The Future is Foldable
Has Lenovo just shown us the future of computing with their new prototype foldable PC?
In an era where we as travellers are spoilt for choice in how we get online; what does the future of computing look like for us?
The range of devices we can use is vast today. Smartphone, tablets, Smartwatches, 2-in-1 Convertibles and the Laptop. Many of us own and travel with more than 1 of these. I know I do!
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We all have different needs and purposes from our devices. But, it’s the eldest of the above list that has just had one of the biggest shake-ups in its history, the Laptop PC.
Lenovo First to Market for PC Sector
Back in May, at their annual Tech event Accelerate, Lenovo gave the world its first glimpse of the next generation of laptop. Or at least, how they see it.
I know many will argue that laptops fold anyway and some will suggest this is more a foldable tablet, but I think it’s more than that.
This new foldable PC is the future I was promised as a kid growing up in the UK watching shows like Tomorrow’s World.
Even at the beginning of my career in technology, where ironically, I started as a ThinkPad engineer, I knew this day would come. A full-screen laptop, which would fold thanks to technological advances in displays, and do away with other input methods.
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The videos and images that have been released for this Lenovo Prototype meet, or exceed, every possible thought I’ve ever had about a futuristic laptop.
So why am I feeling a little ambiguous?
A keyboardless future
Well, the reason why I believe ThinkPads are the best overall laptops on the market is because of their input devices.
I appreciate this can be a very personal view, but for me the TrackPoint is king; then there’s the keyboard.
Let me be clear on this point. Everyone reading this on a laptop may well feel that their model is the best on the market for the purpose they need it for and that’s perfectly fine.
But, none of them will have a keyboard on par with any of the current ThinkPads!
And it was on realizing the future may not contain either that it started to bother me.
Lenovo is not saying all ThinkPads will be going this way, in fact, should this PC ever be released it will join the X1 family of notebooks. Not replace any.
Made for highly mobile, tech-savvy professionals who demand the best tools, the new foldable PC joins the premium ThinkPad X1 family, promising that the unprecedented portability will in no way compromise productivity and reliability.
This is not a phone, tablet, or familiar hybrid; this is a full-fledged laptop with a foldable screen.
~ Lenovo Press.
However, it is just the thought that brands like Lenovo are looking at creating such devices, gives me a little cause for concern.
I would consider myself a power user, as such. I spend many hours a day typing or building spreadsheets. This prototype is not made for either of these tasks, yet it has the ThinkPad name!
The best brand name for such tasks!
All is not lost though, as I can see so many possibilities with such a device, especially for travelling with! If I can have the future, just with the ‘old school’ inputs, I’ll be happy….. Hmmm!
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What does The Future of Computing Look Like?
The foldable ThinkPad is still a prototype with very little given away around the specifications. What we do know about the device shown, and the expectations from Lenovo are:
- 13.3″ OLED 2K display in collaboration with LG Display® (at present)
- SIM Card Slot for Cellular Connectivity
- Separate Bluetooth Keyboard expected to ship with the device
- A Day of Battery Life
- Full Windows Operating System
Lenovo has slated the 1st half of 2020 for a release, which is incredibly soon.
The model shown was a prototype and missing key components and we’re still to see a foldable screen really work in the hands of consumers.
Join the Conversation
Does the Lenovo foldable PC prototype represent the future of computing? Given that the ThinkPad line is predominantly business-focused, could you work from this device should it ever be released?
Where do you stand on foldable devices in general? Do they have a future? Great technology in flexible displays but maybe being used on the wrong devices?
Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter.
To learn more about the foldable ThinkPad and the Lenovo Accelerate event, visit lenovo.com.