Lenovo's See-Through Laptop Blends Real and Virtual Worlds

It's only a concept right now, but the laptop's 17-inch see-through display and unique keyboard could open new ways of interacting with data and apps, Lenovo says.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Artificial intelligence has already changed how we work, so it makes sense that AI will also change the devices we work with. For example, the Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop rethinks the traditional clamshell into a more collaborative-friendly device for working in a world of AI-generated content. 

Watch this: This Concept Laptop from Lenovo Has a Transparent Display

The proof of concept laptop appeared at MWC 2024 and features a 17.3-inch micro-LED transparent display that allows you to see right through to whatever's on the other side of the screen. The design allows the overlay of virtual creations onto the real world, essentially becoming a see-through whiteboard. The effect would be similar to how Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset can drop virtual objects into your actual surroundings. (The transparency would also stop anyone from surprising you by popping up from behind the screen... if that's a thing that happens.)


Instead of a physical keyboard, there's another glass panel used for typing or drawing.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Micro-LED displays in general deliver amazing color and contrast, and brightness that rivals OLED displays; the ThinkBook's display was blindingly bright, capable of 1,000-nit brightness. If there were concerns about being able to use this in any environment, indoors or outside, the display's transparency shouldn't be an issue. Privacy also seems like it might be an issue, but in the future transmittance will be adjustable to provide more privacy or more transparency to interact with real-world objects, Lenovo said in its announcement.

Lenovo's Transparent Laptop Concept Has a Striking See-Through Look

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Another key element to the design is the keyboard, or lack thereof. Instead of physical keys, the concept laptop has a touchscreen keyboard. More importantly, the digital keyboard can be switched into a drawing board to be used with a supported pen. 

We were wowed at CES this year by LG's transparent OLED TV and Samsung's micro-LED transparent displays, and it's exciting to see this technology move beyond giant commercial displays or uber-expensive TVs. Obviously, a design like this isn't for everyone, but it could be the future for creatives who want to see, and want others to see, their digital creations come to life in the real world in real time. 

Read more: Here's the Latest Tech From MWC 2024 You Can Buy Today