Lenovo’s foldable PC, the ThinkPad X1 Fold, will be going on sale in Mzansi soon, with the 13.3-inch laptop-tablet hybrid putting Windows 10 Pro on some very unusual hardware. While at first look the X1 Fold may look like an OLED tablet, its ability to fold down the centre makes for a PC that behaves more like a sci-fi movie prop – or rather, the Samsung Galaxy Fold series.
The screen is a 13.3-inch QXGA OLED panel, 4:3 aspect, running at 2048 x 1536 resolution.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Lenovo’s foldable, though some things have changed since back in January and its CES 2020 debut.
So, the silicone bezel around the foldable display has been improved, with Lenovo claiming it’s now more durable. The kickstand angle has been adjusted, too, and the pen loop for the stylus is now on the keyboard accessory, not on the cover. The leather cover on the back is more durable now.
On the software side, Lenovo’s customizations for Windows 10 have been upgraded. There’s now a significant improvement in how the mode-switching operates, the company claims, as you switch between layouts and orientations. That’s including when you place on the optional Bluetooth keyboard, at which point the Fold recognizes that it has been attached and adjusts its use of the display accordingly.
The range starts out with an Intel Core i5 processor, with 8GB of memory and up to 1TB of PCIe-NVMe M.2 SSD storage. Connectivity includes one USB Type-C Gen 1, one USB Type-C Gen 2, and a SIM slot; there’s also WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and optional embedded 5G (Sub-6 GHz).
There’s both a 5-megapixel webcam and an IR camera for Windows Hello, while the 50 Whr battery is good for up to 11 hours of use, Lenovo estimates. It’ll have a USB-C docking station for easier desktop use, too. As part of a launch offer Lenovo is throwing in a Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard and Active Pen for free.
The big question is just how people will actually use all this. Lenovo says that, while it’s a real ThinkPad, it’s also an experiment of sorts: this first-generation model will help the company figure out the right screen size for foldable, how much battery life and performance people will expect from them, and indeed just what demand there actually is for a product like this. As a result, it won’t be a high-volume device: Lenovo isn’t saying how many it’ll make, and it’s not officially a limited edition design, but “we are not making many,” according to Jerry Paradise, VP of Commercial Portfolio.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is up for pre-order now, priced from R69 999. It’ll be in stores sometime next year.