The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon arrived. I started it up and it booted into Windows 10. I spent a few minutes fruitlessly trying to play with Cortana, then decided to install Linux without further ado.
First, I copied down the product key, so I could put Win 10 back on if I needed to (and I downloaded a copy from the Microsoft web site, and burned it onto a DVD). Then I powered off and on again ... and it went straight into Windows without offering me a chance to interrupt the boot up process. And there are no function keys; they are all soft keys. Um. I need to get in to the Bios to tell it to boot from the DVD.
I powered up the external DVD drive, and put a Fedora 27 64 bit net install CD in the drive. Then I did a bit of rooting around the internet. I found that what you do is power it off, then power it on and hold down the power button. Oh joy! Oh rapture unconfined - the boot menu came up, and it was easy for me to find where it lets you boot from an external USB DVD drive. So I did.
Fedora 27 installed like a piece of cake.
I don't like the touchpad (it's a very good touchpad, I just don't like them much) and the little stick thing in the middle of the keyboard is even worse, but it was happy to use my Microsoft optical mouse.
I'm not keen on laptop keyboards either, the geometry is all wrong compared with what I'm used to. It's good enough for a bit of work, but for any real amount of typing, I want a full sized keyboard, in the layout that my fingers expect. The Thinkpad will accept any USB keyboard, so that's not a problem.
Overall - I'm delighted. For £299 (more like £240 before VAT, £1300 when new)) I have a laptop that's pretty much as good as my usual desktop. 8gb memory, 240 gb of SSD storage, a 2560 by 1440 screen, although slightly cramped on the screen size at 14 inches.
I notice they are still some on sale but the price is now £399.