I reviewed Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, the primary PC with a foldable display, in late 2020. On the time, it was a really cool concept, however not notably, let’s say, usable. Immediately, Lenovo has introduced its second go at this, the “Subsequent-generation” ThinkPad X1 Fold. I spent a couple of minutes with the system, and let me inform you: I’m way more optimistic about this one.
A lot of this new X1 Fold shall be acquainted to followers not simply of the earlier X1 Fold, however of the ThinkPad line basically. The system is outfitted with the collection’s customary black and purple colour scheme, with the staple ThinkPad X1 brand on the lid. There’s a ThinkPad-style keyboard with a trackpoint and inverted-T arrow keys. It’s well-built, sturdy, and glossy.
However some adjustments have been made, and I believe they had been the appropriate ones.
Just about each main problem I had with the unique X1 Fold was due, not directly, to its 13.3-inch measurement. It was nice to make use of as a 13-inch pill, however when folded into laptop computer mode (an possibility that’s a giant a part of the enchantment of foldable screens like this), it was too small to be sensible for every day use.
The second-gen system is 16 inches, a 22 % improve in measurement. (It is usually 25 % thinner than the earlier mannequin). Having performed round with the brand new system, I believe it’s much more sensible. The display is clearly large enough that I might navigate round my traditional workflow and have a number of tabs open aspect by aspect.
The larger chassis additionally permits for an even bigger keyboard. The 2020 X1 Fold’s keyboard was well-made however needed to match horizontally throughout a 13.3-inch system, which meant it was actually dang cramped. Some keys had as many as 4 characters crammed onto them, and I needed to press three at a time with a purpose to make a query mark seem.
This new keyboard deck (which attaches magnetically to the decrease half of the chassis when it’s folded in laptop computer mode) is full-sized and backlit. I might sort on it like I usually sort. The keys felt ThinkPad-quality. For sure, I a lot desire this one.
Whereas we’re speaking concerning the deck, there’s additionally a haptic touchpad on this factor. We’re beginning to see extra of those throughout Lenovo’s extra compact ThinkPads, together with the super-thin Z-Sequence. I typically discover them a bit thinner than different trackpads, however this one appeared okay. I’ll want extra time with it to get a full impression.
That stated, the bar for this touchpad is so low. The primary-generation’s was barely large enough to scroll with, not to mention recurrently navigate. This one is a transparent enchancment as a result of measurement alone.
Inside, the X1 Fold is powered by Twelfth-Gen Core i5 or i7 processors with built-in graphics and optionally available assist for Intel’s vPro enterprise platform. Lenovo hasn’t outlined the precise fashions that shall be obtainable, however ThinkPads do are usually endlessly configurable to the purpose of stressing me out.
You’ll be capable of get SSD storage of as much as 1TB and as much as 32GB of DDR5 reminiscence, with the choice of Home windows 11 Dwelling or Home windows 11 Professional. There’s an optionally available Wacom pen, which attaches magnetically to the chassis. The display is a 16.3-inch 2024 x 2560 contact OLED that shrinks to 12 inches when folded.
There’s a 48Whr battery (with “optionally available extra 16Whr primarily based on configuration”) and no battery life estimate but, which…scares me a bit, because the first X1 Fold gave me below 5 hours to a cost and had a 50Whr battery. Asus’s 17.3-inch Zenbook 17 Fold, additionally introduced this week, has demonstrated that an OLED foldable can be able to breaking six hours. We’ll need to see on that.
In my transient time utilizing this system to hop round Chrome and watch some movies, it appeared to work effectively sufficient. That could be a excellent signal. I had fun utilizing the first-gen X1 Fold, however there have been every kind of glitches to the expertise, notably with the onscreen keyboard. I’m trying ahead to seeing how Home windows 11 does on this new chassis, as (in contrast to another laptop computer producers) Lenovo just isn’t identified to ship glitchy software program left and proper.
After which there’s the elephant within the room: the worth.
This system, for those who hadn’t guessed, just isn’t going to be low-cost. It’s anticipated to hit cabinets in November with a beginning value of $2,499. Be aware that the stylus and keyboard weren’t included on the 13-inch mannequin, and people added $250 to the worth.
That, apparently, is identical value the 13-inch mannequin had (and this can be a greater, thinner, and customarily extra usable system). And it’s considerably cheaper than the $3499.99 Zenbook 17 Fold, the one different foldable close to this measurement that we’ve seen thus far this 12 months.
This might find yourself being a considerably higher deal for foldable-buyers than the 17-inch Fold — however in fact, we haven’t gotten to extensively take a look at the factor but, so there may very well be every kind of catches.
I don’t anticipate this system to be excellent. Even when Lenovo has accomplished the whole lot it could right here, the expertise of utilizing the system could have lots to do with how effectively different corporations can get their software program to behave with it.
However as Lenovo’s representatives walked me by means of this system, I obtained the sense that they had been genuinely enthusiastic about it. I believe they perceive precisely what the restrictions of the 13-inch Fold had been and had been comfortable to have a bigger foldable display come alongside. Perhaps on this new kind issue, Lenovo can lastly make the groundbreaking system that they needed the primary X1 Fold to be.
The foldable future will not be right here but, however with each considered one of these releases, it comes nearer.
Pictures by Monica Chin / The Verge