Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus line of laptops have been around for a few years, offering an interesting, if niche look at what’s possible in the world of dual-screen notebooks.

Up until now that’s meant slapping a stylus-friendly E Ink display on the lid. But a new image leaked by Evan Blass shows something a very different kind of dual-screen notebook.

According to Blass, Lenovo is working on a ThinkBook Plus notebook with a 17 inch primary display and a smaller secondary display built into the base of the notebook, to the right of a full-sized keyboard.

There are no details about specs, pricing, release date, or even if Lenovo actually plans to launch this notebook or if it’s just a concept device at this stage. But given that Lenovo has released some oddly specific niche devices over the years, there’s no reason to think that the company wouldn’t release this 17 inch dual-screen notebook to see if it finds an audience.

The image appears to show an ultra-widescreen primary display that kind of reminds me of the Toshiba Satellite U845, and a keyboard and trackpad similar to what you’d typically find on a notebook with a 14 or 15 inch display, except positioned a little left of center to make room for a second screen on the right side of the base, which is positioned in portrait orientation.

That second screen appear to be a full-color display with support for digital pen input, which would allow artists or graphic designers to work on the lower display without obscuring the larger primary display with a pen. It could also come in handy for folks who prefer taking handwritten notes rather than using a keyboard or who want to be able to quickly and easily annotate text by writing in the margins or highlighting contents of PDF files or other documents. But primarily this seems like a notebook designed for artists and graphic design professionals.

Unlike the first and second-gen ThinkBook Plus laptops, it doesn’t appear that the 17 inch model is designed for use in tablet mode, unless there’s a third screen hidden on the back of the lid, which we cannot see from the single image posted by Evan Blass over the weekend.

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8 replies on “Lenovo’s next ThinkBook Plus could be a 17 inch notebook with an embedded graphics tablet”

  1. So a big “screw you” to left handed artists, of whom there are many.

    1. While I recognize your comment as being valid, I wonder what a solution that fit both groups of people would have looked like. Now if they offered two versions, one “righty” and one “lefty” it’d be ideal

      1. Suddenly I’m somehow reminded of the original Macintosh Portable, where the trackball could be removed, the keyboard could be moved to the right, and the trackball reinstalled on the left side. (Or you could replace the trackball with a numpad, although on a Mac that meant that you had to have an external mouse.)

      2. The most ambidextrous method I can think of is just having the touch pad be a stylus-compatible graphics tablet. Doesn’t even need to be a screen.

  2. I’ve heard that using a laptop with a 360 degree hinge, or a graphics tablet with a screen, and just drawing on the main screen is somewhat unergonomic, to the point that using a graphics tablet with no screen becomes preferable once you’ve gotten used to it.
    Now, I’ve seen a lot of laptops with weird ways of drawing on them using touchpads, second screens, or easel hinges lately. It makes me wonder just how bad it is, if spending the extra money on these things is preferable to using laptop with a 360 degree hinge, in all the ways you can think of. Of course, a second screen like this isn’t really going to solve the posture problem like having the touchpad support a stylus would.
    Personally I kinda wish all laptops had 360 degree hinges, so they could open flat without breaking and take up less space on a desk in tent mode if you want a desktop replacement. Even those without touchscreens.

    1. Yeah, 360º laptops are more convenient. Though I think it might be harder with high-performance ones (a gaming rig for example, if laid flat, the screen would block the exhaust fans (or at least a large portion) and limit performance.

      As for 360º devices and drawing. Yeah, many of them are too thick, heavy, and bulky. If it’s too thick then it’s hard to draw on a table/desk because your arm is not on the same level. If it’s too heavy/bulky it’s not comfortable for holding like a legal pad and drawing. Even this thinkbook would only really be comfortable if the bottom part of the laptop is really thin. If the lip of the laptop kept on bumping into my forearm I personally definitely wouldn’t consider buying it.

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