While the majority of laptops still use the 16:9 aspect ratio, we’ve seen many companies increasingly embrace taller aspect ratios over the last couple years. Lenovo, while also playing around with the likes of 16:10 laptop screens in other upcoming machines, is taking a wider approach. At CES this week, it announced a laptop with an ultrawide display. Oh, and it has a second screen next to the keyboard, too.
Lenovo says the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is the first machine to use a 17.3-inch 21:10 screen. We’ve seen ultrawide laptops before, but laptops with a screen that’s wider than 16:9 are incredibly rare today.
Toshiba tried to make it a thing in 2012. The company’s 21:9 Toshiba U845W laptop promised a superior experience for watching movies (at least ones made in the same aspect ratio) and multitasking. More recently, Acer’s 2017 Predator 21 X used the 21:9 aspect ratio and a unique curve to claim supreme gaming immersion (again, with supported titles).
The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3’s ultrawide screen is a pretty beefy IPS. It has 3072 x 1440 resolution, a speedy 120 Hz refresh rate, up to 400 nits of brightness, and a steep 100 percent DCI-P3 color claim.
Lenovo is targeting the third iteration of its ThinkBook Plus at small and medium-sized businesses and the task juggling that comes with them. While taller screens are great for reading long documents and spreadsheets, a wider screen grants you space to tack more windows up side-by-side. And Lenovo pointed out that Windows 11 makes this generally easier than it used to be.
The ultrawide screen also results in an ultrawide machine overall (it’s 16.14 inches long). This allowed Lenovo to fit a secondary screen on the laptop’s deck for even more multitasking.
The 8-inch touchscreen is similar to Asus’ ScreenPad tech that turns some of its laptops’ touchpad into a touchscreen. Lenovo highlighted a mix of uses for its 800 x 1280 LCD, from a calculator, notepad, and calendar to displaying a live feed, such as a stock tracker. The small screen could display a gallery of thumbnails while you work in PhotoShop, or you can write on it with the pen garaged in the back of the deck.
A very long document could start on the upcoming clamshell’s primary display and flow onto the secondary one. You could also use the 8-inch screen to store oft-used app launchers. Additionally, Lenovo pointed to the screen as a way to mirror your smartphone. Again, this targets SMBs with a lot on their hands.
Specs-wise, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 has a 12th Gen Intel Core I-series CPU, 32GB of dual-channel LPDDR5 RAM, and 2TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. Lenovo gave it two USB-C ports, including one Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and an audio jack.
Lenovo said the dual-screen PC will be $1,399 when it comes out in May.
Listing image by Lenovo