It feels like a lifetime ago that Lenovo first announced its ThinkPad X1 Fold at CES back in January. Now, seven months later, the world’s first PC with a foldable display is available for pre-order starting at $2,499.
The X1 Fold’s specs haven’t changed since that early reveal. It still features a 13.3-inch flexible OLED touchscreen display (2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution) that can be split into two 9.6-inch screens when folded, with a 5-megapixel HD infrared camera on top.
The entire device is encased in the same non-removable black leather folio we originally saw at CES, while underneath is a carbon fiber back frame that’s held together with hinges. To keep the X1 Fold from overheating, the folio also has a foldable graphite layer to help dissipate heat and features a built-in kickstand, the angle of which has been improved for better usability.
The pin loop for the Lenovo Mod Pen, which was originally placed on the cover of the Fold, has now been relocated to the Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard for optimal placement. While you’d think the expensive price tag on the X1 Fold means these accessories come with the device, I’m sorry to inform you they do not. You can either bundle the accessories with the X1 Fold for $2,799, or you can purchase each one separately. The pen will cost an additional $99 while the keyboard will set you back $229.
The X1 Fold comes equipped with two USB-C ports, Dolby stereo speakers, and a SIM card tray for LTE connectivity. For those with 5G coverage in their area, the X1 Fold also supports sub-6Ghz 5G speeds.
When it’s fully unfolded, the X1 Fold can be used as a standard tablet. Fold its screen in a bit, and you can use it in dual-screen mode to view two different apps simultaneously. Once it’s folded completely halfway, a touchscreen keyboard will appear at the bottom of the display, freeing up the top half to be used as a monitor.
But if you’re more comfortable using physical keys, you do have the option to attach the Bluetooth keyboard to the bottom half of the display. If you want to take advantage of the entire screen, you can also prop the X1 Fold on its kickstand and place the keyboard in front of the display as well.
Seeing as how foldable displays don’t have the best track record (yes, I am referring to the original Galaxy Fold and the rebooted Motorola Razr), it’s normal to question the durability of this thing. And while that remains to be seen through our own testing, Lenovo has made sure to incorporate a few elements to reduce the X1 Fold’s fragility.
In addition to the thick bezels around the screen, there’s also a protective coating to prevent damages like dents and scratches. Underneath the screen are two interlocking carbon fiber plates, so if something impacts or hits the screen, it absorbs and rebounds on impact to keep from breaking the display.
According to Lenovo, the X1 Fold’s multiple layers of protection also help to prevent the screen from creasing or bubbling when completely unfolded. Again, we’ll have to see how that claim holds up during our review testing.
The X1 Fold is powered by an Intel Core processor with Intel Hybrid Technology. Announced this past summer, the chipset is specifically built to fit into smaller form factors such as this one. It also comes with an Intel UHD Gen 11 Graphics card, 8GB of memory, and up to 1TB of super-fast storage.
It also ships with Windows 10 Pro, which has been optimized specifically for the PC. With its mode switching software, the X1 Fold is able to adapt depending on how you’re using it. For example, whenever the Bluetooth keyboard is placed on the screen, it immediately recognizes the accessory so you don’t have to fiddle with different settings.
Lenovo claims the X1 Fold’s 50-watt battery can last up to 11 hours on a full charge. It also comes with a 65W power adapter that has support for Rapid Charging, so you should be able to charge it fairly quickly.
While that battery life would normally worry me in a pre-pandemic world, seeing as how I’d be switching back and forth between tablet and PC mode, I’m not as concerned since I barely leave my house these days.
It’ll be interesting to see whether I fstill ind the X1 Fold as useful given my new work-from-home lifestyle. So, be sure to check back soon for a full review.