Lenovo’s Prototype Laptop Has a Growing Screen That Doubles in Height

Lenovo’s Prototype Laptop Has a Growing Screen That Doubles in Height

To kick off its Tech World 2022 event today, Lenovo shared a video teasing a couple of prototype devices that leverage an OLED screen’s ability to roll up like a piece of paper, including an intriguing laptop that can transform to provide twice as much screen real estate on demand.

At one time, laptops were less powerful and less capable than desktop computers, and as such, they were really only used for travelling or working in remote places without a permanent desk. Today, unless you’re a gamer or working on complex 3D animations, a laptop will more than suffice as your main PC, assuming you’re connecting it to a larger external display. Unless you’re me. It’s been about 20 years since I switched to a laptop full-time, and to this day I still refuse to connect it to a larger screen. I work from home, I like to endlessly move from room to room when I’m writing, and the few times I’ve tried working with my laptop connected to another screen, I struggled to adapt my workflow to the ever-changing screen space at my disposal every time I left my office. So I just stopped.

That’s not to say I’m against using a larger screen, I just want to have that option wherever I may roam, and this Lenovo prototype appears to deliver exactly that. Lenovo is no stranger to dabbling with folding OLED screen technology, its ThinkPad X1 Fold was an innovative tablet/laptop hybrid with a screen that could fold in half and a floating wireless keyboard.

It was a clever rethinking of what a laptop could be but mostly justified its folding screen as a way to shrink the device’s footprint when not in use. This new prototype, by comparison, is a better use of OLEDs, I think. It looks and functions just like a standard laptop with a permanent tactile keyboard on the bottom and a screen that opens, but instead of folding in half, the display employs a sliding mechanism that extends its height as the unseen portion of the OLED slowly unfurls from the bottom. The size of the screen looks to double in size in the brief video demonstration, providing more room to work, without increasing the overall size of the laptop itself.

There are some obvious concerns with the prototype. The laptop undoubtedly weighs quite a bit more than most with the added sliding mechanism, and with the screen fully extended it looks very top-heavy and ready to fall back without a pair of hands on the keyboard at all times to steady it. Some have also pointed out that a screen that extends horizontally with an aspect ratio wider than 16:9 would potentially be even more useful and better balanced.

Unfortunately, there’s no word from Lenovo as to whether or not this prototype will ever move past the concept stage, but as we’re still kind of experimenting with the unique benefits of OLED screens, this idea seems to be closer to hitting the nail on the head than most.

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