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Lenovo never seems to run out of ways to change the laptop game. At CES 2020, the company announced the ThinkBook Plus, a reasonably-priced laptop with an e-ink display on the outside.
When opened up, it looks like any other Lenovo ThinkBook—there’s a 13.3-inch FHD screen, a keyboard, and a trackpad.
Where the laptop really gets interesting is when the screen is closed, as there’s a 10.8-inch e-ink touchscreen that can be used for a wide range of tasks.
During our demo, we flipped between calendar and emails seamlessly. We also saw support for Kindle and Alexa, all without opening up the laptop.
Another cool thing we observed was the ability to use the outside touchscreen to make notes on a document using the included stylus, and then quickly flip the laptop open to continue working with the more traditional keyboard and mouse functionality.
The main benefit of the e-ink display is the battery life, as Lenovo claims it can last for up to 20 hours (the traditional laptop is rated to last about 10 hours), so if you just need to do quick tasks like check your email or see when your next appointment is, you can easily use the outside screen and keep your device running longer.
As far as the specs go, Lenovo will offer the laptop in different configurations. The company said that it will be available with up to a 10th generation Intel Core i7, 8GB or 16GB DDR4 memory, and a 256 or 512GB SSD.
Because the laptop features a screen on the outside, Lenovo is including a slick case that’ll protect it when you need to toss it in your bag with your other stuff. It’s a small detail, but it’s nice that the company realized that there is a certain amount of risk that comes with having an exposed screen.
Lenovo actually plans to release this dual-display laptop in March, so if the idea of longer-laster e-ink screen on the outside of your computer sounds appealing, lots of patience isn’t required. Also, the price is pretty modest for what’s on offer, as the company has stated that it’ll start at $1,199.