In 2016, a photo of Mark Zuckerberg caught the Internet’s attention. The photo, which showed the Facebook CEO in the company’s corporate headquarters, seemed ordinary enough save for one detail: his laptop had its webcam covered with tape.
That’s likely because webcams have become prime targets for hackers. Using what’s called a Remote Administration Tool, intruders can sometimes gain access to a laptop owner’s webcam without their knowledge or consent, as demonstrated in a detailed Ars Technica report. Such concerns have spawned a cottage industry of stickers and accessories for concealing laptop cameras.
Lenovo’s new laptops, however, have a built-in safety mechanism that allows users to cover the camera as they please without using tape or any other material or device. The company’s new line of laptops, including the latest model of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga, among other refreshed models, feature a shutter that slides over the camera. Lenovo calls this the ThinkShutter; users can access it by sliding a tiny switch located on the laptop near the camera.
Lenovo has made efforts to add more functionality and safety to its new laptops’ cameras in other ways as well. Both the new X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga include eye-tracking software that can detect whether or not the user is looking at the PC. The idea is to lock the device when its owner isn’t using it to prevent onlookers from eavesdropping, but Lenovo says it can also be used to offer other advantages, such as adjusting content on screen to move with the user’s gaze.
Other perks shared by both new laptops include support for HDR display technology, which makes colors pop more vibrantly and boosts contrast, as well as far-field built-in microphones for using Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana voice-activated assistants.
The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga will be launching this month, with the former starting at $1,709 and the latter beginning at $1,889.