Lenovo Patent Hints a Foldable Device with Surface Book Hinge

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Lenovo was one of the first companies that were reported to be working on a foldable device.

The company has already showcased its foldable device idea at Tech World 2016 and 2017.

Lenovo has been focusing on flexible devices rather than foldables for quite some time now. In 2016, the smartphone manufacturing company is one of the very first to launch flexible phone prototypes. It was a bracelet phone that can flex and be wrapped around the wrist.

Recently, a Lenovo patent hinted at the company's entry run into the foldable display device race.

September 2018, Lenovo submitted the patent to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and is currently listed on the outfit’s website. The sketches show that the product conveys some similarities with the Microsoft Surface Book that had a hinge design. Its design is similar to Galaxy Fold’s inward folding design that has two hinges connecting the two displays.

On the other hand, this new foldable device appears to be truly a Surface Book rather than a smartphone as it will use Windows OS.

In a report by MsPowerUser’s, the new Lenovo foldable device is going to run on Windows 10 OS and will resemble a gigantic tablet with a hinge in the middle. The device could not be a foldable display smartphone with its size and OS, especially after Microsoft announces its plan to end support for Windows phones.

In Lenovo’s patent description, they said, “A connecting assembly includes a plurality of link members, a hanging-hole-shaped fixing structure having openings configured to hold the plurality of link members, a first shaft and a second shaft joined to the plurality of link members, and a first fixing member and a second fixing member for coupling to a first display region and a second display region of the flexible display screen correspondingly.”

“The holes of the hanging-hole-shaped fixing structure are movable to arrange the plurality of link members at different distances from each other, in order to bend the flexible display screen upon a force being exerted on the flexible display screen to cause a relative motion between the first and second display regions of the flexible display screen,” Lenovo describes.

The Lenovo foldable design is not anymore fresh or innovative take as its hinge hold two screens together and fold the device inward like most laptop computers. Nevertheless, it is still a viable entry into the foldable display race as no company has considered a simple design such as this.

Lenovo’s sketch is comparable to the first foldable device ever released in the market, the Royole FlexPai. In contrast, Royole Flexpai folds outward, which puts both screens on the front and divides the big tablet into two screens on each side. The Flexpai’s hinges are also in the center that makes Lenovo’s patent not that astounding.

As of now, we are still to know if Lenovo is going to come out with this design for their upcoming device. We will have to keep a close eye on Lenovo for new information about this Microsoft Surface Book-style foldable device.

Huawei and Samsung are now leading the foldable display device race as they with their own cutting-edge devices. Android smartphone makers are on their mark to get set for the race. Even Motorola, the most successful flip phones last decade, are also planning to set out their own foldable devices.

Surprisingly, Apple has not announced any progress on their end or even hinting us that it is entering the foldable display industry.

We are still to see which foldable device from the tech giants will be the best.