Lenovo's folding OLED laptop gets significant display and power bump
Foldable phones offer users a mini tablet display experience in a device that can fit it a pocket. Lenovo brought the same flexibility to the laptop form factor in 2020 with the launch of the ThinkPad X1 Fold. Now the second generation has been revealed, sporting a larger unfolded OLED display with thinner bezels, a slimmer chassis and Intel Alder Lake U9 chips.
Folded into a book-like format for transport, the ThinkPad X1 Fold measures 6.9 x 10.87 x 0.68 in (176.4 x 276.2 x 17.4 mm), but the device can open up to become a tablet/display at 10.87 x 13.6 x 0.34 in (276.1 x 345.7 x 8.6 mm). Either way, you're looking at carrying just 2.82 lb (1.28 kg) in your backpack – and it's been tested to MIL-STD-810H durability standards, so should be able to survive life on the road.
The OLED display flattens out across a new bell-shaped hinge to offer 16.3 diagonal inches at 4:3 aspect and 2,024 x 2,560 resolution when folded out. Users can look forward to 600 nits of brightness in HDR mode, with support for 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and Dolby Vision visuals. That's a good-sized, very workable screen area though Asus does offer even more display real estate with its Zenbook 17 Fold.
When folded to a clamshell, the top half of the screen offers a 12-inch display while the bottom can host a touch keyboard or flow the image across the hinge to produce one angled display in portrait orientation or in handy book mode when in landscape.
An optional Bluetooth backlit keyboard with haptic touchpad is also available – which can be used attached or detached from a companion stand – to keep typing action offscreen for a more familiar laptop-like experience. The keyboard and stand will add a little weight to your haul though, for a total of 4.19 lb (1.9 kg). A magnetic-attach stylus pen that makes use of the Wacom protocol can be added into the mix too for even more flexibility.
Inside, the X1 Fold is powered by 12th Generation U9 Core i5 and i7 processor options, with integrated Iris X graphics, supported by up to 32 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1 TB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage. Lenovo's engineers have developed a set of patent-pending folding graphite sheets to help cool down system hotspots. The company has also included an enhanced version of Intel's AI-powered Visual Sensing Controller chip, which manages such things as optimizing display settings, the 5-MP RGB and IR camera across all orientations, and wake on approach for designated users while also offering notifications when folks look over your shoulder.
Elsewhere, the device comes packing a 48-Wh battery with support for 65-W cabled fast charging (and there's talk of another 16 Wh being available "based on configuration"), there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports and one USB-C 3.2 Type 2 around the slim edge, wireless connectivity shapes up as Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E plus optional 5G Sub 6 mobile internet via the Nano-SIM tray, and Lenovo has crammed in a quad Dolby Voice microphone array, though only two of those will be enabled at any one time, and a three-speaker Dolby Atmos setup (with any two active at the same time).
The new ThinkPad X1 Fold can be bought with Windows 11 Home or Pro running the show, and is due for release during Q4 2022 for a starting price of US$2,499. The video below has more.