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Lenovo patent shows how it plans to make foldable PC screens durable

Lenovo X1 Fold
Lenovo X1 Fold (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A newly discovered Lenovo patent describes how the company plans to make delicate displays more durable on future folding PCs.
  • The durability of folding displays is of particular interest after Samsung's Galaxy Fold encountered issues with breaking displays, leading to a delayed launch.
  • The patent comes after Lenovo recently unveiled an impressive prototype foldable PC called the ThinkPad X1.

Folding screens are largely viewed as the next big frontier for both smartphones and PCs, but there are lingering concerns about the durability of folding displays after the delayed launch of Samsung's Galaxy fold, which encountered issues with failing displays. Lenovo, hot on the heels of revealing its folding ThinkPad X1 prototype, appears to have a plan to make sure its folding displays remain durable – at least according to a newly surfaced patent spotted by Windows United.

The patent describes using a second, supportive panel made of different substances to act as a sort of "cushion" underneath the delicate folding display. With the added support, Lenovo says that the extra panel can act "like a trampoline" to absorb shocks to the display. From the patent description:

By the use of the attachment pieces and the attachment portions, the support plate is attached and fixed in a support state like a trampoline in which the outer peripheral edge portion thereof is held on the inner surface sides of the chassis members 12A and 12B. Thus, the support plate is supported with a cushion structure in upper portions of the chassis members 12A and 12B. In the case of this embodiment, since the display is a thin flexible display and the surface cannot be protected with a hard glass plate or the like, the display also has a problem of low impact resistance. Then, by supporting the support plate with the cushion structure, impact or a load caused by a substance falling on the display or falling of the portable information device can be absorbed.

Laptops with dual-displays are already on the market, so it's inevitable that folding displays will eventually make their way as well. If solutions like that described in Lenovo's patent can be successfully implemented, they could go a long way toward alleviating worries about durability.

While folding displays are still very much in their early stages, Lenovo is already off to an impressive start with the ThinkPad X1 prototype. For more, check out our complete hands-on with the ThinkPad X1.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

5 Comments
  • There is a chance for "Andromeda". Andromeda in the sense that other OEMs could use CoreOS to make whatever type of foldable device they please. Lenovo would be a great start. After all, Andromeda would be a proof of concept device to encourage other manufacturers to build similar designs. Who says MS has to be first? They weren't first with the laptop, or tablet.
  • "They weren't first with the laptop, or tablet." And? They entered, nobody cared. Earth continued to spin. So many years later Surface line has incignificant marketshare in it's price range, compared to Apple's offerings. And no, the argument that Microsoft don't want to push it harder because they don't want to "scare" their OEM partners and that Surface is a poster boy device for showcasing Windows is plain bullsh*t excuse. Google goes HAM with Pixel and still manage to have a healthy ecosystem of partners that produce Android devices. I like how only Windows fanboys claim that Surface changed the "PC" landscape in terms of quality/visuals while the bitter truth is all the retarded OEMs that have always made ugly, crappy and bulky plastic junk started to produce better built ones right after they noticed what Apple is doing after MacBooks gained traction with students, creative people, executives, pop culture and young people in general (if I have to pinpoint an exact time, it was precisely the moment Apple introduced the aluminum unibody and the MacBook Air). Surface is nothing more than just a bland copy of the whole Apple ideology and culture - "eye on detail", "high grade materials", "built quality", "metal unibodies", etc. Apple has done this forever. Then Microsoft decided that they want to be Apple. Then what actually happened is all other OEMs decided they want to be like Microsoft, wanting to be Apple. Admit it or not. Who exactly did Microsoft encourage to build similar design to Surface Studio, Surface Book? I am still eager to find any other device similar to the, as Rubino promoting, "new category defining" Surface Studio? Where are they, 2.5 years later? Since when a category is defined by one? Maybe that ugly ACCIDENTAL monstrosity by Dell, that probably sold 1 unit of? Or maybe the Wacom Cintiq that is a normal evolution for Wacom due to the nature of their business?
  • While you're going on about nothing, nobody is arguing, or even making claims, to anything you're saying. What's your point?
  • CoreOS doesn't exist. Microsoft announced something called Modern OS, but composable shells wasn't a bullet point. They also didn't even show a screen shot let alone release a preview. It is still years away, if they release it at all. https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/207439/microsoft-announces-m...
  • Who cares what it's called, troll.. Once again your trolling is causing you to come up with nothing than to say something stupid. "There is no Core OS, it's Modern OS"... Smdh, what are you in, 3rd grade?