Lenovo Debuts First Foldable PC Set to Launch in Mid-2020

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,095
9,065



Lenovo last year unveiled a new foldable ThinkPad prototype, marking the first foldable PC design that we'd seen. Lenovo has continued to work on that prototype, and is now ready to bring it to market.

At CES, Lenovo is showing off the new ThinkPad X1 Fold, a laptop PC with a 13.3-inch folding LED display with a 4x3 ratio.


According to Lenovo, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is made from a combination of lightweight alloys and carbon fiber, and it's protected by a leather folio cover. It weighs in at less than two pounds and is designed to "seamlessly morph through multiple orientations," transforming from a device with a small footprint to a device with a fully flat display.


The ThinkPad X1 Fold is equipped with Intel Core Processors with Intel Hybrid Technology, and it will run Windows 10 when it launches, though Windows 10X support will be added at a later date for an "enhanced foldable user experience."

Lenovo believes the X1 Fold will bridge the gap between the smartphone, the tablet, and the laptop, offering benefits for users who often switch between devices with multiple form factors.


When used in landscape mode with the integrated kickstand included in the folio case, users can take advantage of a Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard for typing purposes. When folded closed, the keyboard is stored, secured with magnets, and wirelessly charged.


In portrait mode, users can take notes or draw sketches using the Active Pen that works with the device. The X1 Fold can be folded out completely flat so it can be used like a tablet in portrait mode, or it can be folded in half and used like a book for reading.


In this laptop orientation, users can choose to leverage two independent displays at one time for multitasking purposes, and it can be connected to a full-size keyboard and mouse or second display using USB-C when at a desk.


While designing the X1 Fold, Lenovo went through six different hinge designs and over 20 variations, settling on a multi-link torque hinge that manages stresses during folding. Combined with a carbon fiber reinforced frame plate, the hinge optimizes the viewing experience when the tablet is folded flat.

Lenovo plans to launch the X1 Fold in mid-2020, and it will have a starting price of $2,499.

Article Link: Lenovo Debuts First Foldable PC Set to Launch in Mid-2020
 

JGIGS

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2008
1,207
974
CANADA!
maybe it's just me, but the cost at which this foldable technology comes at is way to high for the questionable benefits that you're getting...
Most innovative technology is expensive when it first comes out.

I’m really tired of this folding mania... Stop it. It’s ridiculous!
Ridiculous now, but could be the norm in 5-10 years. Nothing wrong with following what’s going on with foldables.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,734
781
here and there but not over there
maybe it's just me, but the cost at which this foldable technology comes at is way to high for the questionable benefits that you're getting...
Remember when the super thin (for that time) MacBook Air came out? Wasn't the starting price somewhere between 4000 and 5000? And this Lenovo is using even more innovative displays .... so I actually think its cheaper then expected. New tech always feels overpriced, but its a way to recoup the R&D cost of new stuff. The price will go down over time. First generations are never meant for the everyday user, its for early adopters that are willing to pay the premium, everyone else will benefit down the road when the price becomes 'normal'
 

alexandr

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2005
1,283
1,745
11201-121099
Remember when the super thin (for that time) MacBook Air came out? Wasn't the starting price somewhere between 4000 and 5000? And this Lenovo is using even more innovative displays .... so I actually think its cheaper then expected. New tech always feels overpriced, but its a way to recoup the R&D cost of new stuff. The price will go down over time.
i honestly do not recall a 4 or 5k macbook air. also - thin(or super thin) saves space and weighs less(usually). folding tech - folds. that's about it, no?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tooloud10 and SDJim

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,864
9,907
Philadelphia, PA
I really don't see the value in folding displays at this point. Too many compromises, unpolished software, not better in any way from what we already have. Companies are just grasping at anything right now to try and differentiate themselves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SDJim

Ryth

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2011
1,568
133
Remember when the super thin (for that time) MacBook Air came out? Wasn't the starting price somewhere between 4000 and 5000? And this Lenovo is using even more innovative displays .... so I actually think its cheaper then expected. New tech always feels overpriced, but its a way to recoup the R&D cost of new stuff. The price will go down over time. First generations are never meant for the everyday user, its for early adopters that are willing to pay the premium, everyone else will benefit down the road when the price becomes 'normal'
LOL...$4000-$5000?

It was $1799.

Not many people are asking for this and this isn't one of those "They don't know what they want" items either...
 

alexandr

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2005
1,283
1,745
11201-121099
I'm not sold on the folding display benefits, I like what MS with their duo tablet better (small hinge in the middle) I'd sat that seems better then a foldable display
yes, i saw that - it's a good direction imho. and no, it's nice to have your screen fold, sometimes i guess. but is it worth the premium? def not for me)
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,864
9,907
Philadelphia, PA
Remember when the super thin (for that time) MacBook Air came out? Wasn't the starting price somewhere between 4000 and 5000? And this Lenovo is using even more innovative displays .... so I actually think its cheaper then expected. New tech always feels overpriced, but its a way to recoup the R&D cost of new stuff. The price will go down over time. First generations are never meant for the everyday user, its for early adopters that are willing to pay the premium, everyone else will benefit down the road when the price becomes 'normal'
Original MacBook Air was $1,799. It was high at the time for being under powered, but was revolutionary in the industry. It was, however, very much a useful device. I don't agree with your rationale at all that these prototype products are somehow good enough because they can't figure out a compelling use case for the technology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: slineaudi and SDJim

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,981
24,072
So is the tech press going to whine about the bezels or does that only apply to Apple products?
 
  • Like
Reactions: flygbuss

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,612
31,908
The whole foldable devices that we’re seeing a trend of right now doesn’t really appeal to me on a personal level, I do think it has an opportunity to a ‘niche demographic’, but it depends on the price point as well for the consumer. [However, Lenovo makes an amazing Yoga book.]
 
  • Like
Reactions: alexandr

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,981
24,072
The Verge really needs to stop saying ”the future of” every time some tech company announces a new gadget at CES. Yesterday it was Samsung and TVs, today it’s Lenovo and PCs. This is nothing more than tech companies trying to satiate a tech press that gets bored easily. This is all pushing tech into the market hoping a use case shows up. And now every Android/Windows OEM is jumping on the folding screen bandwagon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: smulji

Grey Area

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2008
221
513
ok thats cool.. other than it can fold, what does this solve?
It solves the problem of how to put a big screen device into a small bag.

I must admit I am always a bit baffled at these "what-is-it-good-for"-posts that inevitably appear under every announcement of a device with a folding screen. Isn't it very, very obvious how useful this would be for portability?

(And I'm not saying that this particular Lenovo will actually be the one that really solves the problem - maybe its technology is still too flawed, and maybe it just isn't possible to make a good folding screen. But I can certainly see why the manufacturers keep trying.)
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
Haven’t dug into this, but do they say what the screen is made of? Even if it has a plastic screen protector, the laptop format will best mitigate the inherent issues soft plastic screens have (scratching, eventual fold line / stretching). In phones / tablets that require touching the screen for almost every interaction, not having a glass cover over the screen will result in damage to the screen, not in 2-3 years, but within weeks.

This Lenovo laptop is what I’ve envisioned for years with a folding screen device, so cheers to them for making it a reality (almost). Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arkitect