I reviewed Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, the primary PC with a foldable display screen, in late 2020. On the time, it was a really cool thought, however not notably, let’s assume, usable. Right this moment, Lenovo has introduced its second go at this, the “Subsequent-generation” ThinkPad X1 Fold. I spent a couple of minutes with the gadget, and let me let you know: I’m way more optimistic about this one.
A lot of this new X1 Fold can be acquainted to followers not simply of the earlier X1 Fold, however of the ThinkPad line in general. The gadget is outfitted with the sequence’s customary black and purple shade 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 precise ones.
Just about each main difficulty I had with the unique X1 Fold was due, in a roundabout way, to its 13.3-inch dimension. It was high quality to make use of as a 13-inch pill, however when folded into laptop computer mode (an choice that’s a giant a part of the enchantment of foldable screens like this), it was too small to be sensible for each day use.
The second-gen gadget is 16 inches, a 22 % improve in dimension. (It is usually 25 % thinner than the earlier mannequin). Having performed round with the brand new gadget, I believe it’s much more sensible. The display screen 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 gadget, 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 the intention 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 kind on it like I usually kind. The keys felt ThinkPad-quality. Evidently, I a lot choose this one.
Whereas we’re speaking in regards to 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-Series. I usually 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 often navigate. This one is a transparent enchancment as a result of dimension alone.
Inside, the X1 Fold is powered by Twelfth-Gen Core i5 or i7 processors with built-in graphics and non-compulsory assist for Intel’s vPro enterprise platform. Lenovo hasn’t outlined the precise fashions that can be accessible, however ThinkPads do are usually endlessly configurable to the purpose of stressing me out.
You’ll be capable to get SSD storage of as much as 1TB and as much as 32GB of DDR5 reminiscence, with the choice of Home windows 11 House or Home windows 11 Professional. There’s an non-compulsory Wacom pen, which attaches magnetically to the chassis. The display screen is a 16.3-inch 2024 x 2560 contact OLED that shrinks to 12 inches when folded.
There’s a 48Whr battery (with “non-compulsory extra 16Whr based mostly on configuration”) and no battery life estimate but, which…scares me a bit, because the first X1 Fold gave me beneath 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 must see on that.
In my transient time utilizing this gadget to hop round Chrome and watch some movies, it appeared to work nicely sufficient. That may be a superb 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 (not like another laptop computer producers) Lenovo is just not identified to ship glitchy software program left and proper.
After which there’s the elephant within the room: the value.
This gadget, for those who hadn’t guessed, is just not 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 value.
That, curiously, is identical value the 13-inch mannequin had (and this can be a larger, thinner, and usually extra usable gadget). And it’s considerably cheaper than the $3499.99 Zenbook 17 Fold, the one different foldable close to this dimension that we’ve seen thus far this yr.
This might find yourself being a considerably higher deal for foldable-buyers than the 17-inch Fold — however after all, we haven’t gotten to extensively check the factor but, so there may very well be every kind of catches.
I don’t anticipate this gadget to be excellent. Even when Lenovo has completed every thing it will possibly right here, the expertise of utilizing the gadget might have so much to do with how nicely different corporations can get their software program to behave with it.
However as Lenovo’s representatives walked me by means of this gadget, I bought the sense that they had been genuinely enthusiastic about it. I believe they perceive precisely what the constraints of the 13-inch Fold had been and had been blissful to have a bigger foldable display screen come alongside. Possibly on this new kind issue, Lenovo can lastly make the groundbreaking gadget that they needed the primary X1 Fold to be.
The foldable future might not be right here but, however with each one in all these releases, it comes nearer.
Images by Monica Chin / The Verge