Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 25 March 2021
In today’s always-on technological world, the roles between personal and professional devices are increasingly blurred. Users want devices that enable productivity, whether they are in the workplace, in a coffee shop or simply at home. This need for flexible and versatile technology has been the catalyst for the invention of the foldable PC category.
Creating an entirely new product category that delivers on constantly changing customer needs presents a myriad of challenges that require innovative and creative thinking, foresight, exceptional design and engineering expertise. While the process was one that took several years to perfect, solving for the complex challenges of designing and engineering the world’s first foldable PC.
The challenge for the X1 Fold design team became how to combine the size and portability of a smartphone, the power and functionality of a business device and the flexibility missing in the current market, to deliver on all fronts. The answer was the foldable screen.
Upon first sketches in 2016 for the world’s first foldable PC, Lenovo entered the engineering phase where the creative vision is brought to life through technical architecture. Navigating engineering challenges required a diverse team that provided a variety of perspectives in order to effectively collaborate and develop solutions to deliver a product fit for the market.
In the case of the ThinkPad X1 Fold, Lenovo and Intel engineering and sub-engineering teams collaborated to engineer solutions around the device’s design, durability and usability. The main challenge was having all the system components fit within a very limited space, which was only compounded by the unique restrictions of the foldable mechanism.
The solution was identified as requiring eleven layers, inclusive of the bezel, folding OLED screen made in collaboration with LG Displays, carbon fibre shutter frame, unique cooling system and foldable graphite.
Multiple layers underneath the screen allow users to fully experience the benefits of folding technology. What makes the ThinkPad X1 Fold truly “foldable” is the unique multi-link hinge, which was designed to protect the OLED screen when closed and provides the proper tension across the full range of motion, “pulling” the screen flat when fully opened. When combined, the layers and hinge create a positive user experience marked by durability. In addition to an unprecedented physical design, the ThinkPad X1 Fold also provides a new level of usability.
Lenovo’s devices are rigorously tested to ensure they meet or exceeds the durability legacy of the ThinkPad name. In the case of the ThinkPad X1 Fold, which pushes the boundaries of design and engineering, this was a crucial step before bringing it to market. With flexibility and foldability defining features of the product, the device was opened and closed a minimum of 30,000 times as part of this process to ensure the screen would maintain its integrity and functionality.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is available for order in South Africa and comes with a Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard and Active Pen. Pricing starts from R69,999 – price is dependent on configuration and exchange rate.
To order the world’s first foldable PC, please visit: https://www.shoplenovo.co.za/lenovo-thinpad-x1-fold.