Some say 2023 will be the year of foldable smartphones and laptops. Samsung’s plans for the coming year aren’t entirely clear, but what’s certain from previous Samsung Display offerings is that the company has experimented with foldable display technology applied to various form factors, including laptops. Now it appears that the company has obtained another patent related to a foldable laptop design.
The foldable laptop is exactly that: a laptop with a large, foldable screen that can curve to the middle, similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 when used sideways in Flex mode. The lower part of the screen can accommodate a virtual keyboard and trackpad, while the vertical upper half of the foldable screen is reserved for displaying content. (Across 91 mobile phones)
This may be the same concept as the Galaxy Book Fold 17
There is a striking similarity between the patented concept design and the Galaxy Book Fold 17 that Samsung showed off at SID 2021. However, this patented design also appears to have a narrower aspect ratio than the Book Fold 17, which makes it look like a galaxy Large Z Fold 4. Either way, it’s worth noting that the patent was published this week but was filed two years ago. So, it’s an idea that Samsung has had for at least a couple of years.
However, it is worth emphasizing that a patent application does not guarantee that an idea will come to fruition with a commercial device. This patent could be Samsung’s way of securing its ideas and preventing competing companies from stealing them.
For the foldable laptop concept, this design benefits flexibility figuratively speaking. The bottom half of this device can turn into almost any instrument, from virtual keyboards to other types of input devices, color wheels for photo editing applications, and buttons and knobs for music creation software.
It’s a great idea, but whether or not it can be practical is up for debate. Apple tried something similar with its MacBook Touch Bars, albeit to a very limited degree, but eventually gave up, realizing that the physical function keys and button shortcuts are more useful and practical for power users.
However, Samsung may want to prove that it can apply its latest foldable display technology across more form factors, beyond foldable smartphones, so a laptop might be next. We’ll have to wait and see what 2023 holds for us.