Lenovo Unveils World's First Foldable PC, and I Tried It

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Intel says that it will be at least two years before laptops with foldable screens take off, but someone forgot to tell that to Lenovo, which just unveiled a prototype for a new foldable ThinkPad running Windows that will go on sale in 2020.

The ThinkPad X1 foldable PC concept features a 13-inch OLED display. The ThinkPad X1 foldable PC concept features a 13-inch OLED display. The best part? This foldable PC, which will be part of the ThinkPad X1 family, already seems to sidestep at least one of the Galaxy Fold’s design problems.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 foldable PC release date and price

Lenovo will only say that its foldable PC will go on sale sometime in 2020. It has not announced whether it will appear in the first or second part of the year. If we had to guess, though, we woldn't be surprised if a final version of the device is shown off at CES 2020 in January.

Unfortunately, at this point we know even less about the price for this foldable PC, but we would expect it to cost over $1,500.The ThinkPad X1 Carbon, for instance, starts at $1,367, and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1,500.

What is it, and who is it for?

Designed for road warriors and business executives, as well as “tech enthusiasts,” Lenovo’s new foldable is designed to be a primary PC that can replace your laptop. It features a 13.3-inch OLED screen with 2K resolution. When folded in half, you get two 9.6-inch displays.

With its torque hinge, Lenovo’s foldable PC can be used in various modes, whether you want to use it as a book, tablet with pen, video player or laptop in clamshell mode. You can also set up the stand and use the foldable PC in desktop mode with an external mechanical keyboard.

You can use a physical keyboard with Lenovo's foldable PC or a touchscreen keyboard.You can use a physical keyboard with Lenovo's foldable PC or a touchscreen keyboard.

No crease in OLED display

One of the coolest things about seeing this next-generation ThinkPad X1 in person is that there’s almost no visible crease in the center of the screen, so there’s nothing to distract you from your work or immersive content. Lenovo says that it worked with LG Display on the screen and that the overall product has been in development for three years.

What about durability?

If you’re worried about durability — and we would too given the Galaxy Fold’s issues — Lenovo says that it doubled the hinge cycles that it tests for laptops on this foldable PC. In addition, this device will meet the same overall testing standards as other ThinkPads.

When unfolded, you can't see a crease on the screen of Lenovo's foldable concept.When unfolded, you can't see a crease on the screen of Lenovo's foldable concept.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 foldable PC specs

Because it is still very early, Lenovo isn’t saying what specific operating system this will run (saying only Windows) nor which processor (only Intel). Lenovo is also being vague about battery life, claiming that its foldable PC will have an “all-day battery.”

Lenovo will include a digital pen with the ThinkPad X1 foldable PC.Lenovo will include a digital pen with the ThinkPad X1 foldable PC.We do know some other details, though. The ThinkPad X1 foldable PC prototype has two USB C ports, an IR camera (presumably for Windows Hello) and stereo speakers.The foldable ThinkPad X1 PC when closed looks like a notebook.The foldable ThinkPad X1 PC when closed looks like a notebook.

Outlook

It’s way too soon to say whether Lenovo’s first foldable PC will succeed. Even if it has the durability the Galaxy Fold lacks, we don’t know anything about the price or the speed of this system. But I am impressed by the versatility of its design and can see it making a splash at least with early adopters.

Credit: Tom's Guide