2020: the end of laptops as we know it
Last week’s CES put the spotlight firmly on… laptops?
Rumours of the laptop’s demise seem to have been overstated, as this year’s electronics expo in Vegas showcased several new laptops with brand new form factors.
This year saw 5G-compatible machines, and new models equipped with folding screens. For the most part, all these devices are still in the prototype stage; however it does herald a new age for the humble laptop.
That said, one manufacturer has already gone beyond prototype; Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold – the first-ever PC to be equipped with a 17-inch diagonal foldable screen – is set to launch later this year.
The Fold looks like a tablet when fully unfolded, and offers two screens – about 12-inches each – once in laptop configuration. It can run several programs at once, as well as a virtual keyboard. Lenovo will also sell an additional keyboard for the device that will be sold separately.
The cost of this brand new slice of tech? US$2,500 when it arrives this summer.
It’s thought that by the end of the year, other manufacturers such as Dell and Samsung will also have new foldable PC screens. Windows has even pulled the wraps off a new operating system – Windows 10X – to handle this category of device.
Most new laptops in this category, as well as ultraportables, will be 5G compatible – the other big trend this year.
Once again, Lenovo will be one of the first to market with the Yoga 5G – the new model comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chip that has an integrated 5G modem. Lenovo has also said the new laptop will have a record 25-hour battery life.
The Yoga 5 is due to hit the market in the spring, for around US$1,500.
Elsewhere, Acer showed off its ConceptD 7 Ezel – a new laptop that can be rotated into five different configurations while Asus ROG targeted gamers, with the world’s most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop.