We did not have time to get used to the idea that foldable phones were with us for a long time when laptops with flexible displays started appearing. The first such foldable laptop in the world is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. The cost of innovation can be discouraging, but there are no analogs on the market. Let us see how convenient an unusual gadget is in everyday life in this Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold review.
Why do laptops need a foldable screen?
When you first pick up the Lenovo X1 Fold, you immediately notice an unusually compact size. When folded, the device looks more like a book or notebook than a full laptop with a 13.3-inch screen. Of course, you can’t keep it in your pocket, but a woman’s bag can hold this latest device but take up a bit more space.
The foldable screen gives a wider scope for different use cases. Want to take a break from work? We unfold the Lenovo Fold gadget and turn it into a tablet with a stunning OLED display, where you can comfortably watch movies, read books, flip through social networks, and more. Do you need to write a lot of texts and answer important emails? We open the screen at a 90-degree angle and get a laptop that sits comfortably on the table or rests on your lap. A stylus is included, so it is easy to use for PC notes or sketching. Multi-language writing input is also supported.
In curved screen mode, there are two work areas – lower and upper. They are filling whatever you like. The bottom can be a keyboard, and the top can be a Word document or Excel sheet. On one half, open the photo in Photoshop, on the other – the panel to process the image from the editor. You can view the presentation simultaneously and search for information to edit it.
A matter of convenience
Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad X1 Fold as a laptop. However, this is not entirely true, as the model looks like a tablet, and with all the results to come. Windows operating system is not very suitable for touchscreen usage. It is inconvenient to use a device without a mouse – all interface elements are small, and sometimes you can move to the desired object by the second or third attempt.
It is not easy without a physical keyboard. Pressing virtual keys does not provide tactile feedback, so writing long texts is difficult. For this, it is better to use a fully proprietary keyboard – it attaches to the lower half of the screen and charges without any cord. With this set, you get a small tablet with an active display of 9.6 inches. A quality leather case is an integral part of the case. It has a built-in stand – it is convenient to place the device on the table or knees without tilting the screen.
Another complication: There is no official support for folding screen apps on Windows. There is a built-in utility from Lenovo that divides the desktop into two parts. But it won’t be able to take out the slider in Photoshop or fine-tune complex software – everything has to be done on its own. As a result, it seems like there is no point in tilting the display 90 degrees – it’s easy to open the screen completely, run two programs in multi-window mode, and operate the device with a mouse and wireless keyboard.
First of its kind
The foldable screen of the ThinkPad X1 Fold looks great. It is a 13.3-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3. Picture quality is beyond praise: the contrast scale is the darkest black and the widest viewing angle. You can only complain about the brightness level – 300nits is not enough to work in direct sunlight.
The folding mechanism seems reliable – the gadget opens and closes easily. There is no firm fixation when tilting the screen to 90 degrees. If you pull the device fast, the opening angle may change. The fold is almost invisible when it appears, but it felts when using a PC. It is a small slot in the middle of the display that almost does not interfere with the work. After a few days, you will get used to it, and you will also stop watching it.
In terms of durability and reliability, the foldable laptop inherits the tradition of the ThinkPad brand. Its body is made of carbon fiber and magnesium alloys. The MIL-STD 810H certification guarantees protection from moisture, dust, high temperature, and shock.
Lenovo does not disclose the material used to defend the Foldable screen. We are talking about real glass. In foldable smartphones, the protective coating feels like the soft plastic previously used in resistive touchscreen phones.
For office and entertainment
Lenovo’s engineers have tried hard to put all the necessary accessories into a foldable laptop. The Intel Core i5-L16G7 SoC, a specialized energy-efficient platform of the Lakefield family, is used as a processor. It has five cores in its structure: one powerful and four weak. This combination is necessary to conserve battery power and reduce heating as the thermal package of the device is only 7W. The integrated Intel UHD graphics is responsible for the graphics. It packs 8 GB LPDDR4X memory, and 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD.
The Lenovo X1 Fold is suitable for everyday office editing of documents and files, photo processing, and simple video editing. The system is agile, the suppression response is almost instant. Interaction with two applications on two parts of the screen occurs without breaks. Cooling copes with the task adequately, the noise level being low under active load. Of course, this type of filling is not intended for gaming, but you can play simple games to spend time with your friends.
Stereo speakers are good enough for listening to music and watching YouTube. For video calls, four microphones are provided, which perfectly pick up speech and filter out noise. Other nice features are an infrared camera that recognizes the owner from the face for Windows Hello, and 4G modules. You can install a nano-SIM and use mobile Internet.
Port selection is minor. There are only two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 with power delivery support, one of which can be used as a DisplayPort connector. Wi-Fi 6 802.11x is available with Bluetooth 5.1 wireless interfaces.
The battery capacity is 50 Wh. A large OLED display lasts for 9 hours of video playback at moderate brightness without Wi-Fi. In terms of printing and web surfing, the battery will last about 6 hours. Given the folding mechanism of the screen, the figures are not record-breaking, but also not bad. The X1 Fold is equipped with USB-C with fast charging support, which fills up to 80% of the battery in an hour.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is a futuristic foldable laptop that you can buy now on Bhphotovideo.com and Amazon.com online retailers. The gadget is suitable for daily use. The folded dimensions are a pleasant surprise – a full laptop is the equivalent of a small book. The hinge works great, the fold is invisible, and the protective coating is almost indistinguishable from real glass.
Such devices certainly have the right to exist, the main thing being to wait for the cost of technology to come down. Until now, foldable laptop models have been available only to very wealthy users.