On May 20, Chinese electronics maker Lenovo unveiled the world’s first foldable PC at its Accelerate 2019 event. Like the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Fold, the flexible device features a screen that folds in the middle and offers different features depending on how it’s configured. However, unlike the poorly designed smartphone, Lenovo’s cutting edge device seems to function properly.
After a hands-on evaluation, various outlets have given the new machine tentative but positive reviews.
Many publications complimented the gadget’s portability and versatility. But they also noted the prototype was far from distribution ready. However, reviewers made no mention of the unnamed PC inexplicably breaking.
Lenovo plans to sell its new flexible computer sometime in 2020.
The electronics maker’s grand unveiling of its new foldable laptop was somewhat lacking in design specifications. The corporation noted the device will run on Windows, feature an Intel processor, and an LG made screen. It also stated its new PC is 13.3 inches long, has a 4:3 2K OLED display, and will charge via USB-C.
The company also announced its flexible machine will be sold with a kickstand, keyboard, and Wacom pen. However, the computer manufacturer didn’t reveal its new product’s operating system, price, RAM, memory, battery life, or name.
Lenovo did, however, inform Accelerate attendees its foldable PC is a very versatile device. Users will be able to configure it to be an e-reader, streaming video device, tablet, work computer, and personal laptop. The firm plans to market the machine to technology-engaged executives, business professionals, and mobile device fans.
The Chinese conglomerate has high expectations for its next-generation computer. The company plans to sell one million units in year one and looks for the device to replace contemporary laptops.
While the world’s first foldable smartphone was slammed with widespread pre-release criticism, its first flexible PC has had a warmer reception.
The Verge says the device has the potential to be a real-life version of a two-page digital book. The publication complimented its ergonomic form factor, but complained its display had color consistency issues.
The Verge also noted the production model of the foldable PC will feature an IR camera and SIM card slot.
Meanwhile, Ars Technica noted the foldable ThinkPad X1-style device has an impressive screen that looks “uncanny” when collapsed. The outlet praised the machine’s smooth connectivity with the Wacom pen. The site also complimented Lenovo for giving its foldable PC a protective layer that won’t be mistaken for a screen protector.
Lastly, Tom’s Guide applauded the foldable computer’s seamless display and well-made hinges. It reported that Lenovo dubbed its flexible ThinkPad as durable as the rest of its laptops.
Obviously, electronics with foldable screens are an unproven technology. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold had a devastating aborted launch that cast doubt on the viability of flexible screens. Plus, there’s no guarantee the new style of mobile electronics will catch on with consumers.
However, Lenovo’s decision not to rush its new product to market is a good sign. With feedback about its most obvious flaws, the company can fine-tune its next generation ThinkPad before taking preorders on a device that isn’t consumer ready. Hopefully, more large tech companies will follow the Chinese firm’s thoughtful rollout.