Home Technology Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (2nd-Gen) hands-on

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (2nd-Gen) hands-on

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (2nd-Gen) hands-on


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 consider, usable. At the moment, Lenovo has introduced its second go at this, the “Subsequent-generation” ThinkPad X1 Fold. I spent a couple of minutes with the machine, and let me inform you: I’m way more optimistic about this one.

A lot of this new X1 Fold will probably be acquainted to followers not simply of the earlier X1 Fold, however of the ThinkPad line generally. The machine is outfitted with the sequence’s commonplace black and purple coloration 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 modern.

However some adjustments have been made, and I believe they have been the fitting ones.

Just about each main concern I had with the unique X1 Fold was due, in a roundabout way, to its 13.3-inch measurement. 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 machine is 16 inches, a 22 p.c enhance in measurement. (It is usually 25 p.c thinner than the earlier mannequin). Having performed round with the brand new machine, I believe it’s much more sensible. The display is clearly sufficiently big that I might navigate round my typical workflow and have a number of tabs open aspect by aspect.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold closed on a white table.

Lenovo says that is the lightest 16-inch industrial laptop computer obtainable at 2.82 kilos.

The larger chassis additionally permits for a much bigger keyboard. The 2020 X1 Fold’s keyboard was well-made however needed to match horizontally throughout a 13.3-inch machine, 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 view 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-Collection. 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 mentioned, the bar for this touchpad is so low. The primary-generation’s was barely sufficiently big to scroll with, not to mention often navigate. This one is a transparent enchancment as a result of measurement alone.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold in tablet mode with the bluetooth keyboard in a demonstration area. The screen displays a picture of a merry-go-round.

It makes for a fairly good image.

Inside, the X1 Fold is powered by Twelfth-Gen Core i5 or i7 processors with built-in graphics and elective help for Intel’s vPro enterprise platform. Lenovo hasn’t outlined the precise fashions that will probably be obtainable, however ThinkPads do are typically endlessly configurable to the purpose of stressing me out.

You’ll have the ability to get SSD storage of as much as 1TB and as much as 32GB of DDR5 reminiscence, with the choice of Home windows 11 Residence or Home windows 11 Professional. There’s an elective 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 “elective further 16Whr based mostly 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.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold open in laptop mode, angled to the left side. The screen displays a pastoral nighttime scene.

Use it this fashion in your lap, and unfold it to your desk.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold seen from the bottom, closed, in a demo area.

Oh look, it even has a port.

In my temporary time utilizing this machine to hop round Chrome and watch some movies, it appeared to work properly sufficient. That may 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 (not like another laptop computer producers) Lenovo will not be identified to ship glitchy software program left and proper.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold seen from the right side in a demo area.

They weren’t mendacity — it’s not thick!

After which there’s the elephant within the room: the worth.

This machine, for those who hadn’t guessed, will not be going to be low-cost. It’s anticipated to hit cabinets in November with a beginning value of $2,499. Word that the stylus and keyboard weren’t included on the 13-inch mannequin, and people added $250 to the worth.

That, curiously, is similar value the 13-inch mannequin had (and this can be a larger, thinner, and customarily extra usable machine). And it’s considerably cheaper than the $3499.99 Zenbook 17 Fold, the one different foldable close to this measurement that we’ve seen to this point this yr.

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 check the factor but, so there could possibly be every kind of catches.

The Lenovo X1 Fold closed seen from above on a white table.

I don’t anticipate this machine to be good. Even when Lenovo has carried out all the things it will probably right here, the expertise of utilizing the machine might have quite a bit to do with how properly different corporations can get their software program to behave with it.

However as Lenovo’s representatives walked me by way of this machine, I bought the sense that they have been genuinely enthusiastic about it. I believe they perceive precisely what the restrictions of the 13-inch Fold have been and have been completely satisfied to have a bigger foldable display come alongside. Perhaps on this new type issue, Lenovo can lastly make the groundbreaking machine that they wished the primary X1 Fold to be.

The foldable future is probably not right here but, however with each one among these releases, it comes nearer.

Images by Monica Chin / The Verge



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