Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Review: Pricey but Versatile OLED Foldable

(Image: © Future)

ElectronicBD Verdict

With a gorgeous 16-inch OLED display and endless adaptability, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is a stylish and professional-looking foldable laptop. It is less powerful than comparable priced luxury laptops, and you have to pay a considerable amount to use it to its fullest.


  • 16.3-inch OLED touchscreen looks lovely
  • More versatile than a clamshell laptop or tablet
  • Great for reading or watching movies


  • More expensive than more capable competitors
  • Awkward port array with too few ports
  • Too heavy to hold for extended periods
  • Keyboard Folio too expensive for how cheap it feels

When the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 ($2,499, available here) is opened, it unfolds into a substantial, black book that appears professional. However, the 16-inch OLED touchscreen is a sight to behold.

The ThinkPad X1 Fold 16's gorgeous OLED touchscreen is the main attraction, and every feature is made to ensure you can use it in a way that suits your needs.

A brief setup tutorial for the folding 16-inch screen of the Lenovo X1 Fold is included with the device, so users may easily use it as a tablet or laptop. Its onscreen keyboard is OK but cumbersome to type on, so if you want to avoid that, you'll have to shell out more cash for a Bluetooth keyboard.

That really captures a lot of the experience of attempting to use the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 as a conventional laptop. Because of its weight, folding form, and lack of ports, it's a little more difficult to use than many of the finest laptops if all you want to do is whip it open on the train to finish some homework or send off some emails.

However, the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 has a lot to offer if you're looking for a really elegant folding PC that can be used as a tablet, laptop, or anywhere in between. I've started to recognize the areas in which this compact PC excels after using one for both business and pleasure. In this review, I'll take you through the pros and cons of owning a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1.


What is it? A foldable laptop with a gorgeous 16.3-inch OLED touchscreen

Who is it for? Early adopters, foldable fans, and anyone who likes the notion of a folding OLED screen that runs Windows 11.

What does it cost? While the X1 Fold 16 launched at $2,499, you can often find it on sale for a few hundred bucks off. However, you'll want the $300 Keyboard Folio from Lenovo (with built-in stand) to use it to its full potential.

Does it sacrifice anything for that foldability? The X1 Fold offers few ports and isn't as powerful as a gaming laptop; with its 7-8 hours of tested battery life, it's not as long-lasting as the best MacBooks and best Windows laptops.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Specs Review

(Image credit: Future)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 (as reviewed)
Price $2,499 $2,946
Display 16.3-inch (2560x2024) OLED touchscreen 16.3-inch (2560x2024) OLED touchscreen
CPU Intel Core i5-1240U Intel Core i7-1250U
GPU Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics
Storage 256GB 512GB
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C
Dimensions 13.61 x 10.87 x 0.34 inches 13.61 x 10.87 x 0.34 inches
Weight 2.82 pounds 2.82 pounds

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Review: Highlights

When you purchase a ThinkPad X1 Fold 16, you are mostly paying for this high-end folding laptop with a gorgeous OLED display. Although it's a fully working laptop for business and light gaming, the true joy comes from discovering practical applications for a foldable OLED screen.

Multi-Monitor Versatility: All-in-One Laptop

(Image credit: Future)

I have to admit, I really like how simple it is to replicate the flexibility of a multi-monitor configuration with only the X1 Fold 16.

The fact that a foldable laptop is all screen and allows you to utilize the screen real estate anyway you choose is one of its selling advantages. It is obviously possible to unfold it and use it as a 16-inch tablet or fold it halfway to use it as a conventional clamshell laptop, but you won't find the on-screen keyboard particularly enjoyable to type on.

You should get a good Bluetooth keyboard if you want to truly appreciate using the X1 Fold 16. You can use any Bluetooth keyboard that is compatible, but Lenovo also offers a matching Keyboard Folio ($300) that is rather straightforward to set up and has a lovely built-in stand for the X1 Fold.

When you use the X1 Fold 16, you'll discover that your possibilities for using it grow in interesting ways. Personally, I adore being able to arrange the X1 Fold 16 in a portrait orientation on the Keyboard Folio, then split the screen into two sections and use them as two separate displays. I can monitor whatever I'm working on on the top half and keep track of what's going on by keeping Slack and other chat apps open on the bottom half.

Although having a 16-inch OLED panel that costs close to $3,000 propped up on its side like this is a little unsettling, when I got over my worry of accidentally tipping our review unit, I discovered that it's really rather stable in this configuration. Although my preferred method of utilizing the X1 Fold 16 is to simulate two monitors stacked on top of one another, you could equally easily create your own unique replication of a multi-monitor configuration using Windows 11's built-in Snap Layout features.

The X1 Fold 16 can be arranged like a landscape painting and divided into two or three columns for keeping an eye on social media and news feeds, or it can be folded like a book and held in your lap with a YouTube tutorial playing on one side while a touch-based game is running on the other. With the exception of having to cope with a hinge, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i offers all the features of a dual-screen laptop.

One of the nicest things about using a foldable laptop like this one is the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16, which offers a lot of versatility in a relatively small chassis.

Perfect for Reading and Tabletop Role-Playing

(Image credit: Future)

I have never understood why people like reading novels, comic books, or other large papers on their PCs but I detest reading anything more complex than a webpage on a laptop. However, many do, and after trying the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16, I believe I've at last discovered a laptop that I wouldn't mind using for reading.

The laptop's appearance and screen quality have both altered. When unfurled, the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16's OLED display helps colors pop and text appear a little less uncomfortable to read than on a brighter display, giving it an appearance similar to that of a large black metal book.

Our display testing confirms this, showing that the Fold 16 has good color accuracy and brightness that can reach almost twice as high as a 16-inch OLED laptop like the Dell XPS 16. Although the X1 Fold 16 is darker than the Air, it also reproduces colors more accurately than even an expensive non-OLED laptop like Apple's MacBook Air 15-inch M3.

Laptop Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Dell XPS 16 M3 MacBook Air (15-inch)
Display average brightness (nits) 424.2 406.2 482.4
sRGB color gamut (%) 127.2 114.7 109.4
DCI-P3 color gamut (%) 90.1 81.2 77.5
Delta-E color accuracy (smaller number is better) 0.21 0.26 0.3

As it happens, this makes it far more comfortable for someone like me to "read" a laptop like a book while sitting on my lap. For example, although I've always enjoyed tabletop role-playing games like D&D, I find it tedious to browse through the digital D&D books that so many of my players rely on while using a laptop. However, I feel that reading a PDF file on the X1 Fold 16 is far more comfortable, partly due to the OLED display's beautiful color reproduction and attention to detail in the page details.

In addition, I can read on this foldable laptop in a wider range of comfortable postures than I could with a conventional clamshell laptop since I can handle it like a book or a newspaper. I particularly like to use a PDF viewer that displays two pages at once, and then I can browse through the material while holding the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 in my lap like a book.

While it may not be a must-have feature for everyone, I find it to be really lovely, and I believe it makes OLED foldables like this one stand out from the competition.

But, you should be aware that this laptop is heavier than an iPad Pro 2024 and can be uncomfortable to handle for extended periods of time. It is around the weight of a tablet. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is too hefty for me to handle painlessly and securely as a tablet, which is why I prefer to cradle it in my lap.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Review: Downsides

Poor performance

(Image credit: Future)

Although the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is rather quick for a foldable laptop, it is still limited to performing simple tasks like web surfing, light gaming, and office work.

This is most likely a result of the earlier versions of some of Intel's less powerful CPUs being marketed with it. Even while our review device had a somewhat more potent CPU than the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 entry-level model, it still had trouble holding its own against laptops that cost around the same throughout our testing.

We discovered that the X1 Fold 16 lags behind the competition after putting it through our rigorous testing program. I've gathered some test results and contrasted them with our previous reviews of the $1,669 MacBook Air 15-inch M3 and the $3,399 Dell XPS 16.

Performance benchmark Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Dell XPS 16 M3 MacBook Air (15-inch)
Geekbench 6 single-core 2271 2373 3093
Geekbench 6 multicore 7711 13384 12025
Handbrake time 11:40 4:42 6:37
SSD transfer rate (MBps) 1332 1614 N/A

The graphic above illustrates how the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 falls short of the competitors in every area. In Geekbench 6's single-core CPU test, the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U CPU did enough to nearly tie the 14th Gen Intel Core Ultra 7 chip in our Dell XPS 16 review unit, but in the end, it was unable to overtake it.

This is important if you intend to use this laptop for intensive work, such as intensive multitasking, picture and video editing, or coding. As an example, the X1 Fold 16 performed shockingly slowly in our in-house video editing test, which timed how long the laptop takes to convert a 4K film down to 1080p using Handbrake. It took two or three times as long as the premium laptops from Apple and Dell to finish the same operation.

In terms of games, try not to have too high of expectations. There's no way you'll enjoy Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty on this device, even though I had a great time playing less demanding games on our ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review unit, such Crusader Kings 3 and Dicey Dungeons.

Limited ports inconveniently placed

You can count on having reliable access to 2 of the USB-C ports on this laptop at any given time, but you often have to sacrifice the third in order to use the laptop effectively. (Image credit: Future)

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 has only three USB-C ports: Three USB-C 3.2 ports and two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

That makes sense considering the 0.34-inch thick foldable's physical restrictions, but it still limits the things you can do with peripherals and extras. It can be more useful on a desk if you connect an adapter or a USB hub, but that becomes problematic when you try to handle it like a tablet or tinker with the fold to change the laptop's configuration.

The port's somewhat uncomfortable placement is the second problem. There are several ways to arrange and utilize the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16. However, if we consider the short edge, which houses the 5MP webcam, to be the "top" of the laptop, there are three ports: one on the top, one on the left, and one on the right.

If you're using it as a regular clamshell laptop, that arrangement is rather simple; but, if you need to utilize the top-facing port in this configuration, it looks a little awkward.

However, you sometimes have to give up one of this laptop's few ports in order to fully utilize its adaptability. You lose access to the port on the long side facing the desk, for example, if you arrange it like a landscape painting or a propped-up book. Additionally, the port on the short edge is either oriented toward the desk or positioned so high that a cable coming out of it runs the danger of unbalancing and tipping the entire laptop if you arrange it like a tall vertical mirror.

Peripherals are too expensive yet key to full usability

(Image credit: Future)

This laptop's versatility is one of its main advantages, but in order to fully utilize it, you'll need a Bluetooth keyboard, a stand, and an active stylus.

Of course, Lenovo would gladly sell you some if you don't already have any, and from my experience with the Precision Pen ($69) and Keyboard Folio ($299), I can attest to their excellent functionality.

I must admit, after using it for a bit, that although the Lenovo Keyboard Folio stand supports the X1 Fold 16 well. To fully utilize the foldable, in fact, this is essential. However, the remainder of the keyboard falls short.

The only issue is that, given how essential they are to fully utilizing this laptop, they are a little pricey. Although the stylus isn't very expensive and isn't absolutely necessary, Lenovo's Keyboard Folio seems incredibly painfully expensive at $300. It's a fantastic add-on that simplifies utilizing all of the Fold's features, but it doesn't seem like a $300 addition.

The keyboard's well-known red Lenovo TrackPoint nub is conveniently located in the center, but typing on the board itself feels fragile and thin. Furthermore, I occasionally noticed that the trackpad was missing or misrepresenting my swipes, and it wasn't always responsive.

It's unfortunate since, ergonomically speaking, having a detachable Bluetooth keyboard is rather helpful as it enables you to sit comfortably with the keyboard resting on your lap, on a keyboard tray, or in another more comfortable position than when it's linked to your laptop. Regretfully, though, even while I relished the independence throughout the review process, I've never been a big fan of typing on Lenovo's Keyboard Folio—which is made much more unpleasant when you consider how much it costs.

When you consider that Apple's iPad Pro Magic Keyboard ($299, which is exactly the same as this one) feels considerably sturdier and more pleasant to type on, the exorbitant price and poor quality sting even more.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 Gen 1 Review: Final Thoughts

(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is a device I enjoy. It's difficult not to because everything on the gadget, including games, movies, and books, looks beautiful thanks to the OLED touchscreen.

Another feature I adore about this device—which many foldables have in common—is its adaptability. Even though I keep breaking or wearing out that pricey, gorgeous display after weeks of use, it's still a touch unsettling. Although I can't say for sure yet how well the folding OLED screen will hold up over time, I can say that once you start reading or viewing something, the fold's seam doesn't really stick out.

I still can't endorse this Lenovo 100%, even if it makes the best case yet for me to give up my old clamshell and join the folding laptop craze. First and foremost, the cost is excessive given the quality of the performance. Additionally, the beginning price approaches $3,000 when you consider the additional $300 or more that you may need to purchase the Keyboard Folio and maybe a pen, all of which are essential to fully use this gadget.

For that amount of money, you can acquire a variety of laptops, ranging from powerful portables like the Dell XPS 16 or Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 to long-lasting ultraportables like the 15-inch MacBook Air M3, which offers an incredible 15+ hours of proven battery life, as opposed to the X1 Fold 16's 7-8 hours.

These laptops now pale in comparison to the special features and affordability of the foldable X1 Fold. However, Lenovo's most recent foldable has effectively committed itself to being an apparently niche product for well-to-do people who want a beautiful folding laptop with a wonderful screen since it lags so far behind the competitors in terms of performance or usability.

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