The first foldable PC is here: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold goes on preorder

Lenovo rethinks how we use a PC.

Credit: Lenovo

The first foldable PC, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, goes on preorder Tuesday, the company announced, and is due to ship by the end of the year. The price: $2,499. Perhaps not too much to ask for the right to be among the first—and the ThinkPad X1 Fold is really a long list of firsts. We’ll highlight just some of them here, and list the specs at the end.

Who needs a folding PC? You would be natural to question the need for it at a time when we aren’t traveling much. However, even in our current situation, we are experiencing the need for greater versatility in our PC choices—something that will work if our “office space” has us perched on a barstool at a kitchen counter, or exiled to a patio chair on the deck while someone has a noisy Zoom session inside. Not everyone will be able to afford this particular solution, but it does open up possibilities for new ways of computing. 

The display

The X1 Fold’s display is a 13.3-inch, touch-enabled OLED with QXGA (2048x1536) resolution, 300 nits’ maximum brightness, and 95 percent DCIP3 color gamut support. A Lenovo Mod Pen is included for digital inking. And of course, it folds.

The display actually consists of many thin layers sandwiched together, each with their purpose, either technological or protective. In a demo for reporters, Lenovo dropped large metal ball bearings straight onto the display to show  how tough the surface was. 

The hinge

lenovo thinkpad x1 fold hinge detail Lenovo

A close-up rendering of the hinge that manages the movement of the ThinkPad X1 Fold’s screen.

Lenovo engineers sweated over the hinge design to ensure that the device would move smoothly from being closed like a book to lying flat on a surface. Lenovo also didn’t want the display to crease as it was folded. The resulting hinge, as you can see in the rather dark image above, is complex. 

The leather cover

lenovo thinkpad x1 fold stand Lenovo

The leather cover of the ThinkPad X1 Fold has a kickstand that angles out so you can stand up the display on a flat surface.

The Thinkpad X1 Fold has an integrated leather cover, so it looks and even smells a little bit like a book when folded. The cover has its own hinge mechanism to keep it taut in any position. A kickstand can swing out from the cover so you can stand up the display on a flat surface. 

The keyboard

The Bluetooth-connected Lenovo Fold Mini keyboard is optional, which seems silly because we’re pretty sure everyone would want to get the keyboard. What’s cool about it is that you can use it separately with the ThinkPad X1 Fold, or you can attach it magnetically to half of the display to make a small clamshell laptop.

The keyboard can also charge when attached to the ThinkPad X1 Fold. Attaching it for four hours garners eight hours’ worth of charge.

lenovo thinkpad x1 fold cafe Lenovo

You can use the ThinkPad X1 Fold’s optional keyboard as a separate device, or attached to half of the screen.

The experience

PCWorld has seen the ThinkPad X1 Fold in a couple of early iterations. Lenovo spent five years developing the device and rethinking how we use computers. The ThinkPad X1 Fold will ship with Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, with some additional Lenovo software called the Mode Switcher application to manage your experience on the folding screen. When you fold or unfold the display, small icons will appear onscreen so you can select whether you want to use the display as a single or dual display. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold specs and features

CPU: Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake Core i7

RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz

Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD

Display: 13.3-inch QXGA (2048x1536) OLED

Graphics: Intel UHD 11th gen

Ports: One USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps), one SIM slot

Wireless Connectivity: WiFi6, Bluetooth 5.1, optional sub-6GHz 5G with 4G LTE

Battery: 50Wh, up to 8.5 hours estimated life

Dimensions unfolded: 11.79 x 9.29 x 0.45 inches 

Dimensions folded:  6.23 x 9.29 x 1.09 inches

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Melissa Riofrio

Melissa Riofrio

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?