Lenovo Showcases Concept Laptop With Rollable Display

Lenovo innovations
(Image credit: Lenovo)

It seems that every device needs a flexible screen these days At Lenovo Tech World 22, a number of rollable screen technology devices were showcased at the virtual event (opens in new tab). As well as the predictable rollable screen smartphones, which have become pretty familiar at tech shows, we were intrigued to see this screen-expanding technology applied to a laptop. An unnamed ThinkPad laptop with vertically extending screen was highlighted by President of Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group, Luca Rossi, in the video embedded below.

No tech specs, nor even a name, were shared for Lenovo's concept rollable laptop, but Rossi said that the possibilities presented by a rollable laptop are “compelling.” He asserted that the new type of clamshell laptop will “bring multitasking, browsing, and mobility applications to another level.”

(Image credit: Lenovo)

If you are keen for some tech specs for the Lenovo ThinkPad with rollable screen, we notice that the fully unfurled demo device looks uncannily like the ThinkPad X1 Fold 2022, revealed at the start of September. Sure, the screen extends using a completely different mechanism, but the end result looks almost identical – fully opened vs fully extended. The second generation ThinkPad X1 fold provided a vertically tall display with a 16.3-inch diagonal at 2024 x 2460 pixels tall. Despite this sizably display, the folded laptop was similar in footprint to a 12-inch device.

At this early stage we can’t say the rollable ThinkPad from Tech World 22 will have the same screen specs / dimensions. Moreover, lots of other things could change before this becomes a shipping consumer product – if it gets to that stage. 

Lenovo innovations

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo Yoga Paper

We caught a glimpse of another interesting Lenovo product in the pipeline yesterday, when Lenovo's consumer marketing director posted some images of the ‘Lenovo Yoga Paper’ on his Weibo social media page, via CN Beta. The images show a working device with e-Ink display and graspable edge with stylus garage. It is another device where we don’t have (m)any specs to ponder over, for now.

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.

  • InvalidError
    I think rollable displays have a much brighter future than foldable ones: rolls provide a far more easily controllable and softer bend radius that shouldn't cause creases to appear at the fold from repeat fold-unfold cycles. Dirt getting in the roll also shouldn't cause as much damage as dirt caught in a fold and its hinge mechanism.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    Seeing it unroll upwards is so weird, but cool to see, haha.

    I definitely like the concept and I hope this gets some traction in mainstream laptops first, since I'd imagine these panels will come with big trade-offs for content creators and gamers.

    Also, some side-ways expansion may be good as well? XD

    Regards.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    InvalidError said:
    I think rollable displays have a much brighter future than foldable ones: rolls provide a far more easily controllable and softer bend radius that shouldn't cause creases to appear at the fold from repeat fold-unfold cycles. Dirt getting in the roll also shouldn't cause as much damage as dirt caught in a fold and its hinge mechanism.
    There will be no crease, but you will need some sort of durable sliding mechanism to help extend the screen beyond the chassis and keep the thin panel straight. So I am pretty sure the panel technology will introduce other challenges/ limitations.
    Reply
  • Lucky_SLS
    -Fran- said:
    Seeing it unroll upwards is so weird, but cool to see, haha.

    I definitely like the concept and I hope this gets some traction in mainstream laptops first, since I'd imagine these panels will come with big trade-offs for content creators and gamers.

    Also, some side-ways expansion may be good as well? XD

    Regards.

    Upwards rolling for reddit fans and sidewise rolling for gamers and content creators...
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    watzupken said:
    There will be no crease, but you will need some sort of durable sliding mechanism to help extend the screen beyond the chassis and keep the thin panel straight. So I am pretty sure the panel technology will introduce other challenges/ limitations.
    I think the "durable sliding mechanism" problem got sorted 40+ years ago by kitchen cabinetry: practically the same technology as low-friction drawer sliders. Fundamentally the same technology used in sliding-keyboard feature-phones and smart-phones from 5-15 years ago. Grit getting in the fold mechanism can end up directly in contact with the screen and ruin it, grit getting in the roll and slide mechanisms in a rollable display isn't anywhere near the screen itself and there is no mechanism putting pressure on the screen during the roll/unroll process which could make grit on the screen puncture it either.
    Reply