I reviewed Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, the first PC with a foldable screen, in late 2020. At the time, it was a pretty cool idea, but not particularly, shall we say, usable. Today, Lenovo has announced its second iteration on the “next-generation” ThinkPad X1 Fold. I spent a few minutes with the device, and let me tell you: I’m a lot more optimistic about it.
Most of this new X1 Fold will not only be familiar to fans of the previous X1 Fold, but will also be of ThinkPad line in general, The device is outfitted with the series’ standard Black and Red color scheme, with the staple ThinkPad X1 logo on the lid. There’s a ThinkPad-style keyboard with TrackPoint and inverted-T arrow keys. It is well built, strong and sleek.
But some changes have been made, and I think they were right.
The only major issue I had with the original X1 Fold was, in some way or another, due to its 13.3-inch size. It was fine to use as a 13-inch tablet, but when folded in laptop mode (an option that’s a big part of the appeal of such foldable screens), it was too small to be practical for daily use .
The second generation device measures 16 inches, which is a 22 percent increase in size. (It’s also 25 percent thinner than the previous model). After playing around with the new device, I think it’s a lot more practical. The screen is apparently large enough that I can navigate around my normal workflow and have multiple tabs open at once.
The larger chassis also allows for a larger keyboard. The 2020 X1 Fold’s keyboard was well built, but it had to fit horizontally into the 13.3-inch device, which meant it was really tight. Some keys had at least four characters, and I had to press three at a time to see the question mark.
This new keyboard deck (which attaches magnetically to the bottom half of the chassis when folded in laptop mode) is full size and backlit. I could type on it like I normally type. The keys felt ThinkPad-quality. needless to say, i excess Give it a Thumbs Up.
While we’re talking about the deck, there’s also a haptic touchpad on this thing. We’re starting to see more of these in Lenovo’s more compact ThinkPads, including Ultra Thin Z-Series, I often find them a little thinner than other trackpads, but it sounded fine. I will need more time with this to get the full effect.
That said, there’s a bar for this touchpad. So low. The first generation was barely big enough to scroll with, let alone navigate regularly. This is a clear improvement due to size alone.
Inside, the X1 Fold is powered by a 12th-gen Core i5 or i7 processor with integrated graphics and optional support for Intel’s vPro business platform. Lenovo hasn’t outlined the exact models that will be available, but the ThinkPads are endlessly configurable to the point of stressing me out.
You’ll be able to get up to 1TB of SSD storage and up to 32GB of DDR5 memory with the option of Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro. There’s an optional Wacom pen, which attaches magnetically to the chassis. The screen is a 16.3-inch 2024 x 2560 touch OLED that shrinks to 12 inches when folded.
There’s a 48Whr battery (with an optional additional 16Whr depending on configuration) and no battery life estimates yet, which… scares me a bit, as the first X1 Fold took me under five hours to charge. Timed it and it had a 50Whr battery. Asus 17.3-inch ZenBook 17 Foldalso announced this week, has demonstrated that an OLED foldable can do Be able to break six hours. We’ll have to look at that.
In my brief time using this device to get around Chrome and watch some videos, it seemed to work quite well. This is a very good sign. I had a good time using the first-generation X1 Fold, but there were all kinds of glitches in the experience, especially with the onscreen keyboard. I’m curious to see how Windows 11 does in this new chassis, as (unlike some other laptop makers) Lenovo isn’t known to ship glitchy software left and right.
And then there’s the elephant in the room: price.
This device, in case you hadn’t guessed, isn’t going to be cheap. It is expected to hit the shelves in November with a starting price of $2,499. Note that the stylus and keyboard weren’t included in the 13-inch model, and they added $250 to the price.
Interestingly, it’s the same price as the 13-inch model (and it’s a bigger, thinner, and generally more usable device). And it’s significantly cheaper than the $3499.99 ZenBook 17 Fold, the only other foldable near this size we’ve seen so far this year.
It may be a much better deal for foldable-buyers than the 17-inch Fold — but of course, we haven’t tested this thing extensively yet, so there may be all kinds of catches.
I don’t expect this device to be perfect. Even if Lenovo has done everything it can here, much of the experience of using the device may have to do with how other companies tweak their software to deal with it. How well can you get
But as soon as Lenovo representatives walked me through this device, I thought they were really excited about it. I think they understood exactly what the limitations of the 13-inch Fold were and were happy to come with a bigger foldable screen. Maybe in this new form factor, Lenovo can finally make the phenomenal device they wanted the first X1 Fold to be.
The foldable future may not be here right now, but with each one of these releases, it draws closer.
Photography by Monica Chin/The Verge
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