October 28, 2018 weblog
Samsung is working on laptop with foldable display
Laptops with folding screens? Never say never when the visionaries at Samsung get excited far beyond words, such as "Signing off, see you in the morning."
The article carried a photo of laptop "Flash," said to feature fast Internet speed and "retro-style keyboard." The laptops were showcased at an event at Pier59 Studios in Seoul earlier this month. That is where the company official spoke about foldable display intentions.
In laptops? We seem to be bombarded with next-gen news over phones, not laptops. "Your next work computer could be your phone," said Quartz back in March. No problem with that observation, as feature-rich phones continue to impress, but now it seems that innovative form factors could bolster interest in laptops, too.
The Korean Herald: "Samsung Electronics is working on development of new form factors of laptops, including one with foldable display, as part of its efforts to innovate personal computer products in line with the changing market for mobile devices, a company official said."
Pocketnow and other sites noted that Samsung is working with panel makers on developing large AMOLED displays for laptops.
AMOLED stands for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED). In a report from IHS Markit, analyst Jerry Kang said in June that "most flexible AMOLED panel suppliers are planning to put foldable AMOLED into mass production in a few years."
While the news is certainly exciting, there are scant details to go by. When will we see it? Why should we care? Will it be a gee-whiz gimmick or be positioned as offering something practical in how laptops can be used?
Samsung "hasn't named the outfits it is working with and there is no expected date for a prototype or retail device," said Nick Farrell in Fudzilla. "There's no way to even guess when a foldable Samsung laptop might see the light of day," said ValueWalk.
Nonetheless, several tech watching sites explored use possibilities. KitGuru: "Perhaps these foldable displays could be used to pack more than one screen in a laptop, delivering an all-in-one portable multi-screen setup. Either way, after hearing about this technology for years, it will be great to finally see it hit the market."
Tom Warren in The Verge had 2-in-1 ideas: "Foldable displays in laptops could transform the market for 2-in-1 devices," he said. "Existing convertible laptops attempt to flip and twist into tablet and media modes, but a foldable display would certainly help create new designs."
Digit shared its views about foldable displays: "Foldable displays are a technology that has held the fancy of many consumers and given that most OEMs have basically hit a brick wall when it comes to innovation, foldable displays could be the next big trend. Whether it will actually be of benefit and become mainstream is something that remains to be seen."
Other comments indicated a conviction that a foldable display screen could be more than just a great conversation piece at a cafe. "Portability would obviously be a major selling point," said Cohen Coberly in TechSpot, "and while laptops probably won't be pocket-sized for a while, folding screens could certainly make them easier to store in smaller bags and suitcases."
Actually, it was a reader comment in TechSpot that painted a fetching picture, that "in a laptop, you could have a 13" laptop.... with a screen that folds out to 27".... almost like being able to take a huge monitor with you wherever you go... Add a detachable mouse, and you have a pretty sweet portable gaming system."
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