Plus why you should care about it
The idea of a foldable device has captured our attention for some time now. The first folding phones sent the tech world into a frenzy as people marveled at the hinges, but also looked for (and sometimes found) flaws in their design.
Lenovo has teased a folding device since 2017 when they first debuted a foldable laptop, but they never provided a timeline for when it might release. CES 2020 changed all of that. Lenovo chose CES 2020 as the time to officially debut the ThinkPad X1 Fold and give it a release date: the second half of 2020.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold is appropriately named. This Lenovo foldable laptop comes in at 13.3 inches but folds along the center line to create a perfect divide between the two sides of the screen. Think the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but bigger. The ThinkPad X1 Fold weighs in at just 2.2 pounds and can be folded completely flat for an incredibly small form factor on par with a book.
A foldable laptop is cool, but aside from the screen-bending technology, why should you care? Here’s why: this type of laptop combines the functionality of a tablet with that of an actual laptop, allowing you to half-bend the device and create two separate work areas. You can plug in a full-size keyboard and mouse to achieve the same level of functionality you would with a laptop.
Users can place the ThinkPad X1 Fold into laptop orientation and use two separate displays to multitask, such as holding a video call in the upper screen while taking notes on the lower screen. Lenovo plans to include an optional add-on called the ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand that allows users to place the ThinkPad in either landscape or portrait mode to further broaden the ways people can use the device.
ThinkPad X1 Fold Cost & Release Date
Lenovo has stated that the ThinkPad X1 Fold will start at $2,499 and be available for purchase in the second half of the year. More precise pricing details will be available closer to the release date of the ThinkPad.
The price point is high, especially when the exact technical specs are not available, but the ThinkPad X1 Fold is not aimed at casual users. Lenovo wanted to create a device that would survive the average life cycle of PCs (between three and five years).
The ThinkPad X1 Fold is intended to be a powerful, multipurpose machine that’s just at home in a business context as it is for at-home or student use. The feature lineup also sheds some light on why it is priced where it is.
ThinkPad X1 Fold Features
The standout feature of this Lenovo foldable laptop is, of course, its folding capabilities, but the ThinkPad X1 is more than a one-trick pony. It has a list of features that help somewhat justify its high price point.
- Multiple usage modes allow the ThinkPad X1 Fold to swap from a totally-flat 13.3-inch display to a folded, laptop-style machine.
- 5G connectivity will be optional.
- The ThinkPad X1 Fold can support a full secondary display.
- Users can purchase a Bluetooth Mini Fold keyboard that is stored and charged inside the system.
- There are plans for a Windows 10 version and a Windows 10X version.
Though the exact specs are not public, Lenovo partnered with Intel. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is powered by Intel Core processors in an attempt to avoid the lag that plagues Windows 10 on some laptop models.
Given the popularity of large tablets like the iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Book, Lenovo is heading in the right direction. Keyboards are no longer an absolute necessity for productivity and including them as optional accessories to be used only when needed may be exactly the right move for mobile computing.
Combining convenience with power will make the ThinkPad X1 Fold stand out from the other foldable devices, but it will need to perform extraordinary well to justify its high price point.