Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist combines OLED and color E-Ink displays in one weird convertible laptop

The ThinkBook Plus Twist is trying really hard to make color E-Ink a thing

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The ThinkBook Plus Twist is a 2-in-1 with dual displays with an OLED screen and color E-Ink panel you can use when you want to save battery life. It's a clever concept, but the price is quite high and there are concerns about durability.

Pros

  • +

    OLED and color E-Ink display in one laptop

  • +

    Twist hinge makes it easy to convert

  • +

    Color E-Ink can run Windows

  • +

    Pen support for both screens

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    External display always exposed

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The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist is old school and new school at the same time. It borrows a convertible twist-hinge design from 2-in-1 laptops from the very early 2000s, but it also packs both an OLED display and color E-Ink screen — giving you the choice of which screen to use.

So why color E-Ink? This second display is designed to give you longer battery life, whether you're reviewing documents or you simply want to eke out more minutes while surfing the web before you reach for an outlet. Yes, you can run full Windows in E-Ink mode, but you'll have to be willing to put put with a slower refresh rate of 12Hz. 

I had a chance to go hands on with the ThinBook Plus Twist at CES 2023, and it's definitely intriguing enough that it could have a shot of making our best laptop list once it debuts. But I have to wonder how many people will be willing to pay at least $1,650 for this dual-screen versatility. 

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Price$1,649
OSWindows 11
CPU13th gen Intel Core
RAMUp to 16GB
GraphicsIntel Integrated Graphics
StorageUp to 1TB
Display13.3-inch 2.8K OLED 60Hz + 12-inch front-lit color e-ink touch display
CamerasFHD RGB camera with shutter
Battery 56 Whr
WirelessWLAN Intel Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist: Price and release date

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Future)

The ThinkBook Plus Twist will start at $1,649 and is expected to be available starting June 2023. That price is definitely on the high side even when compared to other 2-in-1 laptops. So you have to really want a color E-Ink display on your next notebook to make this worth the splurge. 

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist: Design and ports

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Future)

The ThinkBook Plus Twist is reminiscent of the first generation of Tablet PCs, systems that leveraged a swivel hinge right in the middle of the display. Thankfully, this hinge is pretty sleek and remains almost hidden from view. 

The 13.3-inch OLED display has narrow bezels, but the because the 12-inch E-Ink display on the opposite side is smaller it has chunkier bezels.

ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

My main issue with the design is that the E-Ink display is exposed with the laptop is "closed." I have to wonder if it will pick up scratches when you take it in and out of your bag over several months. I also wonder how durable the panel is overall in terms of standing up to daily wear and tear.

The ThinkBook Plus Twist keeps it very streamlined with ports. You'll find just two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports along with a headphone jack. 

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist: Dual displays

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Future)

Let's start with the 12-inch color E-Ink touch display, because that's what makes the ThinkBook Plus Twist unique. This panel has a refresh rate of just 12Hz, but it supports both touch and pen input.

The E-Ink display is designed for primarily working with documents, whether you're reading, editing or proofreading. And this panel can cut down on eye strain while also preserving battery life. 

When you swivel the display around it can mirror what you were doing on the OLED panel, but at least on this early model, it took several seconds for the display to spring to life. That time should be cut down once the ThinkBook Plus Twist reaches the market.

ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On the plus side, you can toggle between Speed and Quality mode on the E-Ink display when you want to prioritize performance over color and image quality. Another nifty ThinkBook Plus Twist perk is that the color E-Ink screen is that you can display your own screensaver on the outside of the laptop. 

Turn the display back around and you have a rich 13.3-inch, 2.8K OLED panel with up to 400 nits of brightness. It has Dolby Vision support and is rated to cover 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut with a refresh rate of 60Hz. Images looked crisp and colorful even from wide viewing angles. 

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist specs and features

ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lenovo isn't releasing a ton of details around the specs for the ThinkBook Plus Twist, but we do have some general info. It will be powered by 13th gen Intel Core processors and up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM. And there's up to 1TB of SSD storage.

Other features include Intel integrated graphics, a full HD RGB camera with shutter and dual mics for noise cancellation during video calls. 

The ThinkBook Plus Twist houses a 56Whr battery. Lenovo isn't providing any figures yet for battery life, so we'll be curious to test both screens using our web surfing battery test. 

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist: Outlook

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist

(Image credit: Future)

The ThinkBook Plus Twist is definitely one of the more innovative laptops we've seen because of its dual displays and use of color E-Ink. But at $1,650, we don't know if having the second screen will be worth it. 

We look forward to putting this unique convertible through its paces once it becomes available. Stay tuned for our full ThinkBook Plus Twist review. 

Next: The Asus Chromebox 5 is my favorite PC of CES 2023 — here's why.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.