This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
Lenovo has officially announced the ThinkPad X1 Fold, the world's first screen-folding PC.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold is a Windows 10 PC with a 13.3-inch OLED display that folds in two and can be carried around like a book.
Gallery: ThinkPad X1 Fold 製品画像 | of 18 Photos
It not only halves the footprint and fits into a small bag, but it's also a variable multi-purpose device that can be used to replace multiple devices, such as by opening it up like a traditional laptop for video conferencing on the top half and handwriting with a pen on the bottom half, by using it like a mini-notebook with the included keyboard underneath the screen in a small space, or by holding it in a magazine spread as a tablet when a keyboard is not needed.
The main specifications of the PC include a 13.3-inch 2048 x 1536 OLED display (10-point multi-touch, digitizer pen support), Intel Core with Intel Hybrid Technology, onboard 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD. Battery life is about 11.7 hours (JEITA 2.0).
It's also the first ThinkPad to have 5G communications built-in, with six built-in antennas and support for WiFi 6.
Its processor was called Lakefield, a new technology from Intel. It is a new mobile processor that is stacked with Atom and Core to provide both ultra-low power consumption and performance.
The photo above shows it folded, and while the ThinkPad is said to be inspired by the Shokado bento box, when folded, the X1 Fold looks like a large leather-bound organizer or stacked box.
The video above shows a developmental machine when it was first unveiled at the CES 2020 event in January. It was improved for mass production, and was officially announced and released.
The photo above shows the included Bluetooth keyboard on the bottom of the screen. If you want to type in tight or unsteady spaces, this is the one for you.
The open body alone can stand on its own, with part of the cover becoming a stand. In this state, you can use it like a 13.3-inch notebook. You can, of course, use a regular wireless keyboard instead of the mini-keyboard that comes with it.
There are no folds or dividers in the center, and if you open it to view the screen, it is almost impossible to tell where it is folded.
Folding screens are flexible because they can be folded, and durability is a concern based on the previous competitors' examples, but the X1 Fold also passes the exact same durability tests as a traditional non-foldable ThinkPad, including dropping or dropping a steel ball onto the screen. It has also been tested for 30,000 repetitions of folding.
It supports pen input without any problems, even in the middle of folding, which is the most uncomfortable part of touching a foldable device. In principle, it should be sagging, but it's a hard surface that you can trace with a pen and not feel any discomfort.
This is due to the carbon reinforcement layer on the back of the display, which was arrived at after testing dozens of different materials. Lenovo says that, of course, it's not recommended, but if you poke the display with a pen, the tip of the pen will break first.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold was developed by Japan's Yamato Laboratories, the company that has produced successive ThinkPads. When they began development four years ago, they started their research from a point where they didn't even know if they could really make it into a product in the first place, and have developed a number of manufacturing methods, parts, materials, and structures specifically for the X1 Fold.
Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 活用シーン | of 9 Photos
For example, in order to make the device bendable, rigid, and uneven when opened, not only the screen but also the carbon fiber protective layer on the backside is folded in half.
The bifold part is made with extremely high precision to prevent even the slightest irregularity from appearing on the screen, and is made by a technique that separates the left and right sides of a single piece of material and combines them so that they fit perfectly together without any bumps.
Initially, the left and right sides were manufactured separately for manufacturing efficiency, but they found that the difference was caused by daily temperature, humidity, and the slightest fluctuation in the manufacturing line, so they introduced this method to ensure that the left and right sides are perfectly aligned, even if they wavered within manufacturing tolerances.
It runs the exact same Windows 10 64-bit operating system as your average PC, but with its own utilities to help you manage two windows comfortably in order to allow for folding.
For example, it's a single 13.3-inch screen when fully open, but if you fold it slightly, you can line up apps left and right, or up and down like two equal screens to make multitasking easier.
Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold ハンズオン(2020.9) | of 10 Photos
The ThinkPad X1 Fold will go on sale on October 13. Lenovo Online Shop's direct sales price starts at 366,300 yen for the Wi-Fi model and 390,300 yen including tax. The price of the 5G model will be announced at a later date.
It's a world first, so it's a price to choose who buys it, but it's the price of a complete set of keyboards and pens that are sold separately in overseas markets.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.