Lenovo Has A Laptop With A Foldable Screen Because Sure, Why Not

Lenovo ThinkPadX1 Foldable Laptop

As technology marches on, the lines we once trusted as truths begin to blur. The never-ending quest to excite the market twists known quantities into new configurations, pursuing innovation for innovation’s sake. We no longer create devices for our needs but needs for our devices, driven in our experiments by the fact of possibility rather than the enthusiasm of desire. Dreams are dead yet we linger on.

Anyway. Here’s a laptop with a foldable screen.

It’s difficult to talk about Lenovo’s new prototype, announced overnight at the company’s Accelerate conference, simply due to lack of adequate language. Part of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 range, the device doesn’t yet have a name and doesn’t fit neatly into any category. To simply call it a “foldable laptop” would be to imply all laptops aren’t foldable, but to call it a “foldable tablet” would be inaccurate.

At first glance, the prototype does appear to share more similarities with a tablet. Seemingly comprised of a single, 13.3-inch OLED 2K touchscreen, it can be operated by touch as well as a tablet pen. It’s larger than a standard tablet, but the functionality appears the same.

However, Gizmodo‘s hands-on with Lenovo’s device demonstrated it displaying the Windows desktop of a PC rather than the app library of a tablet. The flexible screen further allows users to fold it into the traditional clamshell laptop configuration, reducing its display size down to 9.6-inches and turning the screen’s bottom half into a touchscreen keyboard.

Lenovo’s new device may look like a foldable tablet with a keyboard accessory, but it’s actually a foldable computer with a detached keyboard. It’s a laptop, but in disguise. Like a Transformer.

A 9.6-inch touchscreen keyboard is way too small for comfortable, prolonged use, so fortunately the device also comes with a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. Users can set the screen on its stand and pair it with the keyboard for a less cramped typing experience. The screen can further be folded and turned sideways like a book, straightened out flat for movies, and docked into multi-monitor setups.

Emphasising its versatility, Lenovo says their prototype is the “world’s first foldable PC”, and is geared toward “highly mobile, tech-savvy professionals”. The laptop has two USB-C ports, is powered by Intel and will run Windows, but not much else is known about its inner workings. Hopefully we’ll find out more about foldable laptop/tablet/thing closer to its scheduled 2020 release.

It seems like an unnecessary device, but the more I think about it the more I come around to it. It might be nice to put a tiny laptop in my handbag or carry-on luggage, easily accessible for when I want to watch Netflix or type a story. Every moment on the move is a moment I am not working, and thus my worth depreciates. Also, folding screens are pretty cool.