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A clear laptop computer? You will need one after you take a look at Lenovo’s newest idea

A transparent laptop wasn’t on our bingo card for 2024, but here we are. Lenovo isn’t necessarily known for its wacky concepts. Instead, the company behind the iconic ThinkPad usually treads a more predictable path.

But at MWC 2024, the company decided to think differently and, so alongside a slew of ThinkPad updates (including the excellent ThinkPad X12 Detachable Gen 2) it gave us a transparent laptop. Sounds bizarre doesn’t it? But it’s actually rather compelling.

What’s the advantage of it we hear you ask. Interestingly, Lenovo suggested the main focus for such a device would be for artists or designers, who could augment real-world objects and locations with new on-screen items.

Lenovo also suggests that the device could use AI to enable you to interact with physical objects in the real world overlaid with digital information; for a product demo, for example.

Early days for an interesting idea

It’s definitely early days for the Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept as it’s known officially (we also heard that it has been known as the far more exciting Project Crystal).

The prototypes we saw didn’t have any haptic feedback on the flat keyboard (which is apparently coming) and there was basically no functionality at present.

The display in the demo was impressively large – a 17.3-inch Micro-LED screen that doesn’t have any kind of border – though we can’t quite imagine lugging something so large around with us these days. Still, it would make sense for meetings, for example, where laptops can feel like quite a barrier between (in person) attendees.

The keyboard slab is also transparent, with a ‘footpad’ (feet) that make the whole thing look like it’s floating. Lenovo envisages that you can stop using the keyboard and use it as a drawing board with a compatible styus,

The Lenovo ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept is a very interesting concept indeed. While we can’t see it coming to market in its current form, there’s no reason why some of the tech on show here wouldn’t appear inside future devices and the hybrid keyboard and drawing pad certainly feels like something we could get on board with.

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