We’ve been waiting to see the release version of the ThinkPad X1 Fold, Lenovo’s folding-screen Windows tablet-laptop-thingy, ever since CES at the start of this year. It’s still a small ways off, but Lenovo has been hammering out the final design details, and they’re ready to take pre-orders for the world’s first folding screen laptop. The price: $2500. To start.
ThinkPad X1 Fold
Considering the amount of engineering, and of course the novelty factor, that actually seems like a decent deal—at least compared with devices like the Galaxy Fold or Microsoft Surface Duo. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is a full Windows 10-powered machine (not Windows 10X, as was previously indicated) with an undisclosed Intel Core processor, 8GB of memory, and up to a terabyte of SSD storage. Included around the folding screen are two USB-C ports, and it supports an expansion dock, an included stylus, and a Dolby speaker system.
But who cares about the nuts and bolts? It’s all about that folding screen, and the interesting functionality it adds. The panel is 13 inches with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2048×1536. When fully open you get a standard Windows desktop experience, but folded up “laptop style” the lower half of the screen can be used for a separate window or touch keyboard. Of course, since it’s a ThinkPad, you also get a Bluetooth keyboard that can either rest on the screen itself or float around while you use the X1 Fold’s kickstand-case. The keyboard charges wirelessly from the tablet itself.
The X1 Fold has a 5MP front-facing camera for conferencing, which includes an IR sensor for Windows Hello, but it appears to lack a Surface-style rear camera. At 2.2 pounds (minus the keyboard) and just 6.3 x 9.3 inches when folded, it should be an amazing travelling companion, even if you don’t opt for the 5G radio. Lenovo says it’ll last for 11 hours on a charge…but they don’t say exactly when it’ll start shipping.
ThinkPad X1 Nano
If you’re looking for a more conventional laptop, there’s a new ThinkPad X1 you might consider instead. The X1 Nano is even thinner and lighter than the previous flagship, the X1 Carbon, at just .55 inches and 2.12 pounds, respectively. It’s using the same 13-inch screen with a 2K 16:10 panel, in either touch or non-touch flavors.
Despite the feather weight, you get the latest 11th-gen Core processors with Xe graphics, up to 16GB of RAM, and a maximum of 1TB of storage. The laptop has a full ThinkPad keyboard with fingerprint reader, with an infrared webcam for Windows Hello and optional LTE connection.
In order to make the laptop so small, Lenovo had to trim the ports off of the standard design: this one comes with just two USB-C ports (Thunderbolt 4) and a headphone jack. Those who need more flexible connections without a dock might be better-served by the standard ThinkPad X1 Carbon. But if you like the look of the Nano, it’ll go on sale starting in October, with a base price of $1400.
New ThinkBook V2 Series
Lenovo also announced its second generation of ThinkBook designs, its mid-range family between the IdeaPad and ThinkPad laptop series. Several different models are going on sale in October and November, in 13-, 14-, and 15-inch designs packing either Intel or AMD processors.
Prices for the base models range from $549 for the AMD-powered ThinkBook 14 to $979 for the Intel-powered ThinkBook 15p, which features a discrete GTX 1650ti graphics card. The ThinkBook 15 models include a unique feature: a pop-out tray (where you used to find a CD drive) that houses built-in true wireless Bluetooth earbuds, which recharge when not in use. There’s also a convertible option, the ThinkBook 14s Yoga, the first ThinkBook offered with this form factor.
All of the generation 2 ThinkBook models benefit from either 11th-gen Intel Core processors or AMD Ryzen 4000 processors, depending on your configuration, and their styling has been updated with some slick new two-tone and navy blue options. At prices that low, these machines will start with rather pedestrian specs, but can be configured with top-of-the-line options for processor, RAM, and storage.