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Lenovo reveals prototype foldable ThinkPad X1 laptop

Lenovo has taken the covers off a stunning foldable PC prototype currently targeted for launch in 2020. (Source: Lenovo)
Lenovo has taken the covers off a stunning foldable PC prototype currently targeted for launch in 2020. (Source: Lenovo)
Lenovo has revealed what it is calling the “world’s first foldable PC” at its Accelerate 19 conference in Orlando, Florida. Currently in prototype, the device may form part of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 family should the Chinese PC maker decide to eventually launch it as a shipping product.

Lenovo has taken the covers of what it is calling the “world’s first foldable PC.” It is a natural extension of Lenovo’s previous attempts to innovate the PC form factor including the dual-screen Yoga Book C930. Like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold smartphone, the device uses a foldable OLED display. Unlike Samsung’s device, Lenovo is taking a more cautious approach with this device by unveiling it and putting in reviewer hands as a prototype.

Lenovo has been working on this PC for the past three years and should it eventually ship in 2020 as planned, it will carry Lenovo’s premium ThinkPad X1 branding. Its OLED display is 13.3-inches across, has a 4:3 aspect ratio, a 2K resolution and supports an included Wacom pen. It will run Windows 10 when it is launched on unspecified hardware that will include an Intel chip. Lenovo says that it weighs in under 2 pounds while the battery is deliberately placed on the right side of the device to weigh it down when used in laptop mode.

Lenovo envisages a range of use cases including using it folded into a book to check social media pages when you wake in the morning. You’d walk it to the kitchen and place it on the bench unfolding it and standing it up to watch the news. On a train you’d fold into a traditional clamshell to check and respond to email on the daily commute and then dock it to a multi-monitor set up at the office. You’d be able to take it to meetings where you’d use the pen to take notes and use it as a large screen tablet to view TV or a movie when back at home.

You have to give Lenovo a lot of credit for its willingness to experiment with new forms and technologies. Should it ship as expected next year, look to Notebookcheck for what will be the most comprehensive review on the web.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-05-14 (Update: 2019-05-14)