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Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold is basically a foldable PC

By Koh Wanzi - on 8 Jan 2020, 10:11am

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold is basically a foldable PC

Image Source: Lenovo

In May last year, Lenovo unveiled the ThinkPad X1, then billed as a foldable PC with a flexible OLED screen. Today, Lenovo is finally ready to launch that laptop as the ThinkPad X1 Fold, a 13.3-inch device that bends inwards and snaps shut magnetically. 

Not a whole lot has changed since last year, but Lenovo has added an infrared camera for Windows Hello sign-in. The exterior is wrapped in a leather cover, which is pretty cool, and gives the impression of holding a journal when it's folded up.

The 13.3-inch 4:3 pOLED panel is made by LG, and it boasts a 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution. Lenovo emphasised the extensive durability tests the display has gone through, and the mechanism is also reinforced by a carbon fibre plate. 

Image Source: Lenovo

The device will ship with Windows 10 Pro, mostly because Microsoft's dual-screen Windows 10X isn't ready yet. However, a Windows 10X version is still expected to arrive later. Lenovo has had to come up with its own solution for handling the foldable screen for now, which mostly comprises a taskbar icon that brings up a pop-up menu for switching between a fullscreen view and dual-screen mode. 

When folded, the bottom half of the screen can also double as a virtual keyboard, but the ThinkPad X1 Fold ships with a Bluetooth keyboard that magnetically attaches to the bottom half of the display. It sort of mimics the feel of a traditional laptop, and the keyboard fills up the gap between the screen's two halves when folded so you don't have to remove it first. 

Image Source: Lenovo

In addition, there's a built-in kickstand, so you can prop the device up and use the keyboard wirelessly. Alternatively, there's even an easel-style stand that elevates the X1 Fold into something resembling a painting on a stand. 

But in a time where traditional clamshell laptops are becoming thinner and thinner, the X1 Fold can appear positively thick and clunky. After all, it measures 27.8mm thick when folded and weighs 999g with the folio cover.

It's not the most elegant looking thing around, sporting also thick bezels on all sides. But it's also a first-generation device and an ambitious, forward-looking one at that, so you can't really turn your nose up at it. 

Lenovo says it's powered by the latest Intel Core processors with Hybrid Technology and should be good for up to 11 hours of use on its 50Wh battery. It'll also be equipped with 8GB of LPDDR4X memory and up to a 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD.

The Windows 10 Pro model is expected to ship in mid-2020 and cost US$2,499.