Day: January 9, 2020

Unusual yet Innovative Highlights From CES 2020: Unveiling the World’s First Ever Folding Laptop, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

Lenovo’s foldable Laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: CNET

Last year, Lenovo showed the world in what looked like to be the first ever folding PC. This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the computing giant recently unveiled its latest creation and truly the first ever folding laptop to the public; The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold.

That’s right! This is world’s first ever truly folding laptop. It also has spent four years in development and went through six major designs until now.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold can be best described as the perfect blend of a folding smartphone and a top-notch laptop. Renowned companies like Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Motorola have been experimenting with folding smartphones and failed many times before they came up with a durable final design and outcome.

But what Lenovo has shown proves the company’s worth in making top class futuristic gadgets, not for luxury but for everyone. What’s even more interesting is that the Chinese computing giant is more than happy to be experimenting with unusual yet interesting concepts, to bring to the world devices that were once perceived as impossible to produce.

Let us now have a deeper look at how Lenovo braved the odds in producing a technological masterpiece.

Challenges faced by Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold in its development

President of Lenovo’s Commercial PC and Smart Device Business Unit, Christian Teismann, said that the company has been looking for new product types and associated factors for years since the Yoga franchise began.

He further explained: “A PC is only usable for full productivity at a certain size, about 12 to 13 inches. We ultimately came back to something fundamental like a book form factor in business.”

One of the big challenges the company faced in developing a foldable PC was to ensure it lasted up to 5 years at least in its lifecycle as well as having the usability of a PC. Mr. Teismann said the first working sample was released around a year ago and further revealed the ThinkPad brand will evolve to a new level.

He further stated that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold would be available for order early in this year’s second half with shipments commencing in the middle of the second half.

If such a release time is true, then Lenovo will be shipping the X1 Fold at almost the same time Microsoft debuts its Duo and Neo devices.

Another view of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: Lenovo

Features & Specifications of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

The Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 is the latest in a long line of foldable phones and computers. Numerous convertible dimensions attempted to bring the best of laptops and tablets together to create a device on a single overall dimension. It can also be safe to assume that Lenovo’s new Motorola Razr is the inspiration for its creation.

When unfolded, the ThinkPad Fold X1 has a 13.3-inch display which makes it quite compact. A magnetic Bluetooth keyboard (featured with it) that can sit on the device’s bottom half, creating a complete laptop effect. It can also be detached to be used with the unfolded screen.

A separate easel like stand can be used to hoist the device on it which then gives a sort of a desktop effect (it costs $24 & is not included with the product). When the laptop’s system is not in use, the keyboard sits in the middle and gets charged by wireless means. The best part is that it sits nicely when the laptop is folded.

The screen is pOLED (Plastic Organic Light-Emitting Diode) made in collaboration with LG. Lenovo revealed the extent of the screen’s durability tests to be quite extensive.

A carbon fiber plate reinforces the folding mechanism. The hinges used are quite powerful as they are not easily bent by human fingers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold runs on Windows 10 Pro, and Lenovo brought its own solutions regarding its operability on the folding screen. The laptop is likely to have Windows 10X upon its launch.

The customizations it has are a taskbar icon bringing up a pop-up menu where users can switch between a single full-screen view or a dual-screen mode with an app displayed to each half of the screen. It is expected to be priced around $2,499.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with the wireless keyboard | Source: CNET

The key points of the Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 are as under:

  • It has multiple modes and can be opened as a completely flat 13.3-inch display.
  • The product was co-engineered with Intel. It uses its Core series processors & Windows 10.
  • An option for Windows 10X is coming later this year.
  • 5G connectivity for the device is now an option.
  • Lenovo said that it had developed a mode-switching software for Windows 10 which can accommodate multiple use cases & modes on ThinkPad X1 Fold (Windows 10 is known to be slow).
  • The device weighs less than 2.2 pounds.
  • A Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard and a leather case are available with the device.
  • When the product is closed by folding, the keyboard can be stored and charged in it (wireless charging) and secured with magnets.
  • A full-sized keyboard, mouse and a second display can connect with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold via a USB Type-C cable and port.
  • A ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand is also available. It can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. This helps the ThinkPad X1 Fold to be used as a desktop.

What makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold stand out?

Flexibility is the main advantage of the laptop’s design. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is something that is better than most small laptops; users can open the screen to its full size & prop it up with the built-in kickstand.

They can even use the wireless keyboard with ease which gives the experience of using both a desktop and a laptop. The easel like stand elevates it, making it look like the world’s smallest desktop.

Regarding its performance, the company stated that it runs on a new Intel platform using ‘hybrid technology.’ Battery life is stated to be up to 11 hours. Though skeptics see it as a machine having slow processing power, it would be wise to wait for its launch to see if it proves them wrong.

Conclusion

It is pricey when it comes to a laptop or tablet, but the ThinkPad X1 Fold is set to be the most innovative gadget made by Lenovo. The company has clearly put a lot of thinking in creating it.

This encourages experimental devices to hit the markets this year.

Hence, consumers will be looking forward to buying it and spending a lot of time on it as well.

Sonos Speaker Company Files a Lawsuit Against Google for Stealing Patented Technology

Sonos Speaker company filed a lawsuit against Google for stealing their patented technology to manufacture its own line of products, says the New York Times report published this Tuesday. The company alleged the tech giant for taking five of its important patents and using them to create its own wireless technology. These speakers can be connected to the Internet and then can later be controlled by a mobile app. As a result, Sonos is forced to cut down its price and position in the market. 

The lawsuit document which was initially obtained by the Verge Google got hold of the patented technology from Sonos through a 2013 partnership program between the companies. And since 2015, Google has been found infringing Sonos patents for creating their own line of products. More than a dozen of Google’s product use Sonos patented technology including the Pixel phones and Google home devices. 

Sonos speaker company claims that Google has subsidized the prices of its products manufactured using patented technology and has flooded the market. In effect, Sonos’ business is getting hurt with these cheaper options. For instance, Google’s cheapest smart speaker the Google Home Mini starts at $49 and when it is on sale, the price cuts down up to $25 whereas Sono’s own speaker products cost around $179. 

The lawsuit filed by Sonos further claims that Google also has an upper hand in sales as it collects user information and utilizes it for target marketing by running different ad campaigns. Sonos doesn’t stop there, it also extends the lawsuit and claims that Amazon has also violated Sonos’ patents. For now, Sonos is only suing Google because the company is not in a position to combat two tech giants. 

Sonos speaker company are filing the lawsuit and suing Google in two courts. One lawsuit is filed at the federal district court while the other lawsuit is filed at the United States International Trade Commission. Sonos urge both the courts to seek undisclosed financial losses and place a ban on Google’s smartphones, laptops, speakers and other devices that are in infringement with the Sonos technology patents in the United States. 

Today, the smart speaker market is attractively growing with some of the major tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google all selling their own speaker designs. One of the reports released by The Consumer Technology Association further shed light that smart speakers alone are accountable for making almost $3 billion in revenue alone in 2019. The report published was a mid-year report. 

The CEO of Sonos, Patrick Spence has claimed that Sonos has warned Google countless times not violate since 2016 yet Google has persistently used Sonos patented technology for their own products.

Now they are left with no other option than to file a lawsuit against the firm. On one of the occasions, Spence declared, 

“Google is an important partner with whom we have collaborated successfully for years, However, Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology in creating its audio products. Despite our repeated & extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”

In response to Spence’s declaration, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda speaks out and says, 

“Google and Sonos have had talks regarding intellectual property rights but Google disputes these claims and will defend their stance vigorously.”

Stay tuned as we will soon be publishing more interesting news on how things develop between Google & Sonos. Who do you think stands affirm at their claim? Sonos speaker company or Google. Comment below.