Lenovo’s Foldable ThinkPad now has an official product name and release date, it’s the ThinkPad X1 Fold. Lenovo says that it will hit the market in “mid-2020” for $2499+, depending on the configuration.
Lenovo has iterated over a great number of prototypes, but the final design seems to have kept the spirit of the early model we had a first-look at.
Essentially, Lenovo’s folding laptop translates a lot of the benefit of a folding-screen form factor, as seen in the Galaxy Fold, but into the laptop world.
The computer’s minimum width x height size can be reduced (by folding), while its maximum screen size of 13.3” remains constant. As such, it can create new usage models that prompt a new evolution of the laptop PC platform.
The fact that this is an “always-connected” PC is also an important detail because it would make the computer much faster to wake-up when unfolded, just like a smartphone would.
This capability is usually associated with Qualcomm’s 8c platform, but this time it is Intel, which is providing the chips and connectivity. It’s not clear what the level of performance is going to be, but we can speculate that it is slower than the Gen10 Core i5/i7 with a 15W TDP.
All these necessary elements would arrive in “mid-summer,” along with a Windows update that would support this form factor: now you know how the release date came to be.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold has three main usage models, as described by Lenovo: first, it can be used as a fully-open 13.3” tablet with a BT keyboard. Secondly, use it with half unfolded, like a laptop with a virtual keyboard. Finally, use it half-folded with a physical keyboard hiding half of the screen. The photos will make that clearer.
We could argue that one could also use it by partially unfolding it like a book, and the Kindle App should already work “as is” since it has the dual-page mode already.
Although all of this should somewhat be transparent to existing apps, the form-factor would be shine even more if app developers started to take folding into account when creating new interfaces.
Since it is a ThinkPad laptop, it has to meet the strict levels of endurance that this series is known for. As people wonder if flexible screens are reliable and sturdy, the OEM says that it has worked hard with display partner LG Display to test the screen’s endurance. ThinkPad X1 Fold can pass the same tests as other ThinkPad laptops do.
We’re looking forward to seeing this laptop in action, and how Windows will change to support that form-factor. The Windows virtual keyboard and its tendency to hide apps and content have been an issue for a while, and hopefully, this could be the push to make it work the way it should.
- OS: Windows 10X
- 13.3” Flexible QXGA OLED 4:3 (2048 x 1536, 300nit) DCI-P3 95% Touch
- Intel® Core™ Processor with Intel® Hybrid Techn, 8GB LPDDR4X
- Up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 2242 SSD
- 50Whr battery
- 1x USB Type C Gen 1 (+DisplayPort)
- 1x USB Type C Gen 2
- 1x SIM card
- WLAN 802.11 AX | LTE CAT 20 | Bluetooth® 5.0
- Unfolded: 299.4 x 236.0 x 7.8 mm without cover (11.5 mm with cover)
- Folded: 158.2 x 236.0 x 27.8 mm with cover
- 999g/2.2lbs with folio cover
- Lenovo Fold Mini Keyboard (included)
- Active Pen (included)