Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Review: More Is Less
Sadly, it’s also one of the most disappointing Music let’s review. The last time you saw the lenovo x1 fold on this channel. I used it to explore all the ways a folding screen changed the way i used a laptop now that term laptop is important, because some folks have called this a tablet and sure it can be used that way, but at 2.2 pounds it’s really too clunky. For that label, where this machine finds full expression is when you treat it like a pc with a built in kickstand, it deploys to a 13.3 inch easel with detached keyboard on a desktop collapses to a kind of cyber throwback netbook for travel and finally, folds into The footprint of a hardback novel when you need to pack it away now because of the novel nature of folding screens, you might think that the problems i’ve found arise from that flexibility, but not at all. In fact, lenovo’s hardware is frankly inspired in the almost two year run up to its release. The company was incredibly open to sharing how much work went into building a machine that earns its thinkpad name. That’S. The company’s business brand of laptops generally held to a higher standard of reliability because they’re aimed at the enterprise one of my favorite things from ces 2020, was lenovo. Having brought an exploded model of the x1 fold for the press to poke and prod, which we certainly did i’ve twisted the hinges, i’ve stabbed the screen, and by now i’ve used the assembled device on and off for about two months.
I wasn’t sure anyone could realize the dream of a folding screen pc solid enough to stand up to everyday use, but the x1 fold doesn’t the leather back, evokes the premium feel of an old journal. While the stacked, netbook mode means you can still work under cramped conditions and over the two months i’ve used it there’s been none of the loosening or creaking or creasing. You might expect. The only hardware quibbles i do have are the chassis being a little more reluctant to fold fully flat, resulting in a very slight angle when open and an oil slick like reflectivity of the screen under certain lighting, when powered off. Incidentally, i’ve seen both of those characteristics on the motorola razer as well, so maybe these are just typical attributes of whatever flexible screen lg display provided here. Those characteristics don’t materially affect everyday use, i’m, more annoyed by the thin tinny speakers than i am anything to do with the folding screen Music. But while the foldable form factor may not be the root of the machine’s problems, those problems do start with a byproduct of its foldable nature, see in order to offer full functionality in its various postures. The x1 fold needs a detachable keyboard on paper, it’s, quite clever. As a bluetooth keyboard, it works whether it’s attached or not when it does attach it does so magnetically and it even charges, while it’s on there fitting perfectly inside the gap between the screen’s halves.
I even got used to the compromises that were made in the name of miniaturization the enter key that i hid instead of the apostrophe a hundred times. The fact that typing a question mark means holding down not just the function key, but the function and the shift keys, but i never got used to every 30th words proper, crowding extra letters, a problem that to be fair, i’ve experienced on other bluetooth. Keyboards, going all the way back to the pixel c. Look at this. Every double letter you see here is genuine. I didn’t force any errors for effect, it’s, not a problem with the keyboard itself, since the doubling kept right on happening. Even when i paired this thing with the quirky writer i keep around for when i want no one to take me seriously at the coffee shop, i did have better luck when i stuck to netbook mode with the keyboard resting right on the device, but that bundled Keyboard has other problems, a terrible, tiny, trackpad, that’s finicky and prone to cursor drift. There are no rubber feet on the keyboard, so it wanders all over the place if you type on a slippery tabletop, whatever material, the keys are made of it’s. So soft that it starts showing where, after just two days of use and to top it all off, there’s no backlight, so if you’re trying to type in a darkened plane or train cabin good luck with that. When i put all these problems to lenovo, the company sent me a replacement for the retail device i had purchased, which i really appreciated.
Sadly, though, that swap didn’t fix any of my problems and in fact it brought to light a whole new set of them. When i tried resetting the first machine that reset failed and without a physical keyboard, i couldn’t resolve the issue. Then, a few weeks after i first set it up, i powered up the replacement x1 fold to find that it had forgotten the date and time i was able to fix that in the bios. But then the device put itself into what looked like some kind of update loop, which lasted until the battery, ran out only after an overnight charge and an automated windows repair did it start working again kinda. Now, if you’re thinking hey, you know, this just doesn’t seem like a device that’s a great match for windows. 10. know i think, you’re on to something this isn’t a secret. From the very first time i saw the x1 fold prototype. It was clear that it was not built for any version of windows that we had yet seen. The windows 10 operating system is not planned for the final product, but rather for the sleeker chrome. Os competitor that came to be called windows 10 x 10x was intended to serve as the launch platform for microsoft’s new surface neo device, but when 10x got delayed, the neo did too not so for lenovo. The x1 fold launched almost on time at the tail end of 2020, with windows, 10 home and pro instead of x as options and the results.
Well that’s. What happens when the spotify web player and x1 fold decide to disagree about whether or not the device should go to sleep? Oh and that’s, just the start of it a few times a week, i’ll wake up the machine to find that it thinks it’s in landscape or portrait mode when it’s, really just the opposite, that’s part of why lenovo made its own mode switcher to help you switch Orientations, but it doesn’t always work, so you need to restart sometimes to get it oriented right at one point, while wroting this review, the lay board just stopped whippling, because bluetooth stopped warpling, which meant i had to switch over to the built in windows. Software lay board and it’s inconsistent autocorrect, the other limitations aren’t, really bugs so much as symptoms of a system, design, that’s very specific, while it’s responsive enough for typical browsing and office tasks. This lakefield core i5 cpu doesn’t pack, any of the newer niceties intel included with its evo line like the rapid wake up and better battery management. I talked about on my asus zenbook duo 14 review that platform, or maybe even qualcomm’s, always connected pc snapdragon, would have been a perfect fit for a device like this as it stands now, the x1 fold is often slow to wake and, if i’m, using it in Easel mode with the full screen, i generally get fewer than four hours of constant use on a full charge. Judging from other reviews battery tests, it seems i would get better endurance if i didn’t have to run the screen at max brightness, almost all the time, but its top line.
Output of 300 nits, just isn’t bright enough for a machine that’s supposed to come with me everywhere i go and i want to take the x1 fold everywhere i go. I was the kid who watched way too much inspector gadget and ruined scores of library books by sketching penny’s computer book into their back pages. I’Ve been waiting for that computer book for 30 years today. I like to think of myself as youtube’s biggest champion of folding screen technology and seeing a panel this crisp and durable one. You can even use a pen on without damaging it, it’s otherworldly. I know i gloss over tablet mode, but if you’re an artist or a designer with a good use for this wacom enabled stylus. This would be next level factor in the revival of cyberpunk style. That makes this kind of retro look cool again, and this thing could be incredible, unfortunately, for a starting price, this high and a bug list this long. The only thing incredible about it is how badly it’s been hobbled by shipping with a half baked and badly implemented form of the wrong os. I’M. Sorry, but you can max out a microsoft surface, go to toss in a keyboard, mouse and a pen and still save a thousand dollars if it ever gets a build of windows. 10X i’ll be first in line to re evaluate, but until then i can’t recommend it and given the caliber of this hardware and the potential of the concept that’s something i’m genuinely sad to say, if you want to learn more about windows, 10x check out the excellent Reporting by my comrades at windows, central linked below, alongside some other reviews of the x1 fold, i think you’ll find helpful.
This review was produced following 60 days, with a retail x1 fold purchased by mr mobile and a review sample sent by lenovo, as always, and obviously, in this case, lenovo didn’t pay for this coverage. The opinions here in are mine and mine alone until next time.