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Lenovo Patents Hybrid Laptop With Tri-Fold Display

Lenovo Tri Fold Laptop WIPO
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Chinese technology company Lenovo was recently awarded a new design patent describing a hybrid laptop with a tri-fold display and several variations of the thereof, as revealed by a set of documentation published by the World Intellectual Property Organization in mid-April. The firm initially filed for the patent in late 2016, having envisioned a laptop featuring a “flexible display with multiple viewing regions.” The panel in question is of the OLED variety and can be folded both inwards and outwards, effectively allowing users to triple the amount of screen real estate on offer compared to what traditional portable computers can deliver.

The flexible nature of the folding mechanism allows the gadget to be folded in a way that has its screens facing both sides, with the Chinese original equipment manufacturer saying such a mode would be useful for presentations or local multiplayer games. The patent filing doesn’t explicitly state that the display panels of the theoretical design are touch-sensitive, though such a functionality is implied, especially given how some possible setups don’t hide the keyboard of the hybrid device behind one of its screens. Both sides of the Lenovo-made device are meant to be equipped with a camera and at least one microphone, the patent reveals. The Hong Kong-based OEM’s filing mentions smartphones as another possible use case of a similar tri-fold design, in addition to saying the same of tablets.

The basic engineering principles applied to the newly protected property can allow both for dual- and triple-screen laptops, according to the WIPO-published documents. Some of Lenovo’s previous efforts already hinted at the company experimenting with foldable electronics, with OPPO and Huawei being two other Chinese tech giants who are presently doing the same. Razer already made a prototype of a triple-display laptop, having debuted it at last year’s CES, albeit its design makes significant trade-offs in terms of user convenience and was never commercialized. Huawei and Samsung are both expected to release their first foldable smartphones within the next twelve months.

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