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[CES 2020] The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is the world’s first foldable PC

Hopefully, Lenovo has learned some things from Samsung and Huawei in regards to consumer-level foldable devices.

Back in May of 2019 Lenovo jumped on the foldable device train with a teaser of the ThinkPad X1 Fold. Now, CES 2020 is here and the company is officially announcing the ThinkPad X1 Fold which will be released mid-2020. Foldable displays seem to be the way we’re heading and each release of a device should bring improvements. Hopefully, Lenovo has learned some things from Samsung and Huawei in regards to consumer-level foldable devices.

Before we jump into some of the background and use cases for the ThinkPad X1 Fold (which received a Best of CES 2020 award here at Techaeris), let’s take a look at the features and specifications of the world’s first foldable PC:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
The world’ first foldable PC.
  • Processor: Intel Core Processor with Intel Hybrid Technology
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Gen 11 Graphics
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 2242 SSD
  • Camera: 5MP HD RGB + IR Camera
  • Audio: Dolby Audio
  • Battery: 50Wh / 11hrs with Rapid Charge
  • Display: 13.3” Flexible QXGA OLED 4:3 (2048 x 1536, 300nit) DCIP3 95% Touch
  • I/O:
    • USB Type-C Gen1
    • USB Type-C Gen2
    • SIM Card
    • DisplayPort via USB Type-C
  • Connectivity:
    • WWAN 5G/LTE/4G Capable
    • WLAN 802.11 AX
    • LTE CAT 20
    • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight: 999g/2.2lbs with Folio Cover
  • Dimensions:
    • Unfolded: 299.4 x 236.0 x 7.8 mm without cover (11.5 mm with cover)
    • Folded: 158.2 x 236.0 x 27.8 mm with cover
  • Keyboard: Lenovo Mini Fold Keyboard (wireless chargeable keyboard when closed in system)
  • Other Features: New Active Pen and Custom Screen Switching Software

Designed to offer unprecedented productivity, it will offer a ground-breaking new form factor that will reimagine mobile computing. As it morphs through multiple modes, from a small footprint device into a fully flat 13.3-inch display, X1 Fold will deliver laptop efficiency with smartphone portability. Built from a combination of lightweight alloys and carbon fiber and covered in a luxurious leather folio cover, the X1 Fold will offer the durability and reliability users expect from any ThinkPad.

Co-engineered with Intel, the Always Connected PC is powered by Intel Core Processors with Intel Hybrid Technology and will initially be available with Windows 10 in mid-2020. Lenovo is planning on offering ThinkPad X1 Fold with Windows 10X at a later date for an enhanced foldable user experience. Furthermore, optional 5G connectivity will enable new ways of working wherever, whenever and however you want.

The book paradigm is millennia old. Instantly familiar and transportable, the similarities to a foldable PC are immediately obvious. User Experience research suggests that users who frequently switch between phone, tablet and laptop are looking for something with different capabilities and benefits.

Lenovo
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold CES 2020
Pen capable

ThinkPad X1 Fold is a pioneering, new type of lightweight device that can successfully bridge core strengths of each and is without compromise on performance or screen size yet compact enough to slip into the smallest of bags. We have developed, specifically for Windows 10, clever mode-switching software to adapt to multiple use cases in new environments.

Unfolded, the X1 Fold is ideal for touch heavy content consumption with 13.3-inches of OLED display real estate and weighing less than 2.2 pounds (1kg). In landscape mode with the integrated kickstand in the leather folio case, users can review and annotate the latest presentation or use the Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard. When folded closed, the keyboard is stored and wirelessly charged inside the system and secured with magnets.

When taking a break, watch the latest episode of your favorite series on the bright OLED display with a Dolby Audio experience. In portrait orientation, users can take notes or draw out concepts using the Active Pen or scroll through and sign a legal document. Fold the screen out completely flat and use as a tablet or bend it slightly to read a few chapters on your next flight like a book.

Lenovo
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold CES 2020
Unfolded

In a more familiar laptop orientation, users can leverage two independent displays to optimize efficiency during certain multitasking activities. Participate in a video call on the upper screen while reviewing and editing a presentation on the lower screen. Compare documents, one above the other or take notes on one screen while watching a lecture on the other. These use cases can, of course, be done in portrait or landscape mode, whichever suits the user best.

Finally, The ThinkPad X1 Fold is perfectly suited in an office environment. Connect a full-size keyboard and mouse and a second display via USB Type-C and quickly place the device in the optional ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand in portrait or landscape mode. Users will enjoy the performance benefits of a complete desk solution.

Lenovo
ThinkPad X1 Fold CES 2020
Back view

More than four years in development, we investigated four primary designs for X1 Fold and selected the 4×3 ratio with the 13.3-inch display in order to accomplish the best experience and highest level of productivity.

Our ThinkPad development team has worked tirelessly with Intel engineering to overcome the hinge’s mechanical and electrical engineering challenges. And through our partnership with LG Display, we are setting new standards towards perfecting foldable screen technology.

Lenovo

The efforts have resulted in several innovative developments:

  • After working through six different hinge designs and more than twenty different variations, we created a unique multi-link torque hinge mechanism to manage stresses during fold actions.
  • The hinge mechanism, combined with lightweight alloys including a carbon fiber reinforced frame plate, optimizes the viewing experience when unfolded flat.
  • The pOLED display used in X1 Fold has undergone extensive durability testing to make sure it meets our usability criteria in terms of tapping, tracing and dropping.
  • Built to endure the same testing as other ThinkPad laptops, the X1 Fold continues to endure extensive screen folding cycles, stress tests, and pen usage tests to meet our stringent quality criteria.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold CES 2020
The ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold also comes with its own special stand which is a perfect fit for the device and is not included but can be purchased for a relatively low cost.

ThinkPad X1 Fold with Windows 10 is expected to be available mid-2020 with prices expected to start at US$2499.00. The Windows 10X version is expected to be available at a later date. ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand is expected to be available in 2nd half 2020 at US$23.99

In case you missed our previous Lenovo coverage, you can find it all on our Lenovo CES page. Be sure to check back often for the latest from Lenovo at CES 2020.

What do you think of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

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