This laptop is eye-candy for early adopters

Lenovo transparent laptop
Pictured: Lenovo's transparent laptop
// A different sort of eye-catching laptop
Fergus Halliday
Feb 27, 2024
Icon Time To Read2 min read

Lenovo is the latest tech brand to jump on the transparent tech bandwagon, showing off a unique concept laptop with a see-through screen and holographic keyboard.

On display at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the prototype PC features a 17.3-inch Micro LED screen with up to 55% transparency.

In addition to the futuristic display, the laptop also features a flat virtual keyboard akin to the one found in Lenovo's existing Yoga laptop line. Beyond just looking cool, the underlying utility here is tied to the idea that this sleek pane of glass can double as a drawing surface for digital artists as needed.

Of course, the transparent Micro LED display is undoubtedly the headline act. Since this display technology allows for per-pixel control, the opacity of the screen can be turned up and down at will.

Turn down the brightness on darker pixels and it almost looks like your usual gaggle of applications and windows are floating in the air. Crank the brightness up towards the peak luminescence of 1000 nits instead and you'll get a more traditional laptop experience.

Like many proof-of-concept products, this magic trick has more than a few obvious compromises. The 720p resolution is one. The potential privacy and security implications are another. If anyone on the other side of your screen can see what you've got open in your web browser, the reality of how you might want to use this laptop probably starts to look different to a more ordinary one.

Even if you can get over those things though, the actual benefits of a transparent screen are a little hazy. Lenovo is betting that a mix of AI and augmented reality will help provide an answer.

According to the company, this form factor's real promise and potential lies in "the intelligent application of the virtual and the real."

"Through the power of Artificial Intelligence Generated Content (AIGC), the transparent screen opens up new avenues of work collaboration and efficiency by enabling the interaction with physical objects and overlaying digital information to create unique user-generated content."

To translate: Laptops with this kind of transparent screen could allow for augmented reality use cases akin to the vision of spatial computing that Apple is trying to sell with the Vision Pro headset.

According to Lenovo's senior vice president for SMB Eric Yu, innovations like this prototype are a key part of the company's vision for the future.

"With our latest hardware and software solutions including a futuristic transparent display laptop concept unveiled at MWC, we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” he said.

At this stage though, Lenovo is just showing off this futuristic PC as a proof-of-concept.

Don't expect to see it in a JB Hi-Fi anytime soon. That said, given how quickly the company moved to add foldable and dual-screen devices to its roster of PCs and how frequently transparent screens are cropping up at events like MWC and CES, the idea of someone like Lenovo bringing the technology to mainstream consumers starts to feel less like a matter of if than when.

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Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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