Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: The best foldable PC you can buy

It still seems a tough sell for IT decision-makers, but the X1 Fold 16 is impressive nonetheless

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 on the ITPro background
(Image: © Lenovo website)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Big beautiful display

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    Sturdy hinge

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    Multiple uses

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    Traditional ThinkPad keyboard


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    No stand on the display

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 has a starting price of $2,500, which makes it seem like a budget breaker for the average IT decision-maker. Reliability and affordability take precedence over flash gimmicks and even the quality of a display when it comes to business laptops. But then again, you can please, and maybe even retain, your talented remote workers with a flashy bit of kit.

ITPro has now tested and reviewed several folding screen PCs and while we still struggle with the idea that these are suitable machines for a business, they do appear to be getting more and more appealing. Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold was one of the first on the scene, way back in 2020, but it was plagued with issues like poor battery life and clunky controls. Thankfully, these have been ironed out with the impressive 2024 model.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Design

To say the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is an impressive piece of kit is an understatement. It compromises a 16.3in foldable display, a magnetic keyboard with a detachable stand, and a stylus – which is sadly not bundled in at purchase. The screen's hinge is brilliant as it's sturdy, allowing the device to be used in several ways. However, it's also not so tough that it's difficult to move, which offers a world of versatility.

When folded, the display is 8.6 x  276.2 x  345.7mm while unfolded it reaches 17.4 x 176.2 x 276.2mm. At 1.28Kg, the tablet portion isn't too heavy, nor is it all that bulky with the keyboard and stand at 1.94Kg. There isn't a stand on the display portion, so you need the one that comes with the keyboard if you use the display at its full size. You can use it slightly bent, which helps it to stand alone, but that just makes the crease in the screen more prominent.  

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

We began by using the fold like a 12in ultraportable, with the keyboard sat over its bottom half. This is arguably its silliest form; it's very chunky and feels like a waste of its potential. Having it at full size, with the keyboard not connected is the best use case. The display is glorious and that extra size gives you options to have multiple windows and apps open. It does many things, but annoyingly it can't operate as a stand-alone monitor – which is a shame because it would be an amazing additional screen. 

This year, it does feel like a sturdy device, but you do get the feeling if you had it for long enough you'd break it, or lose the keyboard – it's a bit of an expensive device to put into the field. Something IT heads will no doubt worry about. We would have concerns about placing this in a suitcase or a rucksack. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Display

You'll want to protect the 16.3in OLED touch screen at all costs because it is simply stunning. It has an unusual 2,560 x 2,024 resolution, which is roughly 200 pixels per inch (PPI). You do get an advantage with OLED screens as it just brings out every color to its best and offers that immersive imagery. 


This is backed up by our calibrator test, where the X1 Fold 16 showcased 96% for sRGB gamut color coverage, 107% for volume, and 70.1% for Adobe RGB. This is a similar score to the Asus Zenbook Fold 17, and we would expect nothing less really – these machines are all about the display (hello, it folds) and the quality on the X1 Fold is high, with deep inky blacks and lucid colors. It may not be enough for colorists or those heavy into Adobe, but it's impressive nonetheless. 

The issues we can't ignore start with it is maximum brightness level. This looks good on paper – the score of 419cd/m2 compares well with other screens – but due to the gloss finish, you can see the light reflected from surfaces, no matter where you put the display, which is very distracting. The crease is also too noticeable and even worsened by the light. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Keyboard and trackpad

Getting the keyboard connected to the monitor is more complicated than it needs to be; You need to open Bluetooth settings, go to add the device then press the F8 button (which is also the Bluetooth button) to connect the keyboard. From there you need to enter a pin into the keyboard to connect. While that isn't an exhaustive list of steps it is still a bit too long – ideally, you just want the dedicated keyboard to be already connected or just a simple click and pair away from use. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Despite being an attachable keyboard, all our favorite ThinkPad details are intact. Contoured key tops, fingerprint recognition, the red track point button, all present, and a decent level of travel – the depth you would expect on a good laptop keyboard. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Specs and performance

You can have Lenovo's XI Fold with either a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1230U processor or i7-1250U, which is the same as the Zenbook 17 Fold. The X1, however, matches that chip with 16GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB SSD with M.2 2242 PCIe Gen4. Even though both have the same chip, the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 seems to get more out of its i7 heart; In GeekBench 6 it notched a single core score of 1870 and a multi-threaded result of 6635 – both considerably higher than the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold

There is a slight delay when turning the device on, sometimes the power button takes longer than we'd like and it isn't as snappy as the Asus model. But once it's on the X1 Fold is fast. That speed is also not reduced by multiple apps and windows. 

Battery life is also pretty good; 8hrs and 22mins is a decent score, one that suggests it can make it through a traditional workday. We found it still had some juice at the end of our shifts, no matter what workloads we put it through. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Features

If you get a stylus with your X1 Fold then you open up a world of illustrative possibilities. We have had the tablet open fully and sketched to our heart's content but also held it in our hand like a book and made document notes, quick doodles, and even drag and drop changes in Sheets. The pen is super sensitive and comfortable in the hand – it is comparable to the Apple pen and, in our opinion, a nicer experience than the Microsoft Surface pen. 

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Due to the size of the frame, there are no USB-A ports or a car reader – neither are really essential anymore, but their absence will still annoy some. Thankfully, the two USB-C ports are versatile; you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a third that supports 10Gbits/sec transfers. And there's also Wi-Fi 6E, but again, some folks will want to know why there's no Wi-Fi 7. The answer here is that the Fold was developed before that was available and you also can't please everyone. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 review: Is it worth it? 

As a foldable PC, regardless of our feelings toward their place in the business world, the ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 is an amazing device. It's snappy, it's innovative, it's versatile, and we just love that crisp screen. If we ran a business and had all the money in the world to play with, we might well consider it. 

Unfortunately, the price is the clear stumbling block with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16. While businesses might be eligible for a discount if brought in bulk, it would have to be a massive reduction to make the $2,500 starting price more palatable. 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUEither 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1230U processor or i7-1250U
Display16.3in OLED touchscreen
Resolution2560 x 2024
RAM16 GB LPDDR5-5200MHz, Soldered
Storage256GB SSD M.2 2242 PCIe Gen4 or 512GB
Ports2 x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, and an optional Nano SIM slot
Webcam5MP RGB+IR Camera
Operating systemWindows 11 Home 64
DimensionsUnfolded: 8.6 x 276.2 x 345.7mm Folded: 17.4 x 176.2 x 276.2mm
Weight1.28Kg (1.94Kg with keyboard and stand)
Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.