In my latest video I take a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16, a foldable PC that presents a new concept in computing. This device can be used both as a small 12″ equivalent laptop but can then have its display unfold into a much larger 16.3″ experience.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold 16, priced at approximately $3200 as configured (compensated affiliate link), is equipped with an Intel i5-1260u processor, 16 GB of DDR5 soldered RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. The standout feature is its 16.3-inch foldable OLED display, offering a 4:3 aspect ratio and 100% DCI P3 color coverage, making it useful for creative work.
Unlike the Pixel Fold smartphone I reviewed recently, the X1 Fold’s display crease is hardly visible. But it can be felt when using the pen accessory. This might make it difficult for doing artwork especially if drawing in the center of the display is necessary. But for simpler drawings or note taking it’s fine.
The X1 Fold weighs about 2.38 lbs, making it slightly heavy for one-handed use but manageable. The keyboard/trackpad and stand add about another pound to the mix when transporting. Unfortunately the keyboard and stand need to be separated when not in use although they’ll loosely attach magnetically to the folded display for transporting.
The included stand was the weakest component of an otherwise elegant design. It has a habit of collapsing if it’s at too steep of an angle and I had a hard time getting it to stay settled when rotating the display into a portrait configuration without folding the upper half of the display slightly.
Placing the keyboard/trackpad combo on top of the screen will automatically reorient the display to make the Fold function like a small laptop. The stand is not needed when operating in this mode. Detaching the keyboard restores the full image to the display.
The X1 fold has three USB-C ports located on separate sides of the unit. Two of them are Thunderbolt 4 with the third offering USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds. All of the ports are full service allowing for power in, video out and data device connectivity. Battery life ranges from 9 to 10 hours when running low impact tasks along with the optional second battery installed. Without the extra battery expect about 4-6 hours.
The webcam offers a high-quality 1440p resolution. I was pleased with its output and the detail it picks up. The device’s speaker system, while not outstanding, delivers adequate sound quality for its size.
In terms of performance, the X1 Fold 16 handles web browsing, video streaming, and basic productivity tasks smoothly. Gaming and more intensive tasks are possible but limited due to the hardware specifications and the fanless design, which can lead to thermal throttling under heavy load. I did find basic video editing to run well on the device but more advanced tasks that strain the processor more will likely not be ideal.
I also tested it with the latest version of Ubuntu. As expected some of the advanced features like detecting the placement of the keyboard on top of the display did not work. But most of the hardware was detecting including the touch panel, wifi and bluetooth. Unfortunately audio did not work.
The X1 Fold is a forward-looking device that could evolve into a new PC product category. The high price point will be a deterrent for many, but for those looking for a more flexible laptop this will certainly deliver.