use the Crucial Compatibility Checker. Enter your model of laptop and the tool will display the available accessories.

X1 Carbon 9th Gen.Cost(US)
2TB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 4 • 6600 MB/s Read, 5000 MB/s Write – CT2000P5PSSD8$367.99
1TB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 4 • 6600 MB/s Read, 5000 MB/s Write – CT1000P5PSSD8$179.99
500GB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 4 • 6600 MB/s Read, 4000 MB/s Write – CT500P5PSSD8$107.99

9th Gen. X1 Carbon SSD

X1 Carbon (6th Gen, 7th Gen, 8th Gen)Cost (US)
2TB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 3 • 3400 MB/s Read, 3000 MB/s Write – CT2000P5SSD8$302.80
1TB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 3 • 3400 MB/s Read, 3000 MB/s Write – CT1000P5SSD8$119.99
500GB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 3 • 3400 MB/s Read, 3000 MB/s Write – CT500P5SSD8$79.99
250GB M.2 SSD • PCIe NVMe Gen 3 • 3400 MB/s Read, 1400 MB/s Write – CT250P5SSD8$54.99
X1 Carbon (5th Gen)Cost (US)
1TB M.2/NGFF (2280) Double Sided • 560MB/s Read, 510MB/s Write – CT1000MX500SSD4$114.99
500GB M.2/NGFF (2280) Single Sided • 560MB/s Read, 510MB/s Write – CT500MX500SSD4$69.99
250GB M.2/NGFF (2280) Single Sided • 560MB/s Read, 510MB/s Write – CT250MX500SSD4$49.99

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How To Identify The Generation Of A Thinkpad X1 Carbon?

The chart below lists all the generations of X1 Carbon Thinkpads with their machine type. Check the label on the bottom of the laptop and look for the 4 digit machine type.

Thinkpad NameMachine TypeRelease Date
X1 Carbon (1st Gen)3443, 3444, 3446, 3448, 3460, 3462, 3463August 2012
X1 Carbon (2nd Gen)20A7, 20A8January 2014
X1 Carbon (3rd Gen)20BS, 20BTJanuary 2015
X1 Carbon (4th Gen)20FB, 20FCFebruary 2016
X1 Carbon (5th Gen)-Kabylake20HR, 20HQFebruary 2017
X1 Carbon (5th Gen)-Skylake20K4, 20K3February 2017
X1 Carbon (6th Gen)20KH, 20KGFebruary 2018
X1 Carbon (7th Gen)20QE, 20QD, 20R1, 20R2June 2019
X1 Carbon (8th Gen)20UA, 20U9April 2020
X1 Carbon (9th Gen)20XX, 20XWMarch 2021

Top Selling Thinkpad X1 Carbon US Models:

Model20R10010US20R1001TUS
ProductThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)
Type20R120R1
ProcessorIntel Core i5-10210U (4C / 8T, 1.6 / 4.2GHz, 6MB)Intel Core i7-10510U (4C / 8T, 1.8 / 4.9GHz, 8MB)
RAM8GB Soldered LPDDR3-213316GB Soldered LPDDR3-2133
Storage256GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Opal21TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Opal2
Display14″ FHD (1920×1080) Low Power IPS 400nits Anti-glare14″ UHD (3840×2160) IPS 500nits Glossy, HDR 400, Dolby Vision
TouchscreenNoneNone
CaseCarbon Fiber (Top), Magnesium Alloy (Bottom)Carbon Fiber (Top), Magnesium Alloy (Bottom)
Camera720p with ThinkShutter720p + IR with ThinkShutter
KeyboardBacklit, EnglishBacklit, English
BatteryIntegrated 51WhIntegrated 51Wh
OSWindows 10 Pro 64, EnglishWindows 10 Pro 64, English
Weight14.9mm thin and 2.4lb/1.08kg14.9mm thin and 2.4lb/1.08kg

Can You Add RAM To A Thinkpad X1 Carbon?

No, you cannot add memory to an X1 Carbon laptop. The RAM is soldered onto the motherboard and is not upgradable. Models of the X1 Carbon come with either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM.
There is an X1 Extreme Thinkpad that does allow you to add memory, up to 64GB.

Summary

If you find you need more storage space on your Thinkpad X1 Carbon, upgrading the SSD is a simple process. By following the steps listed above and finding the SSD part number to suit your needs, you can improve the storage capacity and ensure your laptop is useful for years to come.

7 thoughts on “Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon SSD Upgrade | Full Specs”

  1. I have a 1st GEN X1 Carbon. It has some kind of OLD style SSD that looks like an M.2 BUT IT IS NOT.
    Do you know what it is? What is it called? How can I get a new one? MY computer has a virus hidden in some partition that I can’t find or remove and need to clean the drive but can not because I have NO second computer that can read the drive.

    I love this little computer and need to find a drive that will work. Please help. 🙂

  2. Hello…
    I have a 5th gen with a 1tb drive. Is it possible to upgrade this to a 2 TB drive?

    Thanks so much for this info. It is a can of worms trying to find this stuff.

  3. I have an X1 Carbon 2nd gen I wanna replace the SSD is it SATA or NVME? How do I tell? Can I use an NVME or only SATA?

    • Looks like the 2nd. gen x1 Carbon only supports SATA-3 and NOT NVMe. Look at Lenovo support for your specific model to verify.

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