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.
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.
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.
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.