The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is finally on sale. That's right, after over a year of waiting, the first folding PC is on the market. And it's still at the relatively steep price Lenovo announced at CES 2020.
And that's not just any folding screen inside the ThinkPad X1 Fold. It's a 13.3-inch 2K OLED panel, and one Lenovo claims will last all day. Plus, there's optional 5G and an attachable keyboard, making the ThinkPad X1 Fold — which looks more like an actual notebook when folded than any laptop I've ever tested — one of the most mobile PCs yet. But is it going to be great enough to take a spot on our best tablets or best laptops pages?
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CPU: Intel Lakefield Core i5 processor with Intel Hybrid Technology
GPU: Integrated Intel UHD 11th Gen Graphics
Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
Storage: Up to 1TB, PCIe-NVMe M.2 SSD
Camera: 5MP HD RGB with IR
Ports: 2x USB-C (1x Gen 1, 1x Gen 2), 1x SIM Card slot
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, sub 6 5G, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions (unfolded): 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.5 inches
Dimensions (folded): 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Oh, and Lenovo also announced two other interesting devices: the super-light and long-lasting ThinkPad X1 Nano and the ThinkBook 15 Gen 2, which has its own completely wireless headphones in the keyboard deck.
Is the ThinkPad X1 Fold worth the steep price? Let's take a look at everything you need to know about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold:
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold release date and price
Available for pre-order starting today (Sept. 29), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold starts at $2,499. We're waiting to learn the shipping dates. That might be steep, but innovation rarely comes cheap.
Lenovo does not have an estimated delivery date yet, but we're hoping to get our hands on it in the coming months. We will update this story with the price of its optional 5G upgrade, and its optional Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard, Mod Pen and Easel stand, once we learn those details.
Yes, that means the X1 Fold's physical keyboard isn't included, so you can place it in the same category as the Surface Pro 7, iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S7 — tablets with laptop potential where we really don't like paying more for the keyboard.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold design
Clad in a leather cover, the ThinkPad X1 Fold doesn't look at all like a computing device, until you unfold it. Made of 11 layers — 5 of which are screen — the X1 Fold's chassis includes carbon fiber, which helps ensure it lives up to Lenovo's claims of MIL-SPEC-level durability.
Lenovo's even added some new tests, including a drop test with the keyboard attached inside, as well as a folding test where messy detritus — you clean your crumbs out of your keyboard, right? — are inside the folding screen.
The X1 Fold is also designed to prevent dents and impacts on the screen, thanks again to the aforementioned carbon fiber.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold display
Inside the ThinkPad X1 Fold, you'll find its 13.3-inch 2K (2048 x 1536) OLED panel, the centerpiece of this device. Of course, since the keyboard is not included, this is a touchscreen display.
When you move the ThinkPad X1 Fold from one big screen to a book-like position, you get dual 9.6-inch screens. And how does Windows manage it all? There's a mode-switching app found in the bottom right that enables all this customization, since the ThinkPad X1 Fold runs on Windows 10 Home and Pro, and not the dual-screen friendly Windows 10X.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold's optional external Lenovo Fold Mini Keyboard attaches to the foldable's panel, and when it does, the the contents of your screen adjust accordingly. This gives you a laptop-like experience that we're eager to try for ourselves.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold performance
This is what we're most curious about. While a lot of the newly announced PCs feature Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs, the ThinkPad X1 Fold features an Intel Lakefield Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. That sounds like enough for decent multitasking.
Lenovo is not making any promises about how fast the ThinkPad X1 Fold will be, so we're going to have to wait until we get a review unit to see how fast it gets.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold battery life
The ThinkPad X1 Fold features a 50 watt-hour battery that Lenovo rates for up to 11 hours (on the MobileMark 2014 test). We're excited to test its endurance on the Tom's Guide battery test, which is based on web browsing over Wi-Fi.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold outlook
We're happy to see that Lenovo's ready to sell the ThinkPad X1 Fold — its ambitious design looks like the kind of futuristic tech that sometimes never hits the market — but we're equally interested in testing it out. This folding tablet is such a new and unique device that we really want to see what it's like to use, and how it can fit into our lives.
Personally, it reminds me of the reMarkable 2, in that I can see myself spending a lot of time using it as a digital pad. But unlike that tablet meant for pen and paper lovers, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is also a PC. When we went hands-on with the X1 Fold's keyboard at CES 2020, we thought it was on the small side, and that's a problem that plagues a lot of smaller computing devices (see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 for example).
This all adds up to a lot of experiences that will be new to the laptop and tablet market, a category that doesn't see a whole lot of innovation at this size often. Stay tuned for our full review.