Lenovo Project Crystal: World first microLED transparent display laptop.

Unfortunately, it’s only a prototype, so it’s not going to be available for purchase in the near future.

project crystal lenovo
Credit: Lenovo

Lenovo Project Crystal is a device that looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie. It claims to be the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display, bringing futuristic technology to reality.

Project Crystal is not intended to be a commercial product. It is a concept device that Lenovo’s ThinkPad division created to test the possibilities of transparent microLED screens and AI integration. A clear benefit would be sharing information in places like a doctor’s office or a hotel desk. You wouldn’t have to turn the screen around, you could just switch the display by software, letting the person on the other side see it while you explain it in detail.

Credit: Engadget

Lenovo says that Project Crystal, the world’s first laptop with a transparent microLED display, could have potential AR applications with the camera on the back of the device. For instance, the camera could recognize an object, like Google Lens does. And with its transparent screen, it could also show a diagram or schematic on the object for tasks like fixing or troubleshooting.

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Credit: TechRadar

The most amazing thing about Project Crystal is that Lenovo made it at all. Nowadays, even regular microLED displays are very costly and only used for advanced gadgets like Samsung’s The Wall or Apple’s Vision Pro. And, transparent ones have only been shown as concepts like the transparent microLED TV that Samsung displayed a few months ago at CES 2024.

Lenovo Project Crystal

When you see it in person, the transparency effect is astonishing. When it’s closed or when its screen is off, Project Crystal’s display looks like a normal piece of glass with a slight brownish tint. But in an instant, the whole thing glows like a warship. The brightness can reach up to 1,000 nits, and Lenovo says it can go as high as 3,000 nits, which would make it brighter than the new Galaxy S24 series.

ThinkBook Transparent POC 2
Credit: TechValley

And even though it has multiple layers, the panel is very thin, which makes it hard to tell the difference between the digital and analog worlds. Lenovo says it might also add some kind of contrast layer, so it can change into a regular opaque screen with a button. However, for a relatively big 16-inch screen, its resolution is not very high, so you can see individual pixels if you look closely. Another design change is that instead of a usual keyboard, Project Crystal has one of Lenovo’s touch-based alternatives similar to those on older Yoga Book.

The laptop is still far from finished. It only had two ports on the whole system, which is not enough for a notebook this big. Project Crystal also used an outdated CPU, and its hinge was so flimsy that its screen almost closed when it was not upright. And strangely, the laptop had a static charge, and it sometimes gave people a shock when they touched its screen.

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Credit: DroidSans

Project Crystal is looking for a problem to solve. A problem that only exists in rare situations and may need more serious attention later. But more importantly, it’s making us imagine what new display technology can do and how it can fit into a future laptop.

Lenovo claims that the microLED screen resolution of its transparent laptop could reach 2-to-3K without compromising clarity.

Source : Lenovo

However, not everyone would appreciate having their work visible to others at all times. That’s why Lenovo is developing a feature that lets users adjust the opacity of the back layer.

Lenovo Project Crystal is, for the time being, a highly impractical device. It’s bulky, the glass screen is shaky and it seems fragile. It would probably cost a fortune if it ever hit the market.

But I was mesmerized by it.”

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