Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2 vs. Gen 1

Availability, price, and specs

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The ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 1) is available now at Lenovo's official website and several third-party retailers. Amazon seems to currently offer the best price at about $915 for a model including a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Lenovo currently offers the same model for about $1,399.

You'll have to wait until the expected November 2022 launch date to get your hands on the ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2). Prices should start at around $2,500, making it significantly more expensive than the first-gen model. Why so much pricier? Aside from the massive amount of upgrades the Gen 2 model has received compared to the Gen 1 model, Lenovo is no doubt attempting to blow out stock on the older PC.

Here's a look at the specs available in each foldable PC.

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Header Cell - Column 0 ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2)ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 1)
OSWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 ProWindows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro
Processor12th Gen Intel U-Series vProIntel Lakefield
Row 2 - Cell 0 Core i5, Core i7Core i5-L16G7
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntel UHD
StorageUp to 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSDUp to 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD
Display16.3 inches, foldable, touch, inking13.3 inches, foldable, touch, inking
Row 7 - Cell 0 2024x2560, OLED, 600 nits (HDR), 400 nits (SDR), 100% DCI-P3, Dolby Vision2048x1536, OLED, 300 nits, 95% DCI-P3,
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)
AudioThree speakers, Dolby AtmosDual 1W speakers, Dolby Atmos
WirelessWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5GWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G
Camera5MP RGB + IR hybrid, Intel VSC5MP RGB + IR hybrid
SecurityIR camera, fingerprint readerIR camera
Battery48Wh (16Wh extra optional)50Wh
DimensionsUnfolded: 10.87 x 13.6 x 0.34 inches (276.1mm x 345.7mm x 8.6mm)Unfolded: 11.77 x 9.28 x 0.44 inches (158mm x 235.6mm x 27.8mm)
Row 15 - Cell 0 Folded: 6.9 x 10.87 x 0.68 inches (176.4mm x 276.2mm x 17.4mm)Folded: 6.2 x 9.28 x 1.09 inches (158mm x 235.6mm x 27.8mm)
WeightPC: 2.82 pounds (1.28kg)From 2.2 pounds (0.99kg)
Row 17 - Cell 0 Full setup: 4.19 pounds (1.9kg)Row 17 - Cell 2

Design and features

ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2) (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Lenovo learned a lot about foldable PCs during its first-gen X1 Fold development and launch, and it used the information to make a number of significant changes to the Gen 2 version. Most notably, the new ThinkPad X1 Fold is larger to support the 16.3-inch display, it no longer has a built-in kickstand, and the attachable keyboard and touchpad segment has also been upgraded. It's likely going to take a spot in our collection of the best Lenovo laptops, and it should prove to be one of the best Windows laptops when it comes to versatility and design.

The kickstand now attaches magnetically to the tablet, allowing for horizontal and vertical orientations. It's a bit unwieldy having three separate portions (keyboard, stand, and tablet), but it allows for better versatility. The X1 Fold (Gen 1) has a built-in stand on the back that works best in one orientation. Both laptops still have MIL-STD 810H certification for added durability in environments outside of the office.

ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2) (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Typing is cramped on the first-gen model. The keyboard, which charges wirelessly, is smaller than that of the Surface Go 3. The new keyboard for the Gen 2 model is essentially the same one used in the ThinkPad X1 Nano, with the usual ThinkPad typing experience available. That means cupped keys, decent travel, and a more spacious layout. The new keyboard has a haptic touchpad that simulates real clicks, and the whole thing charges via USB-C.

Speaking of ports, the X1 Fold (Gen 2) has been upgraded to have dual Thunderbolt 4 and one USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2). That means you can connect to some of the best Thunderbolt 4 docking stations out there, something the X1 Fold (Gen 1) isn't capable of due to its non-Thunderbolt USB-C ports. Both laptops offer 5G connectivity, and the Gen 2 model has been upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E from Wi-Fi 6 in the original model.

ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 1) (Image credit: Windows Central)

The camera is still 5MP with IR + RGB hybrid in the new model, allowing you to log in with facial recognition through Windows Hello. There is, however, an additional Intel VSC portion that adds human presence detection and auto framing, keeping you the right way up no matter how you're holding the tablet. Lenovo also added a fingerprint reader to the keyboard portion in the X1 Fold (Gen 2), something the Gen 1 model lacks.

Audio from the X1 Fold (Gen 1) relies on two 1W speakers with Dolby Atmos. Lenovo added one extra speaker in the Gen 2 model and kept Dolby Atmos tuning. Two of the speakers work at any one time, but it provides unmuffled sound in many different orientations.

One last thing to make note of is the reparability factor. The first-gen model relied more on adhesive to keep its parts together, which stood in the way of upgrades and repairs. The Gen 2 model has removable front and rear covers that provide access to storage and battery, allowing you to keep the device relevant longer into the future.

Foldable displays

ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2) (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The most significant upgrade to the X1 Fold (Gen 2) has to be the display. It's now sized at 16.3 inches compared to 13.3 inches, folding down to about 12 inches when closed. Whereas the first-gen display has a bit of a visible crease down the middle and a small gap between screens when closed, the Gen 2 model has solved these problems. It folds flat, sort of like a book, and there's no visible crease when the screen is fully opened.

Resolution is understandably higher for the larger display, and you get Dolby Vision support, which the first-gen display lacks. Both screens are OLED with accurate color reproduction, and you get pen support for Windows Ink.

We will still have to further test in-house the display on the X1 Fold (Gen 2), but our hands-on time with it so far is promising.

Performance hardware

ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2) (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The original X1 Fold is unfortunately underpowered due to the Intel Lakefield Core i5-L16G7 CPU, maximum 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD. That's changed for the Gen 2 model. 

You can now get Core i5 or Core i7 versions of Intel's 12th Gen U-Series hybrid chips, and the entire system is now fanless. Up to 32GB of faster LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB of speedy M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD storage are also available.

The standard battery in the X1 Fold (Gen 2) is actually slightly smaller at 48Wh compared to 50Wh, but Lenovo gives the option of adding an extra 16Wh depending on the configuration you checkout with. This pushes it ahead, at least in theoretical capacity, of the X1 Fold (Gen 1)'s battery. We will have to perform our own in-house tests to get a good idea of how long the battery lasts.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.