Lenovo demos laptop that converts from 13 to 15 inches with a convertible top

Bulk / The 12.7-inch screen opens from under the keyboard to expand to 15.3 inches.

The Lenovo laptop with a screen that can roll from 12.7 inches to 15.3 inches is just a proof of concept, but it looks pretty serious. The company first teased the OLED-capable laptop online in October but showed it off in person ahead of the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona this week. It is marked by an OLED screen that uses two different sizes and resolutions, it is characterized by a good look and a good experience.

As a proof of concept, Lenovo may never release a curved screen PC like this. However, the company told Windows Central that it prefers to develop “ideas that we hope to sell.” Additionally, Lenovo is no stranger to releasing laptops with alternative screen designs. The 2020 ThinkPad X1 Fold is the first to test a foldable PC and will be succeeded by the 16-inch ThinkPad X1 Fold this year. This year should also see the release of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, which combines two 13.3-inch OLED screens through a hinge.

The Yoga Book 9i is actually a product that is set to come out this year.
Bulk / The Yoga Book 9i is actually a product that is set to come out this year.

Sharon Harding

In its current form, the rollable screen laptop model “looks like a regular laptop,” the Android Authority reported. Also, the book supports Lenovo and calls the product “polished” enough to appear in person. He even thought the system was similar to Asus’ ZenBook 17 Fold, a 12th-gen Intel-based foldable PC currently priced at $3,500.

A laptop with a flexible display is inside the ThinkBook chassis, one of Lenovo’s more experimental laptop lines. The Verge reports that the product panel is from Sharp, which also makes the folding screen in the ThinkPad X1 Fold and the upcoming 16-inch ThinkPad X1 Fold.

The screen of the product can offer 2024 × 1604 pixels in a size of 12.7 inches with a 4:3 aspect ratio or 2024×2368 pixels in a width of 15.3 inches with an 8:9 aspect ratio. The pixel size is almost the same in both cases (203.4 and 203.6 pixels per inch, respectively).

That alone is worth the pause. Screens with an almost square shape are rare among laptops, although more and more premium options are moving away from 16:9 in favor of 16:10 and tall displays. Users appreciate the screen height for their daily convenience for computing tasks such as navigating long news and social media feeds, spreadsheets and news, coding, and multitasking.

Lenovo’s product offers a concept that is different from what is currently available from laptops. The 8:9 ratio is like having two 16:9 screens stacked on top of each other (the Yoga Book 9i stacks two 16:10 screens). And a laptop can provide a unique edge-to-edge experience. When speaking to the Android Board, Lenovo showed users of the ThinkPad X1 Fold frequently using the device in portrait mode.

In the current system, though, getting from point A to point B requires using a switch on the floor of a laptop and enduring a wait of about 10 seconds (by The Verge’s measurements) and the sound of movement. Tech Advisor says the machine also relies on springs and rails to adjust its screen but notes that Lenovo could opt for a “sliding arm” version.

With the laptop hiding some of its screen under the keyboard, it’s possible that the final laptop will have a design that’s more compact than expected for a 15-inch PC. The Verge says it’s not believed did not lift the product or know its weight. But the system reportedly looks thicker than average.

Proof of concept is still just that, though. Tech Advisor reported that as the OLED screen slides under the keyboard, its pixels light up. The Verge also highlighted a version of the product “where the original screen is curved under the buttons,” which is visible when the screen is at its full size..

Durability is also a work in progress, with Lenovo reportedly aiming for 20,000 to 30,000 units. Also, it is not known how much battery power the device consumes.

That said, it’s not hard to imagine a world where this is a real product, from Lenovo or otherwise. LG’s $100,000 TV does the same thing by keeping the OLED screen off when you don’t need it. Bendable TVs and monitors have also arrived, seeking to appeal to consumers who sometimes prefer curved displays instead of flat ones.

And if Lenovo doesn’t release a PC with a screen you can hide, it’s possible someone will, as computer peripherals and chips have been eager to shake up PC design for years.

Last fall, Samsung Display and Intel launched a PC concept that is essentially a 13-inch tablet that can slide into a 17.3-inch tablet.

A Samsung Display exec demos a screen of an Intel-based device at Intel's Innovation Day in October.
Bulk / A Samsung Display exec demos a screen of an Intel-based device at Intel’s Innovation Day in October.

Earlier this year, Samsung Display also showed the Flex Hybrid, which is a sliding OLED screen that can be folded in half and can be viewed as a 10.5-inch 4:3 display or slide into a 12.4-inch, 16:10 one.

And with Windows 11 offering the kind of flexible windows management that its predecessors didn’t, foldable computers seem poised to become a viable product category.

Right now, there are many tests and calculations that go along with curved OLED laptops, and buyers can try or ignore these efforts soon.

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