Hey guys, I’m here at Intel’s lab and I have before me a concept of a laptop that has a 17 inch OLED screen that folds in half.
Folding screens are not just for phones anymore.
At CES, Intel showed off the concept of a foldable screen laptop, code name.
Forced to vent and Intel invited seen that to its labs in Santa Clara, California, where we got an in depth look at the device and the designers behind it.
In 2019 foldables will they’ve had some ups and downs, but almost all of them have been based around Foldable screen phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the not quite on sale yet Motorola Razr.
But in Top 100, what if you took some of the technologies behind the foldable phone and use them to solve some of the workflow issues On a PC.
For example a lot of us crave a larger screen for productivity and entertainment but you also want the convenience of a small form factor for the damn thing around and that paradox spurred the development of course you bet back towards the bed is basically.
The next evolution of a two in one laptop.
Basically, Intel made a device that transforms from a 17.3 inch OLED screen tablet into the form factor of what is essentially a 12.5 inch laptop.
You know, maybe that’s not right maybe it’s not right to think of it as a Tablet that transforms into a laptop.
It’s actually a PC with all the power of a PC all the convenience of a PC, the ports of a PC that transforms into a large screen tablets that I talked with Chris Walker.
He’s the general manager of Intel’s PC mobile group.
And here’s what he had to say.
We want it to be, you know, performance, full PC capable kind of all your wireless connections all the ability for expanded wired connectivity.
So it is a PC.
It’s not a reimagined tablet.
It’s not a screen that folds just because it can fold.
We actually do it because it is.
A cool mobile PC.
And yes, let’s get this out of the way there is something inherently bad **** with what Intel has come up with, like, really badass.
Look there is a lot to talk about here but first a few disclaimers when Intel showing off is a prototype is not a final product.
Think of it like.
Intel made a recipe, but they’re not gonna actually make the meal.
In fact, they’re gonna sell that recipe to a PC maker who will either make the recipe themselves or adapt it into their own product.
Next, what we saw was a working prototype.
You could go in Excel and make a spreadsheet or navigate websites, watch videos.
We did all of the above, however We were only able to fold it two times.
Not three times, not four times, but two times, as in one fold, two fold, done.
Hey, it’s a prototype, I get it.
This gets to a larger question Why?
Why is Intel building a foldable PC?
Well turns out, Intel does a ton of consumer research.
And so that informs us in a couple ways, one, in form factor innovations that we can partner with but also informs us what we need to do from our technology standpoint.
Mar silicon architecture and what we need to deliver in the platform.
Let’s take a look at the design as far as the form factor goes for the Horseshoe Bend PC concept.
It has a very similar approach to the Samsung Galaxy fold.
Now let me clarify this immediately.
Because there’s a lot of nuance here.
Like foldable phones, probably the biggest consideration is where the screen’s bulge goes.
Huawei solved this display curve problem by putting its screen on the outside of the Mate X. Essentially the tablet’s body Fills the gap of the folder kind of like a taco shell Samsung put the galaxy fold screen on the inside so when you fold it, it closes like a book.
But unlike the Motorola razor which closes perfectly flat, the fold has a small wedge shaped space between the two halves.
The same applies to Intel’s Horseshoe Bend PC.
There’s an air gap between the two full and half Interestingly enough, this became the perfect place to store a full sized hardware keyboard designed to work with the PC in a variety of setups.
Imagine if Samsung made a miniature keyboard that would slide in the air gap of a Galaxy Fold for storage.
But when you open it up It would be on the bottom of the screen so you could use it like a miniature laptop.
Look, this is completely ridiculous.
But, it’s kind of what Intel did with its PC.
And it make sense to have an option for a physical keyboard.
In fact, Intel’s research shows that consumers want to have choices Between the ways they input on a device the more and more you see you pen input voice input right the quality of voice interaction.
I had with my own daughter.
She’s so talented me.
She’s in grade school.
Why do I have to learn how to, Right?
So I think there might be aspects of how people are growing up with technology.
Many people couldn’t imagine not having something that’s a touch screen today.
And so I think the same will grow in terms of People interact with their, their laptop or PC device too.
Intel’s keyboard magnetically attaches to the bottom of the screen.
So literally the keyboard is sitting on the screen of the computer.
And when it’s snapped in place, it actually feels like a 12.5 inch laptop which is really impressive.
Now, if you don’t have that keyboard, you can still use the onscreen one to type in access documents or something like that.
Another interesting thing about this prototype is how you’re gonna use it.
So a portable phone, you’re either gonna use it with the phone open or closed.
That’s pretty much it.
This, the screen needs to basically support a variety of poses.
We can’t get the tool when on a laptop, sometimes you might have the screen flat, sometimes your screen might be closed, sometimes the screen is in an L-shape position cuz you’re using it like a laptop.
And other times, it has to support the pressure and force of you typing on a hardware keyboard that’s on the screen.
Yeah, that’s a lot of different uses that we do not see in foldable phones.
So talk about the screen.
It’s an OLED panel.
It’s a touch panel and you can use a stylus with it.
It goes 17.3 inches across when it’s in like a tablet mode.
When you put it in laptop mode is the equivalent of a 12.5 inch laptop screen with a three two aspect ratio.
As a phones and laptops what makes the magic happen here is his Intel uses to henges in parallel to connect the top and the bottom part of this laptop.
If I was able to look inside of this laptop, I would see that the ends of the folding screens are attached and the middle kind of floats freely.
And that allows it to fold in half.
But that could allow possible debris like crumbs or dust to get between the hinge and the back of the screen.
Now, I want to be clear, this is a prototype.
And Intel is going to add gaskets to help prevent that.
And Intel’s also confident that the screen We’ll be able to handle normal wear and tear like when you put it in and out of the backpack.
On the inside powering this foldable bad boy is Intel’s follow-up to this isolate processor.
They call it tiger Lake what you’re going to see this device is a processor.
We’ve codenamed tiger like, So are an annual refresh of product.
It’s a bold new new architecture.
But what’s important is that it’s very high PC performance.
We bringing in AI use cases into the PC in ways that actually help people create.
A side from that Intel didn’t announce any specifics like speed.
Or specs about this processor, we just know it exists and so pretty excited.
Okay, I realized this sounds crazy but one of the most exciting aspects this prototype is the cover.
Okay, hear me, so here’s my little poor man’s replica of the device, so let’s say this is the screen, it folds in half, right?
Ignore the paper Kris.
All right, so the cover on the back it has no support all those bands and flexes, but it also has to go support the fact that when it’s in kind of tablet mode.
The back also folds up like a kickstand.
So imagine you have a book is your hardcover book and when it’s opened flat, the cover folder up horizontally as well.
So it has to have a flexible 90 degree this way and it has to be a flex 93.
This way, design and engineering between these two different movements is all the more impressive when you realise the entire cover, suddenly slides as you fold it, Now this is not something new.
In fact, Lenovo showed off in early prototype of a folding screen laptop to us in May and it had something similar where the back moved from left to right a little bit as well.
Okay, but Intel uses graphite to support the kickstand, which also helps draw heat out away from the processor allow the processor to run a little hotter.
These panels are covered in leather.
In fact, Intel talked to people who make us to understand how to make a premium leather exterior cover for the device.
Being a prototype there is a lot that we don’t know about this device, you don’t know the battery life, the screen resolution, the weight.
And most importantly, we don’t know how much it’s going to cost.
And that’s where it gets interesting because the magnificence of having a large screen that folds down into a compact form factor will likely get a lot of people to open their wallets.
And while Intel didn’t care what they thought the device would cost.
There’s no doubt the Horseshoe Bend Foldable PC will likely have a premium price tag and that’s true of all foldables at this time.
That, I’ll let Intel’s Chris Walker have the final word.
It’s going to be premium when it first comes out, but never underestimate people’s willingness to pay for cool.
Hey guys, for more on Intel’s foldable screen PC.
Check out cnet.com.
We got a really great in-depth story there.
We have interviews with some of the designers in Intel’s lab as well as a lot more photos of the device.