Lenovo appears to have made great strides in the foldables space as it announced its first flexible tablet—ThinkPad X1 Fold—that will be commercially available later this year. Its form factor stems from the current crop of foldable devices and is unlike any other tablet we have seen so far. The Chinese company unveiled the device back in May 2019, but the technology wasn’t ripe enough to support retail availability back then. It is also among the first batch of tablets to come with Windows 10X, which is designed for foldables.
Without much ado, let’s jump right onto all its details, including specifications, price, availability, and some alternatives.
- Foldable design
- 13.3-inch flexible OLED touch display
- Intel Core processor
- Windows 10X
- 8GB RAM + up to 1TB SSD
- Under 1000 grams
- Active Pen stylus support
- Optional 4G LTE
- USB-C dock
- Mini Keyboard accessory
- 50Whr battery
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold: The Basics
The basic form factor of the ThinkPad X1 Fold cannot get anymore striking. When unfolded, the device looks like a solid and angular slab, which is made using both lightweight alloys and carbon fiber, with a stealthy black color. The centerpiece of this tablet is its foldable 13.3-inch screen surrounded by hefty bezels to possibly give some reinforcement to the delicate pOLED panel. The tablet cannot do whatever it’s touted for without a sophisticated hinge, which Lenovo claims meets the stress and durability tests as other ThinkPad laptops, including considering its use with the Active Pen stylus.
Besides the usual power and volume keys, you’ll find a pair of USB Type-C ports on its edge along with a SIM card slot. Cellular connectivity is optional, though the device should be future proof with 5G compatibility. You’re getting support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 out of the box, while Lenovo has also added a docking mechanism that depends on one of the USB ports to connect to a bigger display. Without its Lenovo-branded Folio cover, the tablet is merely 7.8mm thick when unfolded, and weighs just 999g or 2.2lbs counting in the case. It will come running the full Windows 10 version initially with plans to add a Windows 10X variant later.
On the inside, it’ll come running an unspecified Intel Core processor with Hybrid Technology along with 11th-gen UHD graphics. You can configure it with up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD, while the RAM capacity stays standard at 8GB. It uses a relatively faster variety of LPDDR4X memory clocking in at 4267MHz. Using its 50Whr battery, the company claims the tablet can last for up to 11 hours on a single charge, and it uses a 65W USB-C rapid charger. It has Dolby-enabled speakers, and a front-facing 5MP camera, which also doubles up as a biometrics authentication tool with an IR sensor.
Everything Unlike A Laptop
You can pick up this tablet and fold it inward like a book, maybe to read an eBook or turn it in the landscape mode and you essentially get a laptop with a screen replacing the keyboard. In its folded state, the 13.3-inch display turns into two 9.6-inch screens that you can get creative with. Its companion Fold Mini Keyboard attaches to one half of the display magnetically and charges wirelessly when the tablet is folded.
Lenovo will also be bringing a Fold Stand to keep the tablet, well, standing on your desk as a monitor in portrait or landscape orientation. The first-party folio cover for the ThinkPad X1 Fold should keep the tablet safe without adding much bulk. In addition to these, you’ll have the option to use the Active Pen stylus for doodling or taking notes on its flexible screen. On the software front, it will also run Microsoft’s Windows 10X, which is designed specifically for the upcoming breed of foldables and dual-screen devices.
|Tablet||Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold|
|Operating system||Windows 10/Windows 10X|
|Display||13.3-inch flexible 4:3 pOLED (2048 x 1536) 30 nits|
|Processor||Intel Core processor with Intel Hybrid technology|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 SSD|
|RAM||8GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz|
|Front camera||5 Megapixels + IR camera|
|Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0, optional 5G/4G LTE|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C|
|Battery||50Whr battery, up to 11 hours|
|Security||Optical face unlock|
|Dimensions||Unfolded: 299.4 x 236 x 7.8 mm|
|Weight||999g or 2.2lbs (with folio cover)|
Availability & Pricing
In the US, the novel Lenovo tablet is expected to ship sometime around mid-2020 running Windows 10, while the Windows 10X variant should follow soon. It will cost an astonishing $2,499 at launch, though we aren’t quite sure what all accessories will come bundled with the tablet. The Fold Stand will arrive in the latter part of the year, and its pricing will also be announced around the same time.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Alternatives
There is absolutely nothing right now that can match the ambitions that Lenovo has set with its foldable Windows computer. Still, you can consider some premium tablets that are recognized for their striking form factor, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (review). It is a convertible device with a built-in kickstand that has inspired a generation of Windows devices. The company also announced its ARM-based Surface Pro X (review) with a more modern design. Then, we also have the HP Elite x2 G4 as a great alternative.
If you can work on the new iPadOS, then do consider the iPad Pro 2018 (review), which is available in both 11 and 12.9-inch screen sizes. Its hardware performance matches, and in many cases surpasses, many mainstream laptops that rock Intel Core processors. In July 2019, Samsung announced its flagship Tab S6 tablet (review) with a redesigned S Pen and a case that can turn into a Surface-like kickstand. Aside from these, the Huawei MatePad Pro was launched targeting business users with all the features and perks to match its Pro moniker.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 FoldTaking the clamshell design a step ahead, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold looks to be a device straight from the future. The companion mini keyboard sits on one of the folded half to ensure the tablet's productivity value doesn't diminish with its bold design choices, plus you've also got an Active Pen to scribble on the flexible screen. The tablet isn't a concept, but a product ready for the market.
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