CES 2016

Lenovo announces Modular Thinkpad X1 Tablet with 3D Scanning Module

Modular Thinkpad

Excited about CES 2016 in Las Vegas? Lenovo have announced a modular Thinkpad X1 tablet with a 3D scanning module to digitally capture physical objects.

Lenovo simply couldn’t wait until the official start of CES 2016, it seems. They’ve broken ranks with details about the ThinkPad X1, a convertible tablet packed with innovative features for enterprise and small business use. Of particular interest for 3D printing is the option of a 3D imaging module to scan physical objects for 3D printing.

The tablet is built around an Intel Core M processor, which makes it fanless, and it has an estimated 10 hours battery life. For memory and storage, the tablet can have up to 16 GB of memory and a PCIe NVMe with 1 TB capacity. The display is the same resolution as the Surface Pro 3, at 2160×1440 pixels, and it has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

The X1 tablet offers a ThinkPad keyboard, including trackpoint, which can snap onto the tablet and has three adjustable angles. The tablet weighs only 1.75 lbs, and together with the keyboard the total weight is a still reasonable 2.4 lbs. The ThinkPad X1 tablet can also be specified with LTE-A, which makes it the first Windows tablet to offer LTE-A support.

The real excitement with the X1 Tablet, however, stems from the modular options. The tablet can be expanded and adapted for use in several different use cases.

modular thinkpad

The first is the Productivity Module, which adds another 5 hours battery life, a full size HDMI port, docking, and full size USB 3.0. It’s a neat way to increase the battery life and connectivity of the tablet, and the module just clips onto the bottom of the tablet.

The second module is the Presenter Module, which houses a pico projector and HDMI port. When used with the included kickstand of the X1 Tablet, you can use the display for control and the projector for a presentation.

The third module is the 3D Imaging Module, which features an Intel RealSense 3D camera. This can be used to scan and capture objects into software, and convert them into 3D models. Of the three modules, this will be massively useful for anyone working in 3D modeling and printing; this is an all-in-one solution for digital capture and processing in a mobile device.

On first impressions, the modular Thinkpad X1 should blaze a new trail in the segment of convertible tablets; Lenovo is offering some clever ways to optionally expand the capabilities of a base device. The tablet goes on sale in February, with prices starting at $899. The Productivity Module will retail for $149, the Presenter Module will retail for $279, and the 3D Imaging Module will go on sale in May for $149.

What do you think? Are you in the market for a modular Thinkpad with a 3D scanner?