We saw (through) the first transparent laptop ― new design could blend your surroundings with Windows 11 apps

a short animated clip showing the digital elements on-screen mixing with real world objects on the ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Popular laptop brand Thinkpad, which is owned and operated by Lenovo, had the concept model on its stand at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 27/02/2024

- 13:09

All-new Lenovo laptop uses AI to identify what objects are visible through the transparent display

  • Lenovo unveiled the world's first laptop with a transparent Micro-LED screen
  • As you peer through the glass, AI can identify the real-world objects around you
  • This lets digital elements on-screen interact with your surroundings
  • The keyboard is also digital and doubles-up for handwritten notes with a stylus
  • There's no price or release date for the model, which serves as a proof of concept

Have you ever wanted to look through the screen on your laptop? Well, that’s what the design team at Lenovo asked themselves when dreaming up with a never-before-seen laptop to unveil at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona this week.

Fitted with the first transparent Micro-LED display on a laptop, the ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept is designed to let you mix real-world objects and applications on-screen. The expansive 17.3-inch screen is borderless, so it’s impossible to spot where the pixels begin.

Unfortunately, Lenovo didn’t allow us to write this article on the see-through ThinkBook, but we did get hands-on with the concept design. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Lenovo’s laptop can let you interact with physical objects screen through the screen in the operating system.

“With its ability to display videos and dynamic images, the transparent screen seamlessly blends and harmonizes with its surroundings,” Lenovo says.

lenovo concept laptop with a transparent screen shown on the mwc tradeshow floor with objects seen through the glass

Lenovo's clever transparent screen lets you see through to real-world objects around you, while the AI can place labels and additional information on your surroundings


In one demo, there was a pot of sunflowers behind the laptop, which were correctly identified by the AI with a label on-screen. Next up, the AI-generated a digital butterfly, which appeared to land on the petals of the sunflowers ...when you look at the display from the correct angle.

This sort of thing could be useful in education ― although we can’t imagine transparent screens come cheap, so this kindof device will probably be out of most schools’ budgets.

The transparent technology extends beyond just the screen too. Lenovo has fitted its concept design with a see-through keyboard too. Digital keys appear on the glass, so you can switch from QWERTY to AZERTY keyboards in-store, rather than shaking up the manufacturing process.

And if you want to ditch the keyboard altogether, the second screen can be used as a drawing board to doodle or sign documents with a supported stylus.

two windows 11 laptops pictured stacked in front of one another and one has a transparent screen

Popular laptop brand Thinkpad is owned and operated by Lenovo. In one official image, it shows the transparent concept running the Windows 11 operating system, although this wasn't available for us to try at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona


Lenovo says its ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop Concept is designed to be a proof of concept that shows a glimpse into the future of its AI-powered PCs.


Like recent efforts around mixed reality, including Apple’s Vision Pro, this unique laptop is trying to make using screens a little less isolating and blend the digital with your surroundings.

Mobile World Congress is the largest mobile technology fair on the planet and sees roughly 90,000 people descend on Barcelona to see the latest announcements and gear. AI is everywhere at the 2024 tradeshow, including the latest phone from Chinese giant Honor that uses its smarts to anticipate your next move before you press a single button ― speeding up everything you do.

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