Lenovo introduces a wireless charging mat for its e-ink sporting laptop

Lenovo keeps rolling out unique takes on familiar categories this year at CES. Last week it was the screen-swiveling all-in-one and some AR glasses, and today (the first official day of the show), the company’s got an interesting update to last year’s dual-display ThinkBook Plus.

Like the original, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i sports an e-ink display on the lid. Lenovo’s been experimenting with the technology for a number of form factors, and this one makes more sense than previous shots — essentially offering up a quick-glance notification center. I suppose you could also use it as an e-reader if you’re so inclined.

Ultimately, like a lot of what Lenovo does, it’s perhaps more interesting than honestly useful. Though, as ever, points for trying something new. This time out the screen is significantly larger, at about the same size as the primary screen. It now measures 12 inches and sports a 2560 x 1600 resolution (also matching the main screen). The refresh rate has been enhanced, and now it’s possible to run some of the apps on the lid without opening it.

The laptop also sports a built-in stylus for use with the touchscreen. Also interesting is the arrival of the new ThinkBook Charging Mat, which uses Energysquare’s Power by Contact to power the battery. The battery itself gets 15 hours on a charge, or 24 if just using the e-ink screen. I suspect charging it up using just the pad is a fairly time-consuming process.

Dell notably introduced its own take on the category back at CES 2017. The technology, of course, hasn’t gained much traction in the intervening years.

ThinkBook Plus Gen 2 i arrives this quarter, starting at $1,549. No word on the pricing for the mat accessory.