As is often the case, Lenovo seems determined to take home the trophy for weirdest laptop of CES this year.

The company has a long track record of using its ThinkBook Plus line of laptops to try out things like putting an E ink display on the lid of a laptop or a second screen in the keyboard section. But the new Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid has only a single screen. It’s just that this time it’s shared between two separate mobile devices that are meant to work together. Basically it’s an Android tablet that becomes a Windows laptop when docked to a keyboard base… or maybe it’s a Windows laptop that becomes an Android tablet when you detach the screen.

As expected, here’s the basic idea: the ThinkBook Plus Hybrid has two sets of hardware:

  • There’s an Intel processor, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 75 Wh battery in the base.
  • There’s also a Qualcomm processor, up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage and a 38 Wh battery in the display/tablet section.

This allows you to use the tablet as a standalone device with support for pen and touch input. Or you can dock the tablet to the keyboard section to turn it into a laptop screen.

On the one hand it seems kind of wacky and wasteful to include two complete sets of hardware and two independent operating systems. On the other… it kind of makes sense, because Android is really a much more robust tablet operating system than Windows, with support for millions of mobile-friendly applications.

But to really pull this off, Lenovo has to make the case that these two devices can work together as one. So the company notes that you can use the Hybrid Station keyboard and touchpad either in Windows or Android modes. Want the longer battery life that generally comes with Android hardware? Then you can run Android apps in a laptop-style system.

Or if you want to access your Android apps while using Windows, you can use Lenovo’s “Hybrid Stream” app to stream your tablet apps to Windows in a picture-in-picture window.

That said… I can’t help but think that it would be cheaper and easier to just buy two separate devices, because the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid is expected to sell for $2000 and up when it hits the streets in the second quarter of 2024. And for that price you could probably get a pretty decent laptop and a decent Android tablet + keyboard cover and still have some money left over.

Hybrid StationHybrid Tab
DisplayNone14 inches
2.8K
OLED
Touch and pen input
100% DCI-P3 color gamut
KeyboardQWERTY keyboard with touchpadNone
ProcessorIntel Core Ultra 7
Intel Arc GPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
Qualcomm Adreno GPU
OSWindows 11Android 13
RAM32GB LPDDR5x12GB LPDDR5x
Storage1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD256GB UFS 3.1
Ports2 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x USB-C
WirelessWiFi 6E
BT 5.2
WiFi 6E
BT 5.3
CameraNone13MP + 5MP (rear)
FHD + IR (front)
Audio2 x 2W Harman Kardon speakers4 x 1W speakers
Battery75 Wh
100W power adapter
38 Wh
SecurityFingerprint readerIR camera
Dimensions314 x 235 x 9mm314 x 224 x 7mm
Weight970 grams785 grams

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  1. It’s like, they think this is worth trying, but not making a laptop with a full size hdmi port, more than 2 usb ports accessible WHILE the charger is plugged in, garaged stylus, physical mouse buttons, not eating space on the keyboard with fingerprint readers.

  2. If you consider how much Lenovo charges/charged for it’s extreme tablet, the price seems reasonable.

    What could really make this worthwhile is if they keep it up and keep the same connector and allow you in the future to just upgrade the tablet section or the hybrid station. If course, this is only if you’re not a multi screen user (I personally often use my tablet at the same time as my PC while at home, but since I do it at home I could have the station connected to a monitor and use the tablet by itself I guess)