Everything Exciting About the ThinkPad X1 Fold

Get ready to bend and SNAP

Key Takeaways

  • Lenovo touts ThinkPad X1 Fold as the first folding PC.
  • The folding category is new, but super interesting.
  • The ThinkPad X1 Fold has a ton of potential to disrupt the tablet industry.
ThinkPad X1 Fold
Lenovo

While it may look like something out of your favorite sci-fi film, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is real and it’s coming to change the industry.

After months of anticipation, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold has finally arrived, and it proves that the computer market is still rife with innovators interested in more than just hardware capabilities. Starting at $2,499, the ThinkPad X1 is geared toward the more business-centered crowd with its leather-clad case design and its anti-breaking carbon fiber chassis ensuring durability during long, rough travel schedules.

What’s in the Box

Whether you completely unfold it and use it as a tablet, fold and use it as a laptop with an on-screen keyboard, or set it up on its stand with its detachable keyboard, you’ll have a full desktop experience. This is truly a 3-in-1 smart device that makes the hefty price tag more understandable. Of course, its unique portability—pack it up and carry it around in a tote or travel case with relative ease—is one of its key selling points, but what else are they offering? 

Well, to put it simply: a lot!

The ThinkPad X1 has a 13.3-inch touchscreen panel with a crystal clear 2K (2048 x 1536) OLED display that offers cinematic color temperatures and luminosity through its self-illuminating pixels. Comparatively, most laptops have a fuzzier aesthetic due to their reliance on LED displays that use external light sources to backlight the pixels on the screen. A minor detail for the non-tech obsessed, but a noticeable one; once you’ve experienced an OLED display, you’ll never want to go back to LED. 

But where it truly excels is in comparative computing performance. With an Intel Lakefield Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, this foldable PC packs quite the punch for such a miniature device. It should excel at multitasking with its dual-view mode, which allows two screens to be displayed when oriented in folded mode.

While not capable of handling most current-gen video games—I’m a Sims fanatic, personally, which the X1 should run just fine—the device can run games in laptop mode on the go, which is a win in my book. And while it pales in comparison to gaming laptops, it far exceeds the average tablet, making it a nice compromise choice. 

Other specs include a USB-C port, 1TB of storage, a 50WH battery able to operate for 11 hours, a SIM-card slot, 5G connection capabilities, and an in-platform app that allows for a seamless transition between the tablet mode, on-screen keyboard, and full desktop.

"Lenovo is providing what we’ve been craving for so long if only to cut down on our tech waste."

As far as accessories, the ThinkPad X1 comes with a chargeable stylus with a month-long battery life per charge, a mouse that works as a multitool and remote control, and active noise canceling (ANC) headphones for the perfect immersion in any work or leisure activities. 

It also provides a completely new take on heating management with a cooling system composed of a fan, heat sink, and heat spreader between the motherboard keeping everything running smooth and preventing excess heat, which can be uncomfortable. No one wants their hands burning up while they’re trying to scroll through their Twitter timeline.

I’m interested to see how the cooling system works because high-performing laptops--especially those of the gaming variety--are known to run as hot as a stove. If this innovative heat management design proves to be successful at mitigating some of the worst aspects of powerful PCs, we’ll have a real game-changer.

Is the ThinkPad X1 Fold Our Future?

The X1 Fold is the perfect travel size with a weight barely over two pounds and, even more importantly, its foldable design gives you the ability to use it while on a train, in a car, or on an airplane without any additional tools. Contrast this with a typical tablet, where you have to share files via email or Dropbox to access them on your PC; the ThinkPad is your PC.

Having this sort of streamlined process in our hyper-immediate world can be so incredibly satisfying. No more juggling devices while trying to set up a video conference, prepare for a big presentation, or simply taking some leisure time to catch up on your favorite Netflix movies.

For some detractors, it might seem like a cheap gimmick used by expert marketers to get people with disposable income to purchase a needless new toy, but the innovation here is top-notch. The ThinkPad X1 has the potential to be a disruptor in the tablet market. While unlikely to cause the market to retract if it sees enough success, cheaper alternatives are likely to provide similar capabilities without the hefty price of innovation.

A Device for All of Us

Lenovo is providing what we’ve been craving for so long if only to cut down on our tech waste: A fusion between portable tablets and high-powered PCs. There is no need for a tablet and computer. All you need is a hotspot and the ThinkPad X1 Fold.  

This isn’t just for salarymen, either. Lenovo’s folding PC expands past the roaming business professionals toward the early adopters always on the cutting edge of technology. It will be interesting to see if this is another flash-in-the-pan or if this foldable PC technology will prove successful for Lenovo and make its way through the industry, similar to how touch-based technology has become ubiquitous.

"This is truly a 3-in-1 smart device that makes the hefty price tag more understandable."

Considering we’re in the midst of a global pandemic with no end in sight, the release of a highly portable device marketed toward the traveling entrepreneur could not be more out of touch. With a steep price and a vanishing audience, the ThinkPad X1 is likely to not be on the top of anyone’s Christmas list. In an ideal world, it would be the perfect stocking stuffer for the dad or mom on the go and would, personally, help make business travels around the city that much more bearable. 

Unfortunately, we’re in the real world and aside from the tech enthusiast, the ThinkPad X1 exists as an exclusive get. But for those with the funds, I say go for it! You’ll likely be holding the future of the PC industry in the palm of your hands. And who doesn’t like being a trendsetter?