Lenovo Unveils Intel-Powered Foldable ThinkPad Prototype for 2020
A Full-Fledged Foldable ThinkPad
Lenovo today capped off the first day of its annual Accelerate conference by teasing an upcoming laptop with a foldable display. On top of the company’s other announcements, Lenovo unveiled what it is thus far calling the “ThinkPad X1 Foldable PC Prototype.”
The device, scheduled to hit the market some time in 2020, will feature a 13.3-inch 2K OLED screen in a 4:3 aspect ratio when opened, and a wider aspect ratio 9.6-inch screen when folded. Lenovo isn’t sharing many hard details on the foldable screen laptop although, as its early placeholder name demonstrates, it will be part of the ThinkPad X1 family with an official name to be released later.
Other details that Lenovo has thus far revealed:
- It will be powered by “Intel technology” (no specific CPU type/generation information is available) and be a “Windows-based device.” Again, no exact details here, although the long-rumored “Windows Lite” is expected to be available in the same time frame.
- The device’s foldable screen is made by LG Display.
- It will feature an IR camera, two USB-C ports, and stereo speakers.
- It will support Wacom-based digital pens.
- It will have a Bluetooth keyboard.
- Expected to have an “all day battery” (no specific numbers provided).
While exact specs are not yet available, Lenovo did say that the company is positioning the foldable ThinkPad X1 to be a “primary PC that can replace your laptop” with an intended user base of “road warriors and business executives that are highly mobile, as well as tech enthusiasts.”
We all want access to a large comfortable screen even on the go, but travel can make this inconvenient or impossible. Never mind that remote work increased 140 percent from 2008 to 2016, with more and more employees taking time-sensitive, media-intensive projects with them everywhere. In the past, a 13.3-inch screen on a laptop demanded that the device stay at that same size footprint —not so with this single OLED 2K display made in collaboration with LG Display® that can fold in half and reduce its width by 50 percent. Intel®-powered with Windows®, the foldable ThinkPad can transition with users from day to night.
Lenovo said that the foldable ThinkPad X1 has been in development for three years, and that it is holding the product to the same “rigorous” standards required of all ThinkPads. In a bid to address the durability concerns of the emerging foldable display market, Lenovo said that the company has doubled the hinge cycle rating that it normally targets on traditional laptops. The device will use a torque hinge that allows the screen to bend to and hold a variety of angles.
Pricing is unsurprisingly not available but Lenovo promised additional details in the lead up to the foldable ThinkPad X1’s 2020 launch.
Samsung has made it a lot harder for anyone else to launch a foldable screen design. Lenovo has an uphill battle to sell many of these.
Why don’t the site do video reviews anymore?
It’s on the roadmap for the near future – plans to start earlier this year but everything takes longer to get started than I’d like.