The tech industry is currently trying hard to find meaningful applications of foldable displays. Samsung and Huawei have already shown their interpretations with their (already beleaguered) Galaxy Fold and (still upcoming) Mate X, while Motorola might go another way, aiming at reducing the size of a smartphone by reviving the clamshell form factor. Now we have another entry in this new technological arms race, as Lenovo has shown a prototype of the world’s first “foldable PC”.
The device falls under the Thinkpad X1 family, but it doesn’t have a specific name yet. The display is 13.3” 2K OLED and it can fold up to the size of a small book. The prototype could already run Windows, but had no special function that could properly show the various use-cases for the folded screen, except for a split-screen setup with a virtual keyboard on one half of the display and a half-size horizontal desktop on the other.
The foldable Thinkpad X1 might be wrongly interpreted as a quick response to the growing number of foldable devices arriving on the market: the product was under development for over three years and Lenovo said that the commercial launch of a consumer-ready product won’t happen before 2020. The foldable ThinkPad X1 was shown during Lenovo’s Accelerate conference in Orlando, Florida, where the company has also introduced a new ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop and the ThinkReality A6, a new pair of VR/AR goggles targeted at large organizations for industrial and AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) applications.