During last week’s Lenovo Tech World event the Chinese tech giant showcased a flexible tablet prototype which has the ability to transform into a smartphone form factor. The device is actually a functional version of the Lenovo Folio concept initially shown at last year’s Tech World, and while the product is not yet ready for market release, it does stand as proof that Lenovo is making noteworthy progress in the development of flexible mobile devices.
The Lenovo Folio prototype was captured on camera at the company’s Tech World event and the video demonstrating the foldable unit was published on YouTube earlier this week. It shows a tablet-like device featuring a 7.8-inch flexible display, which can be folded in half right at the middle in order to form a 5.5-inch dual-screen smartphone. The panel has a resolution of 1920 x 1440, and the device is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip (SoC). The chipset in question was launched in 2013 and sports four Krait 400 CPU cores clocked at up to 2.36GHz, along with an Adreno 330 graphics chip. It’s an outdated high-end SoC by today’s top-tier market standards, but once again this is a prototype device and the current hardware specifications are not necessarily an accurate reflection of the device’s capabilities at launch, assuming that it will ever hit the market. This is not a product refined for the consumer market, but rather a tech demonstration designed to put Lenovo on the map as a manufacturer aiming to develop the mobile devices of the future.
As to whether flexible devices will indeed be the way of future of the mobile world, evidently, only time will tell if this will be the case, however, it’s worth mentioning that Lenovo is not the first or only device manufacturer to explore the concept of a flexible device. Samsung is one of the world’s leading flexible display manufacturers, and the company has been experimenting with a wide variety of concepts for flexible devices, some of which have already secured a patent. Either way, creating a viable flexible device is quite a technical challenge, especially given that today’s mobile phones and tablets tend to be considerably smaller and thinner than prototype devices like the Lenovo Folio. Nevertheless, and as demonstrated in the video below, the Chinese company seems to have advanced the project to a whole new level compared to where it stood a year ago, so perhaps the next couple of years will present enough advancements in this area for a consumer-grade product to be ready for the market.