Lenovo previews foldable PC

With a 13.3-inch screen that folds in half, Lenovo's upcoming laptop aims to bring more portability to PCs.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

For the past several months, the tech industry has eagerly awaited the the arrival of foldable smartphones. On Monday, Lenovo previewed a device that brings a foldable screen to a laptop -- combining the new, portable form factor with the power of a PC.

Announced at Lenovo's Accelerate conference, the new device features a 13.3-inch screen with a single OLED 2K display. Built in collaboration with LG Display, the screen folds in half, reducing its width by 50 percent.

As part of the ThinkPad X1 family, Lenovo stressed that the Windows device is more than just a tablet or hybrid.


The device can be folded into a book without compromising performance, Lenovo said. It can be unfolded and stood up for hands-free viewing, or it can fold into a clamshell. Users can dock it on a multi-monitor setup, they can use its pen to write on the full screen, or they can set up a stand and use its mechanical keyboard. The laptop will include a keyboard, though the exact details of the keyboard's attachment and how it works will be announced later, Lenovo told ZDNet.

The laptop is slated for release in 2020.

Foldable devices are emerging as workers become increasingly mobile. As Lenovo noted, remote work increased 140 percent from 2008 to 2016.

The hype surrounding foldable screens grew this year ahead of the anticipated launch of Samsung's foldable phone. However, last month Samsung delayed the worldwide launch, following reports from early reviewers that the screen would crack after just a few days of use. Samsung, however, isn't the only smartphone maker debuting a foldable phone soon. Gartner predicts that foldable phones will represent 5 percent of the high-end smartphone market by 2023.

Foldable displays are also coming to smartwatches.

At last week's Google I/O developer conference, Google's Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer told developers, "I'm pretty bullish on foldables in general."

The new form factor could add a jolt of excitement in the stalled PC business. Lenovo is doing relatively well compared to its competitors -- it managed to increase its year-over-year shipments in Q1 while the overall market contracted. 

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