Despite how polished the device looked in our demo, Lenovo is clearly nowhere near ready to release its rollable concept as a consumer-ready device. I asked about durability, and Lenovo would only say that it’s aiming to get to 20,000 to 30,000 rolls, the same ballpark as its foldable ThinkPad X1 (I admit this doesn’t sound like much compared to the hundreds of thousands of folds that foldable smartphones tend to be rated for, but I guess you unfold and fold a laptop less regularly throughout a working day). The company was not forthcoming about how many rolls the prototype can currently survive.
I also had questions about weight and battery life. Lenovo wouldn’t tell me how much the laptop weighs, and I wasn’t allowed to pick it up myself (trust me, I asked). Ideally you’d want this thing to be both lighter than carrying around a laptop plus a portable monitor, as well as being more compact, but we’ll have to wait and see on the former point. And apparently the rollable laptop’s unrolling mechanism draws a couple of watts of power while in motion, which doesn’t sound ideal at a time when many laptops’ batteries can still struggle to make it through a day’s use.
That said, Lenovo is one of the few laptop manufacturers to have actually released a foldable laptop, which gives me some confidence that its rollable concept might one day become a reality. Its original ThinkPad X1 Fold came out in 2020, and a second-generation model was announced last year — though it’s yet to make it to market after having missed its November ship date.