Let me start by saying that Lenovo is a pioneer of foldable technology. The first ThinkPad X1 Fold was the world’s first Foldable PC and launched in 2020, and Motorola continues to demonstrate leadership with the Razr smartphone series. Lenovo is widely recognized as a leading innovator in form factor design and in pushing the boundaries of innovation. Pushing those boundaries however can be a thin line to walk.
It may have escaped your attention, but ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 was announced a year ago. What happened? Like many transformational technologies, development involves an ecosystem of people driving proper insight. The evaluation phase involved many internal beta testers around the world using the device who have been continuously gathering feedback within real world conditions.
We decided to delay shipping in order to ensure we meet the strict usability and durability standards expected of a ThinkPad. We made several incremental improvements to the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 and continued user testing throughout the last year. We remain fully committed to producing exciting and innovative form factors, and getting the fundamentals right remains the key to success. So, I’m thrilled to share that X1 Fold 16 is now available to order on lenovo.com, at the same starting price of $2,499 we committed to over twelve months ago.
I won’t go into product and specification details here, you can find that information in the original announcement. In summary though, the new X1 Fold is a 16.3-inch foldable laptop powered by up to Intel Core i7 vPro processor that dynamically adjusts power consumption depending on the workload. The benefits of a foldable laptop lie in its portability – it starts at 2.82 pounds (1.28kg) – and its versatility to transform into multiple modes depending on use case – tablet, book, clamshell, landscape, and portrait – with added touch and pen support that offer more input options.
So, what improvements have we made?
Based on beta tester feedback, we have focused on the user experience, a vital need in all PCs but especially relevant for a foldable device. We analyzed and assessed all areas of device interaction with the resulting improvements:
- We have improved the camera functionality across all major unified communications platforms to deliver better scaling, aspect ratio and orientation. We also focused on Teams to improve collaboration and video conferencing experience.
- Computer Vision features have been refined through software improvements to offer a more consistent experience similar to other ThinkPad laptops with this technology.
- Lenovo’s Mode Switcher App has been optimized to perform better under heavy application usage to ensure the same quick and snappy responsiveness while changing modes or orientations.
- Users are able to connect to multiple monitors to stay productive, a USB issue was identified during monitor or docking connections that required driver diagnostics, redevelopment, and testing to ensure seamless functionality.
- The ThinkPad X1 Fold is also driving our serviceability efforts, especially important with foldable PCs. For example, sometimes it can be hard for service technicians to know which screws to remove, so we changed the color of the internals to help identify steps to reduce service time ensuring users stay productive.
- Some audio and microphone performance bugs have been ironed out to maximize audio performance no matter what mode the user is in.
- TrackPoint fans will love the additional enhancements made for a more consistent experience.
In addition to addressing some user experience concerns and improving operational consistency, we took the opportunity to look at some hardware areas. Minor cosmetic updates, including an improved fabric cover, reinforce reliability in conjunction with the rigorous Mil Spec 810H testing that X1 Fold withstands. We have also made some thermal updates and modifications to improve cooling and system performance, and along with the majority of the ThinkPad portfolio, we have transitioned to 100% plastic free packaging.
With all the user testing we also have learned more about how people will use a Foldable PC to continue to look forward and shape the future for new innovative form factors.
I strongly believe that ThinkPad X1 Fold is a foldable laptop ready for businesses, supported by extensive durability testing, ThinkShield security solutions, and Lenovo’s Premier Support. Our primary objective has never wavered, to deliver a PC that exceeds customer expectations, with an overall experience that gives users the confidence to use a foldable laptop as their primary device. All the user testing taught us a lot about how people will use a Foldable PC and helps us to continue to look forward and shape the future for new innovative form factors.