Mobile technology has been edging closer and closer to foldable displays for years, but 2019 was the first time foldables became a reality with the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the upcoming Moto Razr. Lenovo isn’t wasting any time joining the folding revolution. The company has revealed its new ThinkPad X1 Fold at CES — it’s a foldable Windows 10 tablet that will launch in the coming months for $2,500.
This is not the first time Lenovo has demoed a foldable tablet. However, the previous prototypes felt like that — unfinished. The X1 Fold, as demoed at CES, is very close to the final piece of hardware that will ship later this year.
When fully unfolded, the X1 Fold looks like your standard tablet with a 13.3-inch touchscreen that measures just 0.45-inches (11.4 millimeters). That’s thin for a Windows slate with an Intel chip. While Lenovo hasn’t made any promises, we expect this device to have one of Intel’s new Lakefield chips. The X1 Fold will also have 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Lenovo will also offer optional 5G connectivity.
To make the display foldable, Lenovo had to go with an OLED panel. It has a resolution of 2048 x 1536, the same as Apple’s midrange iPads. The display folds down the middle, and the PC maker says it’s been working on the folding mechanism for several years. While there’s a crease down the middle of the screen, it’s reportedly not too noticeable in person. However, the display is plastic, so it’ll be more vulnerable to scratches than a glass screen.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold will run Windows 10 Pro — Microsoft’s dual-screen and foldable-optimized Windows 10X won’t launch until later in 2020. The company’s Surface Neo will probably be the first computer to run that. Lenovo says the ThinkPad X1 Fold will get an update to 10X at a later date, but in the meantime, it’s added a few optimizations to Windows 10 for the form factor. For example, a taskbar icon can switch between full-screen and a dual-screen mode for pinning apps to the two halves of the display.
There’s only so much you can do with Windows 10, though. The OS has a notoriously lousy touch optimization, and Lenovo seems to think people will want to use the on-screen keyboard — the computer can dock that on one half of the folding screen if you wish. The ThinkPad X1 Fold will come with a Bluetooth keyboard that attaches magnetically to the display, but it has a tiny trackpad.
Lenovo expects to ship the ThinkPad X1 Fold around the middle of the year. The $2,500 starting price is steep, but let’s not forget the Galaxy Fold was only $500 less.
- Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2 Might Be Much Cheaper
- Huawei’s Mate X Foldable Phone Launches at $2,400
- TCL’s New Prototype Phone Folds in Thirds