Lenovo's second-gen ThinkPad X1 Fold brings faster CPUs, RAM, and storage, a larger display with improved specs and thinner bezel, Thunderbolt 4 and 5G connectivity, and a full-size attachable keyboard with haptic touchpad and ThinkPad typing. It costs more than the aging X1 Fold (Gen 1) and it's not expected to launch until November 2022.
- 12th Gen Intel U-Series vPro CPUs
- 16.3-inch OLED display without crease or gap
- Full-size keyboard, haptic touchpad
- Faster RAM and storage
- Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G
- Not launching until November 2022
- Higher starting price
Lenovo's first-gen ThinkPad X1 Fold is available now starting at less than half the price of the Gen 2 models. It's still an awesome experiment that resulted in an extremely portable PC, but its underpowered CPU, cramped keyboard, and display crease with gap are symptoms of a first-gen product that have been cleared up in the Gen 2 model.
- Much more affordable, available now
- Compact and easy to carry
- 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6
- Built-in stand
- Weaker Lakefield CPU, less RAM
- Slower storage
- Smaller display with larger bezel
- Display crease, gap when folded
- Cramped keyboard
Availability, price, and specs
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.
|ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2)||ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 1)|
|OS||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro||Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro|
|Processor||12th Gen Intel U-Series vPro||Intel Lakefield|
|Core i5, Core i7||Core i5-L16G7|
|RAM||Up to 32GB LPDDR5||8GB LPDDR4x|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel UHD|
|Storage||Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD||Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD|
|Display||16.3 inches, foldable, touch, inking||13.3 inches, foldable, touch, inking|
|2024x2560, OLED, 600 nits (HDR), 400 nits (SDR), 100% DCI-P3, Dolby Vision||2048x1536, OLED, 300 nits, 95% DCI-P3,|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)||Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)|
|Audio||Three speakers, Dolby Atmos||Dual 1W speakers, Dolby Atmos|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G|
|Camera||5MP RGB + IR hybrid, Intel VSC||5MP RGB + IR hybrid|
|Security||IR camera, fingerprint reader||IR camera|
|Battery||48Wh (16Wh extra optional)||50Wh|
|Dimensions||Unfolded: 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)|
|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)|
|Weight||PC: 2.82 pounds (1.28kg)||From 2.2 pounds (0.99kg)|
|Full setup: 4.19 pounds (1.9kg)|
Design and features
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2) costs more than the Gen 1 model and doesn't launch until November 2022, but it's an upgrade in almost every way. If you can hold out for launch and have the money, it's the right choice.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 1) is an intriguing device that kicked off the age of the folding PC. However, it has now been overshadowed by the Gen 2 model that's been improved in almost every way. Still, the X1 Fold (Gen 1) is a lot cheaper and is available now.
Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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