There have been a few attempts to combine a conventional laptop form factor with easy-on-the-eyes (literally!) e-ink technology more commonly seen in Kindles and other e-readers. But Lenovo may have finally cracked it with its latest attempt, the ThinkBook Plus Twist. That mouthful of a name hides a design that combines old and new elements for something that’s striking…and perhaps even practical.
The Twist uses a 2-in-1 form factor with a screen that rotates on a central 180-degree hinge, a design that’s fallen out of favor since Lenovo’s own Yoga designs became dominant. But spinning around the screen lets the user choose between the primary display—a 13.3-inch, 2.8K OLED touch panel that’s no slouch on its own—and the 12-inch e-ink panel on the rear. Not only is this front-lit display far less taxing to view, it’s in full color, still something of a novelty for e-ink panels of any size.
Lenovo is quick to point out the advantages of using the e-ink panel: longer stretches of working with less eye strain, and allegedly, a considerable power savings on the laptop’s battery. Thanks to the rotating hinge, either the main OLED or the e-ink panel can be used in conventional laptop mode or in reverse, for easy access via the included stylus. (Which, yes, allows for drawing and taking notes on the e-ink side, too.)
More traditional charms of the ThinkBook Twist include 13th-gen Intel processors, maximum 16GB DDR5 memory, 1TB of 4th-gen SSD storage, and Wi-Fi 6E. We’ve yet to get our hands on the design, so it remains to be seen how practical a color e-ink display is for full work or browsing. We’ll have to wait until June to find out, when the ThinkBook Twist will launch for $1,649.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.