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Lenovo's foldable laptop will probably start shipping in Q2 of 2020

Lenovo X1 Fold
Lenovo X1 Fold (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Lenovo announced at Canalys Channels Forum that the foldable Lenovo ThinkPad X1 laptop will probably ship in Q2 2020.
  • If that date is met, it would be the world's first foldable laptop released to the public.
  • The primary holdup preventing release is software needing to be ready.

Lenovo could be the first company to ship a foldable laptop to consumers. Lenovo's chief operating officer, Gianfrano Lanci, stated that the foldable ThinkPad X1 laptop "will start shipping probably Q2 next year." The announcement came during the Canalys Channels Forum in Barcelona on October 16, 2019 (via The Register). If that timeline is met, Lenovo's foldable laptop will beat the Surface Neo to market.

At the conference, Lenovo's director of global commercial comms and brand, Milanka Muecke, took the 13-inch OLED device out of her handbag, stating, "I have it right here and you can have it in your purse. It looks like a leather-bound notebook that you can carry with you all day long, but it is a full performance PC that fits in the palm of your hand."

Lanci's use of the word "probably" is important. The COO explained that "hardware is ready, but we need to still fix certain things from a software point of view, and that doesn't depend 100 percent on us." Lenovo did not expand on which software development is holding the device back. There's a good chance that it is related to Windows 10X, the version of Windows 10 that is specifically designed for foldable devices.

Our piece breaking down where Microsoft is headed with foldables, goes into details of the upcoming operating system and adds that Lenovo's foldable ThinkPad X1 will be among the first devices to ship running Windows 10X.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

20 Comments
  • "probably Q2 next year.", what a solid statement by this bold CEO
  • That's the ugliest thing I've seen.... Sorry all screen devices outside of phones just aren't ready for mainstream yet
  • I think the one we're seeing in the video was an early prototype, from a few months ago. I suspect (hope) they clean it up, give it more rounded edges, make it thinner/lighter, maybe cover it in leather like the HP folio. It's an intriguing device, but Lenovo would have to make it very sexy and inviting if they want people to buy it.
  • The video is of a working prototype. I haven't seen the final design for the device. I hope it's more sleek.
  • While it's always nice to have aesthetically nice looking device, it doesn't mean anything of it doesn't work well
  • I'm curious as to what version of Windows this thing would run. W10X is for foldable devices with dual screens. From what little we've seen of W10X, its biggest features seem to be that you'd have two different apps running on different screens, and be able to move data between those apps, or you open one app and have it "snap" into both screens. The Lenovo device is one screen. On the basis of that, doesn't it just run plain old Windows 10, or maybe Windows-on-Arm?
  • Wasn't the wording foldable devices.
  • In Daniel's video at the top of the post he clarifies that it's an Intel chip that runs this device. I'd guess that it runs Windows 10X. This device is foldable so it seems like the right fit, though I can't say for sure.
  • Both are fundamentally same devices.
    All the dual screen software tricks can be replicated on single flexible screen devices as well if the os it's running is clever enough.
  • Except if Win10X doesn't support Win32 you won't do much work on it.
  • It does support win32. Neo the first windows 10x device has intel chip inside yet you still have doubt ?
    Microsoft already learned their lesson with windows rt.
  • The fact that it doesn't support x64 is an issue, even if x86 apps work.
  • "If that date is met, it would be the world's first foldable laptop released to the public." How do you know there aren't other devices being developed and that will be put on sale before Lenovo's? Haven't Daniel Rubino and others already reported that other OEM's are working on dual screen/foldable devices? This is a place where we could probably use the word "probably." Anyway, this might be a good indication of when Windows 10X is showing up. I'm betting Summer 2020. It'll be very interesting to see how it all goes.
  • Lenovo currently holds the earliest date for a goal to ship a foldable Windows device. You're right in that Rubino has discussed many. At this time, though, there aren't any other devices set to release before this. That could always change.
  • That means you don't know if it'll be the world's first foldable/dual screen to ship even if it ships Q2 2020. This is just one announcement by one company.
  • The headline says could and if another OEM announces a newer one that is set to come out before it, we'll note that it's set to beat this one of course. At this given time, this is set to the the first foldable laptop to market.
  • So we're gonna get an early look at Windows 10X Nice.
  • The first laptop/tablet with a foldable screen that can properly run a decent Nvidia GPU (GTX 1050 or higher) will be the one to beat for creatives and gamers.
  • Gamers and creatives aren't going to be using 10X. That is what 10 Pro is for.
  • "Lenovo might be the first company to ship a foldable laptop to consumers." Huh? ALL laptops for the last 30 years have been foldable. This might be the first folding SCREEN laptop. NOT the first folding laptop.