Lenovo Unveils World’s First See-Through Laptop at MWC

As promised, Lenovo took the stage at the MWC 2024 Barcelona event to unveil Project Crystal, which the laptop maker claims is the world’s first laptop with a micro-LED display. It looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.

As you would expect, the Lenovo Project Crystal is only a concept device with no plans on hitting stores, at least for now. The laptop was commissioned by the company’s ThinkPad division, known for its Notebooks.

While there may not be a ton of important use cases for a transparent display, the tech is rather stunning in person.

Project Crystal not only boasts a micro-LED screen but also some AI innovation to enable this see-through display. A practical scenario for this feature would be in settings such as a doctor’s office or a hotel reception desk. Instead of physically turning the screen around, users can simply reverse the display using software, enabling individuals on the opposite side to view information while receiving detailed explanations.

Lenovo suggests that the integration of the rear camera within the system opens doors to potential augmented reality (AR) applications. For instance, it could be used by the camera to recognize objects, akin to the functionality offered by Google Lens.

<p>In-person photos of Lenovo's new concept device -- Project Crystal -- which the company claims is the world's first laptop with a transparent micro LED display.</p>

Moreover, leveraging the system’s transparent display offers an opportunity to advance this concept further. This advancement could involve overlaying diagrams or schematics onto objects and facilitating tasks such as troubleshooting or repair.

Even though the transparent screen is made up of multiple layers, the panel is quite thin and looks like an ordinary piece of glass when it’s off. But with a press of a button, it can light up and reach peak brightness of a mind-boggling 3000 nits. Lenovo is considering adding a contrast layer, so the screen can turn opaque like an ordinary laptop. The resolution, however, is not very high on the screen.

<p>In-person photos of Lenovo's new concept device -- Project Crystal -- which the company claims is the world's first laptop with a transparent micro LED display.</p>

Project Crystal deviates from the conventional keyboard setup and incorporates one of Lenovo’s touch-based replacements, reminiscent of those found on earlier Yoga Books. However, it encounters familiar challenges. A notable drawback is the absence of tactile feedback, resulting in hand drift while typing, thereby reducing accuracy. Lenovo says that it will address this issue using AI, which will learn a user’s typing habits and make the necessary adjustments.

Other than that, there are a few other drawbacks such as the existence of only two ports, an older CPU, a weak hinge, and its tendency to build up static charge and shock people who touch it.

However, none of that really matters since it is only a concept device meant to showcase its innovative display tech, while the rest is just there to present the package as a laptop.

Image Credit: Engadget 

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