If we recall, Lenovo has been playing with the idea of bendable devices for the past few years now. In 2016, Lenovo released a prototype of a bendable mobile that could wrap around your wrist. The device however, never evolved past a concept and Lenovo never released a proper functional bendable mobile. Sometime later in 2017, Lenovo unveiled a concept of a bendable Folio tablet that can be transformed into a smartphone and can be switched into different modes just by a few movements of the hand.
Since then we have seen double display panels in a foldable architecture but never a single screened bendable display. The reason is that it’s not quite simple. For a device to be bendable, it should have a flexible battery and a motherboard too.
With rumors floating about Samsung working on a bendable display, Lenovo decided to jump at it again. Turns out that Lenovo and LG might be collaborating to introduce a foldable 13-inch tablet.
“We know that LG Display has developed a 13-inch foldable panel and signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Lenovo,”
An industry official said. “The official development project has started and we plan to supply it in the second half of next year.”
How does it work?
The concept will kind of work around the idea of a ‘convertible’ device. The 13-inch can be bent into different form factors. It is unclear at this point if this device is going to be Windows based or Android based. It obviously makes sense for LG to work on the display and Lenovo on the device hardware.
Although Lenovo has a strong track record with Windows based devices, the 7.8-inch Folio was an Android tablet. It had a hinge in its middle that allows the entire thing to fold into a 5.5-inch, dual screen smartphone style device.
The panel is organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) based and features a flexible screen. the 13 inch screen size is certainly bigger than the other foldable panels prepared by competitors. The foldable prototype that Samsung is working on is reportedly of 7.3 inches. Moreover, Huawei is working with BOE in China to develop an 8-inch foldable device.
Considering that the 13-inch panel large enough to be used as a laptop, so even when folded it won’t be handy to be used as a smartphone. A 13-inch panel with a 4:3 aspect ratio would be about 9 inches when folded. So at a 16-to-9 aspect ratio, it will become 8 inches wide in a converted state. Due to these facts, we have reason to believe that the LG Display 13-inch Foldable Panel is an attempt to develop a tablet like device that can be folded, not a phone. To be fair, it makes sense for tablets to fall into the flexible category instead of phones. No one would practically want to shrink an already palm-sized device.
“Considering the durability and usability aspects of the display industry, a tablet or notebook can be more suitable for a foldable panel,” said LG Display. He added, “This observation is supported by the fact that PC makers, not smartphones, are trying to supply panels. Lenovo is the world’s largest PC manufacturer. LG Display is promoting a 13-inch foldable panel to Lenovo as well as Dell and LG Electronics. This is a strategy to pioneer and expand the foldable device and panel market by allowing these PC makers to develop finished products. A representative of LG Display said, “I can not confirm the contents related to the development of the foldable panel and the customers.”
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