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CES 2020: 6 Things To Know About Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold

Lenovo is disclosing more details on its foldable laptop, which will feature a flexible OLED display and a variety of usage modes.

Lenovo is aiming to pioneer a new category of devices with the ThinkPad X1 Fold, which the company is touting as the "world's first foldable PC."

At CES 2020, Lenovo is releasing further details (as well as the official name) for the device, which the company had first teased last May at the company's Accelerate 2019 partner conference.

[Related: 5 Big Lenovo Product Announcements Ahead Of CES 2020]

The device features a variety of usage modes thanks to its novel design, featuring a flexible display, unique hinge and custom screen-switching software, Lenovo said.

And like other trailblazing foldable devices, the X1 Fold also won't come cheap when it's released later this year.

What follows are six key things to know about Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold. (And check out all of our coverage from CES 2020 in Las Vegas.)

Modes

Lenovo points to a wide range of possible use cases for the ThinkPad X1 Fold--either as a tablet, a laptop or a desktop PC.

The X1 Fold can be used fully open as a tablet in portrait orientation, or it can be used in landscape mode with an included Bluetooth-connected keyboard, the Mini Fold Keyboard (which is stored and charged inside the device when closed).

When folded for use in laptop mode, the ThinkPad X1 Fold can serve as a dual-display device with different options for multi-tasking across the two screens, Lenovo said. Examples cited by the company include taking part in a video call on the upper screen while reviewing a presentation on the lower screen.

The X1 Fold can be used with a digital keyboard on the lower screen for using the device in a standard laptop orientation. The Mini Fold Keyboard also attaches magnetically to the display.

Additionally, the X1 Fold can be used in place of a desktop PC by connected a full-size keyboard, mouse and external display over USB-C. Lenovo is releasing a ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand (sold separately) to help with such scenarios.

Importantly, Lenovo says it has developed its own screen-switching software for Windows 10 to enable switching between the different modes on the X1 Fold. The software supports a variety of window arrangements, the company said.

Display And Body

When opened fully, the ThinkPad X1 Fold offers a 13.3-inch display with resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, a 4:3 aspect ratio and 300 nits of brightness. The device features OLED display technology for both flexibility and vibrant color.

Along with the OLED panel, the X1 Fold is constructed from metal frames and carbon-fiber plates.

In its news release, Lenovo emphasized the work that has gone into developing the hinge used in the ThinkPad X1 Fold. The "multi-link torque hinge mechanism" is designed to effectively manage the stresses of repeated folding, and was created through attempts at 20 different hinge variations, according to the company.

"The hinge mechanism, combined with lightweight alloys including a carbon fiber reinforced frame plate, optimizes the viewing experience when unfolded flat," Lenovo said. The X1 Fold has been "built to endure the same testing as other ThinkPad laptops" and "continues to endure extensive screen folding cycles, stress tests and pen usage tests," the company said.

Operating System

In October, Microsoft disclosed plans for a new version of Windows 10 designed for dual-screen devices, dubbed Windows 10X. While Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold will initially run a standard version of Windows 10, it will be offered with Windows 10X "at a later date" for "an enhanced foldable user experience," Lenovo said in its news release.

Microsoft had previously pegged fall 2020 as the launch timeframe for Windows 10X, which will also be the operating system used for Microsoft's forthcoming Surface Neo dual-screen device.

Performance And Connectivity

Lenovo disclosed that the ThinkPad X1 Fold will be powered by an Intel Core processor--and will feature Intel's hybrid computing technology, which is aimed at enhancements such lower standby power. Lenovo did not share the specific Intel processor that will be used.

The X1 Fold will also have an option for high-speed 5G connectivity, as well as 4G LTE.

On battery life, the device will offer up to 11 hours of usage on a charge with its 50 WHr battery.

Portability

As the ThinkPad X1 Fold is targeted at on-the-go usage, the device will be highly portable with a weight of just 2.2 pounds (with the folio cover).

Unfolded, the device will measure 0.45 of an inch thick with the folio cover, while it will measure 1.09 inches thick when folded with the cover.

Price And Availability

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold is planned for release some time in mid-2020, the company said. The starting price is expected to be $2,499, Lenovo said. The pricing includes the Mini Fold Keyboard and Active Pen stylus.

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