Sharing a smallish tablet screen isn't always easy when the audience grows past a couple of viewers. Even plugging into an external monitor or big-screen TV requires a lot of extra equipment, plus cables, power outlets and sometimes external speakers. Lenovo has a new solution for tablet sharing, pairing a clip-on projector attachment for its new ThinkPad X1 Tablet.
A handful of Lenovo's Yoga tablets, most running Android, have had tiny projectors built into those systems' rounded hinges for a couple of years, but as part of the professional-grade ThinkPad line, the X1 Tablet aims to be more universally practical. To that end, the projector is only one of several optional clip-on accessories that attach to the bottom edge of the tablet.
There's a Productivity Module ($149, converting roughly £100 in the UK and AU$205 in Australia), with up to five hours of extra battery life, plus some additional ports; the Presenter Module ($279, roughly £190 and AU$380), which Lenovo says can project a 60-inch image from two meters away; and a 3D Imaging Module (also $149, roughly £100 or AU$205), with an Intel RealSense 3D camera for capturing real-world objects to use in 3D graphic design apps.
Of course, the ThinkPad X1 also works on its own as a high-end Windows 10 tablet. It has a 12-inch 2,160x1,440 IPS display (which means the image doesn't wash out when viewed from side angles), Intel's current-gen Core M processors, a new USB-C port and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It also supports WiGig for wireless docking, and optional mobile LTE broadband. The ThinkPad X1 is 1.75 pounds by itself, and 2.4 pounds if you add a clip-on keyboard, which includes the classic ThinkPad red trackpoint (as well as a touchpad).
For a more traditional X1 experience, Lenovo is also bringing an update to the Thinkpad Carbon X1, the original product in the high-end X1 line. The 2016 version of the X1 Carbon is a 14-inch clamshell that's now lighter and thinner, at 2.6 pounds and 16.5mm. The 1080p screen can be upgraded to 2,560x1,440, and it can run up to a current-gen Intel Core i7 CPU. Like the tablet version, WiGig and LTE are supported, and the solid-looking Carbon X1 has been MilSpec tested for ruggedness.
The highly flexible ThinkPad X1 Tablet is coming in February, starting at $899 in the US (converting roughly to £610 and AU$1,235), but make sure to budget extra for those sold-separately clip-on modules. The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon is also coming in February, starting at $1,299 in the US (roughly £880 or AU$1,785).
See our complete CES 2016 coverage here.