ThinkPad X1 Fold: World’s first foldable PC

Lenovo X1 Fold. (Photo: Lenovo)

After showing off a prototype version of their foldable PC last year, Lenovo is ready to release the world’s first fully functioning foldable PC to the market.

Lenovo unveiled the final version of the ThinkPad X1 Fold at CES 2020. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is a fully functioning laptop that runs Windows 10. It transforms into different sizes depending on the user’s needs. Top-notch engineering yielded this futuristic-looking device, with intelligent technologies that make it work.

The device has a 13.3-inch OLED screen with a 2048 x 1536 pixels. The screen is the result of 4 years of collaboration with LG Display. Not much was shared on the specific processing unit, but we do know that an Intel Core Processor powers the system with Intel’s Hybrid Technology.

The X1 Fold is available with a keyboard. (Photo: Lenovo)

The battery is said to be about 11 hours. There are also two USB-C ports for connecting external devices. Though the device appears thin, there’s a working fan that cools the system alongside a heatsink and heat spreader.

Even with all the tech packed in the small body, the question of durability looms overhead.

X1 Fold in landscape mode with a wireless keyboard. (Photo: Lenovo)

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was a fragile mess when it first launched. Lenovo’s X1 Fold has some advanced technologies that supposedly add rigidity to the device’s structure. According to Lenovo, there are about five layers that make up the bendable screen. There’s the visible OLED, subsidiary metal layers on each side of the bend, and another, laser-cut under that. All those components sit on a bed or carbon fibre plates. It seems Lenovo looked seriously at durability and addressed it with this design. Only time will tell. When bending the hinges “pull the screen flat to avoid ripples.”

The device can be used in portrait or landscape mode as well as folded into a traditional style laptop. There’s a keyboard option that provides a tactile feel for those opposed to typing on screens.

X1 Fold in laptop mode. (Photo: Lenovo)

The hardware seems top-notch. However, there are a few questions about the software.

Though Windows 10 is a capable OS, it wasn’t designed for a foldable. Oddly, Lenovo went with that version instead of Windows 10X that are designed explicitly with foldable devices and dual screens in mind. Lenovo does have plans for a Windows 10X version later this year.

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Lenovo’s ThinkPad computers are designed for business persons who need to get work done on the go. The X1 Fold takes that design philosophy and adds greater portability and new functionality. Foldable devices are becoming increasingly popular.

Samsung released its Galaxy Fold phone last year, and there are rumours that another will follow soon. No doubt there will be many more foldable phones and laptops in the coming years. Dell showed off two prototype computers at CES.

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Foldable tech is new, and new technologies are expensive. The Windows 10 version of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold will be released mid-2020 for a monstrous US2,499.

Lenovo has come out the gate first with an exciting take on the traditional laptop design. Portable, all-screen and fully functional.