Do you remember the Moto Mods? Sure, they date back to 2016, so I won’t fault you for forgetting about them, but the company announced a series of modular accessories like a battery pack, speakers, and a Hasselblad camera that could basically snap onto the back of the Moto Z phone. Magnets would hold the accessories in place, and connector pins would allow the accessories to interface with the phone. While the logistics of that idea never really worked out (Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem is limited to charging too), the idea seemed rather impressive, and Lenovo (who owned Motorola back in the day) is implementing it with their latest ThinkBook 16p.
The ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 is a commendable 16-inch laptop with the latest 13th gen Intel Core H-series processors and optional discrete graphics up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX. The laptop sports a 165hz 3.2K 16-inch panel with Dolby Vision® support, and has DDR5 memory and dual-SSD storage providing up to 1TB of storage space. It’s an impressive laptop, no less… but there’s one detail that really adds the cherry on this clamshell cake. The outward-facing notch on the top of the display, with various connector pins. This notch acts as the docking spot for Lenovo’s new line of Magic Bay accessories, which completely transform the laptop by adding modular features to it.
The most notable of Lenovo’s Magic Bay accessories is the 4K webcam that simply snaps onto the top of your laptop, giving you a bigger, better camera that’s designed for content creators and streamers. The ThinkBook 16p already has an FHD IR (or optional RGB) webcam built in, but snapping a 4K camera absolutely transforms your setup while eliminating any tabletop clutter like tripods, wires, etc. The webcam sits on a 270° adjustable hinge, allowing you to change its angle to face you, upwards, downwards (at your keyboard), or even in the opposite direction (if you’re producing while shooting another subject). An electronic privacy shutter lets you turn the camera off when not in use, or you can just pull it off the laptop when you don’t need it.
Although created as a separate accessory (instead of being bundled with the 4K camera, the Magic Bay Light is an independent module that snaps to the ThinkBook 16p, giving your laptop’s own webcam an additional light source. “Poor lighting is often the cause of user frustration, either too dark or too light, and ambient light frequently creates unwanted or unflattering shadows. Lenovo Magic Bay Light can deliver up to 200-lux of adjustable brightness with minimal power consumption”, says the company.
The final Magic Bay accessory may just be the dark horse. Dubbed the Magic Bay LTE, this module gives your laptop mobile connectivity in remote locations where the internet is unreliable and cafes with sketchy WiFi hotspots. The Magic Bay LTE offers 4G LTE speeds thanks to the SIM card slot in it that lets you easily access mobile networks no matter where you are. An LED indicator on the top lets you know your connection status, and the gadget also comes with a USB-C port that lets you hook it to other devices that don’t have the same docking system as the ThinkBook 16p.
The Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 will start at $1349 and is expected to be available starting May 2023. Magic Bay accessories will be available exclusively with the ThinkBook 16p Gen 4.