Foldables may be the biggest buzzword in the smartphone market right now, but the display technology isn’t limited to mobile devices. While rollable displays seem to be a more popular idea for TVs and monitors, foldable displays are a better fit for laptops and tablets. Having a computer that fits in your bag but unfolds into a workstation with a large display is still the stuff of science fiction, but foldable laptops — or more precisely, laptops that have foldable screens — could take us one step closer to making that a reality. Just like with foldable phones, however, there are very few manufacturers willing to take the risk of putting out such a device.
Unsurprisingly, Lenovo made that leap of faith and is, in fact, already working on a successor to the industry’s first foldable laptop. To its credit, Lenovo has always dared to push the boundaries of PCs. The company experimented with a few odd designs, like the dual-screen Yoga Book and laptops with an E-Ink screen on their back. Some of its designs became standard in the industry, like the 360-degree convertible laptop. Being the first and so far only OEM to come out with an all-screen foldable laptop seems pretty much on par with its character.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold that launched two years ago was the epitome of an experimental first-gen product. While it did work as advertised and wasn’t as fragile as feared, it felt a bit clunky and unrefined compared to regular tablets. The foldable also lacked some ThinkPad staple features, and it seems Lenovo is finally rectifying those omissions in its second stab at the device form factor.
ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2 makes its first appearance
Lenovo has officially revealed that it is indeed working on a new foldable laptop, one that could finally be worthy of the ThinkPad brand. In terms of design, the next version looks more modern with its thinner bezels. There also seems to be the suggestion that it will have a hinge system similar to the upcoming Razr foldable phone from the Lenovo-owned Motorola. In theory, this should help reduce the visibility of the crease in the middle of the screen while also improving its durability.
The device will still come with a Bluetooth keyboard, according to the teaser video, that users can place on half of the screen to mimic a traditional laptop design. A major difference with this upcoming version is the addition of the TrackPoint nub, an iconic feature of any ThinkPad keyboard. Whether you end up using it isn’t really the point: its presence makes this an unmistakable ThinkPad product.
Most importantly, the ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2 will be Intel vPro and Evo certified, which comes with certain requirements in terms of slim designs and powerful processors. The exact silicon is still unknown at this point, of course, but it will hopefully be better than what the first-gen foldable laptop carried, which was usable but underwhelming at best. That said, there is no word yet on when this new form-changing PC will arrive, but it may still be reassuring to Lenovo and foldable fans that the company hasn’t given up on this one-of-a-kind line just yet.