Foldables have arrived and even though they’re off to a rocky start, there’s no denying that people literally want them – they want to try them out, and quite possibly, make them their daily drivers in the foreseeable future. For when the tech is ready for prime-time. Hardware companies are embracing them. Software companies are embracing them too. Foldables are the future, and it’s safe to say, we’ve made the first contact. After smartphones, it is the turn of the more powerful PC to bend into half – and with it, open new avenues of portability and functionality. Lenovo would like to believe it got their first.
At its Accelerate conference in Florida, Lenovo is showing off an early look or prototype of its upcoming foldable-display laptop. The laptop doesn’t have a name yet and Lenovo isn’t giving out its specs either, but it will be part of its ThinkPad X1 line-up and it will be marketed as a clear laptop replacement - Lenovo is calling it a full-fledged laptop with a foldable screen.
That screen measures 13.3-inch diagonally in full-screen mode which turns into a 9.6-inch display when folded – you can literally fold it and carry it around like a book. The biggest takeaway when you compare this thing with a traditional clamshell laptop (besides the absurd levels of engineering) is portability – it will be much smaller than conventional laptops. And seemingly as powerful (or even more, we can’t say for sure yet). The panel, as expected, is OLED with a polymer coating for protection, similar to how things are in the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X. Lenovo has confirmed it is using a panel supplied by LG Display for its foldable laptop.
As for use cases, Lenovo envisions quite a few. You can use it as clamshell laptop, with a touch-screen keyboard – similar to the company’s many Yoga Books. Lenovo has cleverly put the battery at one end (which is supposed to be the bottom end when used in clamshell mode) so the other end doesn’t become heavy and topple over. Alternatively, you can use it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse as a 2-in-1. Not to mention, you can use it as a tablet as well.
Lenovo isn’t showing off any software quirks to enhance the functionality of its foldable laptop yet like Samsung and Huawei – all we know is that it runs Windows. Also, those looking for some more technical information, the laptop is (will be) based on an Intel CPU. Considering that the upcoming laptop is part of Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up, it will be geared towards businesses – which invariably means, it will be designed for productivity.
Without compromising on durability. Which is also the biggest concern for all things foldable, especially after the Samsung fold-gate fiasco. Lenovo says it is going the extra mile to ensure the foldable laptop meets the high-quality standards of the ThinkPad, and it still has some time to ensure it passes with flying colors (hopefully) - Lenovo will announce the full specs and availability details sometime in the first half of 2020.