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Laptops

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold: A bold attempt

Props to Lenovo for even trying

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The concept of foldables isn’t new. We’ve seen various iterations in the mobile phone space. However, it hasn’t been attempted like this in the laptop/notebook space. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold re-imagines how a laptop folds and it’s… well, it’s an interesting piece of tech to say the least.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

Pretty cool, right? It slams shut the 13.3-inch display as if it was a book. It makes it easier to carry around when you’re out and about. Oh and, we’re not exaggerating the book comparison too.

Here it is side-by-side with a graphic novel. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold
And here it is on top of TWICE’s Eyes Wide Open album. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It actually looks like a book or notebook with its leather finish. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold

Here it is on the table, not fully flexed nor folded.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
It’s a pretty interesting contraption, but what can it do? That, perhaps, is the truly compelling question.

Performance and overall usage


Here’s a quick glance at the specs:

  • 13.3” 2K OLED Display, 4:3 (2048 x 1536, 300 nits)
  • Intel Core i5 with Intel Hybrid Technology
  • 11th Gen Intel UHD, integrated Graphics
  • Up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 2242 SSD
  • 8GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz
  • 50Wh with Rapid Charge technology
  • 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) (1 can be used as DP)

Oh and it also has a 5MP camera for video calls. A bare minimum, but one that works fine, nevertheless.

Seems decent on paper, yes? That’s true. It also helps that it comes with the Lenovo Fold Mini Keyboard. With it, the ThinkPad X1 Fold transforms into this very Surface Pro-like device.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It’s able to stand on its own thanks to this kick-out stand that has the suede-like material. Definitely upping the “premium” feel of the device.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

The keyboard itself isn’t all that great. People with objectively bigger hands might find it perplexing having to type on it. However, it is usable, has an okay travel, and can get you through quick typing sessions.

The trackpad is also fine but you’re probably better off touching the screen for smoother navigation. This isn’t surprising as most bluetooth keyboards tend to not be very good in this department.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It’s certainly better than using the Windows 10 On-Screen keyboard.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

The ThinkPad X1 Fold can also be used with the Lenovo Mod Pen. It opens even more possibilities, especially if you’re the type who likes to sketch.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
The stylus experience is pretty good. It doesn’t stray too far from the regular stylus to tablet or screen experience from other Lenovo devices, but it also isn’t as good as say the S Pen is to the Note series.

For comparison, I would say it felt close to how the stylus felt while writing and sketching on the Lenovo Thinkbook Plus. It’s another one of Lenovo’s odd-ball notebooks which is kind of becoming a theme for the company.

What’s cool is that both these accessories fit seamlessly with the ThinkPad X1 Fold. 


Fold the notebook and you get this easy-to-carry device complete with a keyboard and a stylus.


Having the keyboard inside also leaves no gap when the ThinkPad X1 Fold is folded.


This is smart hardware design and one that Lenovo should be commended for.

Software troubles 

However, the overall usage starts to feel clunky when you realize the device’s biggest weakness — it’s running on Windows 10 Pro. That operating system, on its own, is fine, especially for traditional laptops. But foldables are another story.

Transitioning from folded to unfolded and using split screens for “better productivity” just isn’t seamless. That’s because this product was supposed to ship with Windows 10X — the OS specifically designed for foldables.


However, with Microsoft’s own dual screen devices being delayed, the aforementioned OS also didn’t see the light of day. That didn’t stop Lenovo from launching the ThinkPad X1 Fold.

They try to mitigate the software issues by applying their own solution. The notebook comes with this Lenovo Mode Switcher that helps detect if you’re using the device as a single screen or as two separate screens.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
It’s fine if you’re just using it for reading or for consuming media. But don’t mistake this for an all-out productivity tool. You’ll only be disappointed.

Media consumption

Speaking of consuming media, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is actually pretty good as a slate where you can watch your favorite things.

I sat through Spider-Man Homecoming for the nth time on this thing.


I also replayed over and over TWICE Momo’s performance project.


And used it to watch for the first time TWICE Jihyo’s performance project.


The way you can easily prop it up or carry it on one hand (that is if your arm can handle 999g/2.2lbs for a few minutes at a time), made for a decent video viewing companion. The speakers aren’t out of this world, but they’re alright.

The OLED display is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting in the video viewing experience. And the fact that it’s a foldable OLED display is just simply astonishing.

But for the price it commands, it just doesn’t seem like a device for the common folk.

Is the ThinkPad X1 Fold your GadgetMatch?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is both magnificent and frustrating at the same time. This hardware is nothing to scoff at. The fact that Lenovo even had the audacity to try something like this is the reason why we like tech. We love it when brands push the boundaries and think outside the box.

However, this beautifully designed hardware is held back by the usable but clunky software. By no fault of its own, Lenovo was forced to release a product that doesn’t deliver a polished experience because of operating system limitations. That just isn’t what you expect from something priced at PhP 208,499 or US$ 2,499.

More than anything, the ThinkPad X1 Fold feels like a showcase device. Something a top executive who doesn’t have to do too much typing or doing the grunt work on spreadsheets and deck presentations would have use for.

It’s not completely broken by any means. You can do actual work with it. But the whole experience just feels too clunky. Microsoft owes Lenovo for leaving them hanging on the software side of things. But this shouldn’t dissuade the company from continuing to experiment and pushing what’s possible with hardware.

Personally, I’d like to give this another go once the appropriate software is ready. I imagine that would make a world of a difference.

Deals

ASUS 2.2 OLED Festival sale: Win a Vivobook 13 Slate

Enjoy 10% off on Vivobooks, Zenbooks

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ASUS is celebrating 2.2 early, offering customers the chance to win a Vivobook 13 Slate OLED through the OLED Festival Sale on Lazada and Shopee.

From January 28 to February 5, selected Vivobook and Zenbook devices get up to 10% off. During the promotional period, a purchase of any ASUS OLED laptop entitles customers to a raffle entry.

One (1) lucky winner will be announced on February 10 through ASUS Philippines’ official Facebook page.

Award-winning laptops get more affordable

Participating laptops in ASUS’ OLED Festival Sale include the following:

  • Zenbook 14 Flip
  • Zenbook 13
  • Zenbook 14
  • Vivobook S14X
  • Vivobook S 14 Flip
  • Vivobook 13 Slate 
  • Vivobook Pro 15 
  • Vivobook 15X

The powerful 12th Gen Intel Core and Intel Iris Xe-boosted Zenbook 14 Flip gets a reduced price of just PhP 83,695 from PhP 87,995.

This foldable features ASUS’ 360-degree ErgoLift Hinge technology, a 2.8K OLED HDR 90Hz NanoEdge touch screen display, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and 512GB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage.

Meanwhile, both the Vivobook S 14X and Vivobook S 14 Flip retail for PhP 71,295 and PhP 71,245, respectively.

Both laptops are powered by up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and have 2.8K OLED displays, long battery life, fast-charging technology, and impressive performance.

They come with Microsoft Office for Home & Student pre-installed, as well as a 1-month free Adobe Creative Cloud upon purchase.

Be sure on the lookout for these deals from ASUS, as well as free shipping vouchers of up to PhP 100.

SEE ALSO: ASUS Vivobook Slate 13 OLED: Stay on top of your game

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Entertainment

LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop

It’s pretty… expensive

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NewJeans is continuously making waves both in and out of South Korea. From their ultra-catchy songs, dance moves that are trending in TikTok and Instagram Reels, to reaching top charts in UK and US’ Billboard, there’s no surprise that homegrown tech brand LG Electronics partnered with these power rookies.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

LG just released the gram Style NewJeans Limited Edition! While this is an unfortunate news for Hanni (who is actually an iPhone), it’s actually a big step towards knowing NewJeans past the K-Pop hype (and by that you should stream Hype Boy).

Mini and Big Bunnies

This special edition LG Gram Style is available in two styles: Mini Bunny and Big Bunny.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s actually no stark difference between the two except for — you guessed it — the size of bunny decals on its lid. Either of the two, you will never get wrong choosing the bunny for your personal taste.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Other than that, the highlight of this laptop comes from its weight. From the brand itself, it’s just 999 grams — actually 23 grams lighter than the 2022 model. It also has the US military-graded MIL-STD 810H standard that passed seven (7) durability tests.

Powerful punch

The LG gram Style NewJeans isn’t slouching in performance. Just like a hopping bunny, it’s quite a powerful device for its size and heft.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Hardware specifications of these two Bunnies aren’t too far off — at least after making a side-by-side comparison of their spec sheets. Both styles come with an Intel Core i5-1340P under EVO Platform for lightweight ultrabooks plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It’s then paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of NVMe 4.0 SSD with an extra PCIe 4.0 slot for expandability.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Just like NewJeans‘ visuals, you can’t also go wrong with the visuals of this device. It has a 14″ low-reflective OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800), a 16:10 aspect ratio for wider screen real estate, and an improved 400nits brightness over last year’s 350.

Moreover, it supports 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for color-accurate goodness as well as VESA Certified DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 for deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Its 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support make it a full-on entertainment device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

One more highlight is its “Hidden Touchpad”. Instead of the usual rectangular trackpads, it’s highlighted by two halo lighting on its two sides dubbed as “Aurora White” paired with haptic feedback for that nice feeling when clicking.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

For ports, it has two (2) USB-C plus one (1) USB-A ports, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, earphones, amplifiers, and other audio peripherals.

Goodies for Bunnies

If you have actually reached this part, you’d know that you are not here for its powerful hardware, rather for the NewJeans styled-laptop. Aside from having that special laptop, there are more goodies that come with this device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Being one of the few Bunnies out there since NewJeans’ Attention, I was actually more excited when I saw the list. There’s a notebook pouch, cable strap, posters, sticker and stationery set.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s even a free NewJeans-style mouse with this cute vinyl-like mousepad. These are truly treats for Bunnies! The laptops even come with preloaded wallpapers and four icons in it.

Pricing and Availability

While the LG gram Style is light, the pricing isn’t. It’s a pretty laptop with a pretty expensive price. It retails for around KR₩ 2,700,000 — which is about US$ 2190 / SG$ 2675 / ₱119,513.

There’s no word on global availability but LG will hold a live event in Korea with NewJeans on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday) around 8PM KST (Korean Standard Time).

If you will participate during the live, a comment could help a participant win a specially-signed autograph from NewJeans or three winners of the Limited Edition Goods.

If you plan on buying the NewJeans’ limited edition laptop, there are more benefits other than having the Limited Edition Goods set such as 12 winners of NewJeans autographs.

But if you’re just opting to buy the regular LG gram Style without the NewJeans skin, it will still give you other perks such as a free LG gram mouse, Wiggle Wiggle goods package consisting of a notebook pouch, mousepad, and a cable strap, as well as a free 512GB microSD card.

More advanced purchase benefits are Intel software package, 2023 gram gift pack, and 5,000g Jammy points coupon.

Other common benefits include MelOn one-month free subscription, 10,000 membership points after writing a photo review after purchase, and 20 winners of two Helinox chairs and table set.

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Laptops

Samsung to launch improved touchscreen notebooks soon

In time for Galaxy Unpacked

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Touchscreen notebooks are making a new push to the spotlight. While the general technology has been out for a while, new developments are starting to introduce better screens with faster response times. Samsung, according to a new report, is already ready to launch an improved version of its own touchscreen notebook as early as next month.

As first reported by ZDNet, Samsung Display has started to mass produce OLED screens which integrate touchscreen functionality directly on the panel. The technology, called OCTA or on-cell touch AMOLED, will launch first on upcoming Galaxy Books this year.

Though essentially unconfirmed for now, the new touchscreen lineup might launch in time for the Galaxy Unpacked event early next month. If so, Samsung will have a huge leg up against Apple, who is also working on its own touchscreen laptop.

Apple, contrary to Steve Jobs’ initial reaction against the technology, is building a touchscreen OLED MacBook for a hopeful launch by 2025. Because the upcoming MacBook allegedly uses OLED panels, the device will be thinner and lighter than current MacBooks in the lineup.

Much like the chatter around Apple, Samsung Display’s new OLED panels will also be thinner and lighter — a big step, considering last year’s notebooks were also touted as thinner and lighter then ever before. Unfortunately, the report does not indicate how large the new screens will be. If anything, the Galaxy Book lineup currently offers devices in 13- and 15-inch models.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S23 Preview

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