The dawn of 2019 was met with biggies showing us how phones could be folded open to serve as tablets too. And thus, the tone was set for 2019. In many ways, it was the year of foldable phones with most OEMs like SamsungHuaweiXiaomi, and Motorola, amongst others, either making commercial releases or showing prototypes of their take on foldable phones. Although CES 2020 has seen a few foldable phones already, the technology is now wrapping itself around more gadgets.

In fact, an emerging trend for laptops at the technology conference seems to be the adoption of foldable displays. There have been a handful of laptops that have already been unveiled by mainstream manufacturers like DellLenovo, and even Intel. Not only laptops, but foldable (or bendable) displays are also being seen in more product categories.

Let’s take a look at all the products gracing foldable (flexible) displays at CES 2020 this year

  1. Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Laptop

The Thinkpad X1 laptop builds on the prototype that Lenovo showcase last year. The laptop begs to differ when it comes to the exterior but stands out with a 13.3-inch foldable OLED display inside. The laptop is built from a combination of lightweight alloys and carbon fiber and is quite rigid for a device using a foldable display. The device can be used as a flat desktop display, as a book in “tent mode” to read a book, or as a normal laptop. It comes with a wireless keyboard that magnetically snaps itself of on the bottom half and charges wirelessly while in use. Lenovo is planning to offer the Thinkpad X1 laptop for sale later this year with Windows 10X (in a future software update)

  1. Royole Mirage Smart Speaker
Royole puts its flexible display tech into an Alexa-enabled smart speaker
Royole puts its flexible display tech into an Alexa-enabled smart speaker

Royole is known to be the first company to unveil a foldable phone. Last year, they rushed past Samsung and Huawei to unveil the FlexPai foldable phone. This year, they’ve taken their foldable display to a completely new product category: smart speakers. Royole’s Mirage Smart Speaker has a wraparound 8-inch touch display that could let you control media playback with a touch. One cool application of the foldable display would be visualizations to match the music blaring out of the 3 “full-range drivers” and the “passive bass radiator”. The speaker is set to be available in Q2 for a price of USD 899.

  1. Dell Concept Ori
Dell's flexible display concept hints at a bendy laptop future
Dell’s flexible display concept hints at a bendy laptop future

Dell’s Concept Ori is another laptop that is taking the path of foldable displays. The Ori, like the Thinkpad X1, has a 13.3-inch foldable OLED panel. The laptop closes to be about the size of an A4-sized sheet of paper. You can choose to use the on-screen keyboard to type if you wish or get a keyboard attachment that magnetically snaps on the second half of the display. Unlike the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Foldable laptop, the Dell Ori (as the name suggests) is still a concept and doesn’t have a launch date yet.

  1. LG Signature OLED TV RX
LG's mind-bending rollable TV is real, and it goes on sale later this year

Last year, LG took the wraps off a swanky unit of television that could be pulled out like one would pull out a tissue from a tissue box. The LG Signature OLED TV RX is a rollable TV that slips into its cuboid shell when not in use. While it was only a prototype last year, LG is finally preparing to ship the TV for an absurdly high price of USD 60,000 later this year. At CES 2020, LG showcased another variant that instead of being pulled out from a credenza, drops down from the ceiling (much like a projector screen).

  1. Intel Horseshoe Bend
Intel has a huge tablet that folds into an all-screen laptop

Intel’s Horseshoe Bend is yet another concept of a foldable device. But unlike the other two foldable laptops on this list, this one’s much larger and heralds the title of the world’s first 17-inch foldable OLED PC. Intel says that it developed the foldable device on the basis of a survey which showed that end-users simply want a larger, foldable device. Intel didn’t talk much about the hardware but showed how a foldable display could come in handy in daily tasks. Most important of them all was how users could take benefit of a desktop-like experience by simply clubbing grab a tablet stand, a mouse, and a keyboard.

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