Compal Rover Play 2-in-1 PC offers fold-out rear controller grips for gamers - wins an iF Design Award

Compal Rover Play 2-in-1 gaming PC
(Image credit: iF Design Awards, Compal)

An innovative new 2-in-1 laptop PC design features rear panels that can be articulated to form hand grips. Compal, a big PC and devices ODM in Taiwan, is behind this gamer-focused concept that has won an iF Design Award, and was spotted by Liliputing. The idea behind this new design is to appeal to gamers who are unsatisfied with on-screen controls. We often see interesting concepts surfaced by the iF Design Awards, but sadly, not many seem to make it to mainstream shipping products.

We have seen plenty of 2-in-1 PC designs, but not many are marketed at gamers like the Compal Rover Play. We don't get any teasing about the gamer-centric hardware inside, but taking it for granted that the processing is up to par, the device's USP will be the so-called FlexiRear Controller built into the rear panel of the device.

Compal says the user slides open the FlexiRear Controller, transforming the Roval Play into "an ergonomic gaming console." Those sharp contours don't scream ergonomics, but they are admittedly better than a flat slab. Increasing the design's utility value, the rear touch areas of this 2-in-1 are configurable. Ultrasonic sensing technology is used to read your frantic finger fidgeting. The promotional images imply that there are two touch zones per grip. 

Sadly, the FlexiRear Controller isn't shaped so that it could double as anything other than a low-angle stand. Thus Compal has a separate kickstand attachment that can be used on a tabletop, and it looks like this will be necessary for working on this 2-in-1 in laptop productivity tasks, alongside the keyboard cover. Both these accessories will be included, according to the product description.

Compal is probably best known as the ODM for some of the best Dell subbrands like XPS and Alienware, as well as the HP Spectre and Apple laptops. Last year we saw it teasing its Veneno concept laptop, which provided a new angle on cooling.

Don't hold your breath for this precise Rover Play 2-in-1 product to come to market, as we don't see many of these types of concepts make it into the wild. However, Compal will probably be gracious enough to share some of the interesting designs and technologies behind the Rover Play with its valued customers.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.