Intel and Samsung Display announce the “death” of foldable PCs with new rollable prototype

Just a few weeks ago at IFA 2022, Intel and its partners ASUS and Lenovo announced new foldable screen laptop models. But it seems that concept is already “dead and buried”, as now Intel and Samsung Display have announced the “future of portable computing” in the form of new sliding screen devices. Even Samsung Display CEO JS Choi was on stage, saying that “foldable screens on PCs are dead”.

Just weeks after the debut of foldable computers, Intel turns to rollable

Intel held a presentation last night devoted mostly to its new 13th generation Core desktop processors, but saved a few surprises for last. The tablet-shaped computer that turns into a large portable screen managed to grab attention, however, especially with the proximity of the announcement to that of the recently launched foldable devices.

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The prototype shown on stage by JS Choi looks like a tablet with a 13″ screen on a squarer format, which can expand to a 17″ diagonal on a slightly “wider” format. So you can use your computer as a portable tablet for multimedia consumption or social media, and turn it into a widescreen productivity tablet when you have something more complex to do. Of course, movies would look better on the increased diagonal.

But what I saw was just a technological demonstration. We don’t yet know if there is a truly functional prototype, while we don’t know when we can expect such computers. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a motor system to extend the screen, as we’ve seen on prototype “rollable” phones, but it seems to be a simple manual mechanism that you pull to one side. Presumably such details will be worked out when the concept gets closer to a release.

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The existence of this practical device suggests that the new €4000 computers like the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold are outdated before they officially reach the market, with Intel, the backer of the format and the developer of the concept which it then handed over to partners, already moving in other directions.

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