Lenovo's rollable laptop is stuck in the concept phase

Recap: Remember the rollable laptop concept Lenovo teased during its Tech World 22 virtual event in October? It is back for another showing at Mobile World Congress 2023 but as you will see, not much has changed and it doesn't seem as if we are any closer to a consumer implementation.

During a meeting with Lenovo at MWC, The Verge's Jon Porter had the opportunity to see the concept laptop in action. Unfortunately, Lenovo was mum on key details like a potential release date or pricing; Porter was not even allowed to hold the laptop.

Reps did demonstrate how the unassuming portable works. After flipping a switch on the side of the machine, the screen begins to rise up as internal motors literally pull the rollable panel from underneath the keyboard. The entire process took around 10 seconds and you can see a small crease in the rolled out display, Porter said, but again this is still an early concept device.

Fully extended, the Sharp-made screen is transformed from a 12.7-inch panel with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2,024 x 1,604 to a 15.3 incher with an 8:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2,024 x 2,368.

Pressed for details, Lenovo said they are aiming for 20,000 to 30,000 rolls in terms of durability. That is not a very high number compared to foldable smartphones but then again, the rollable mechanism would be called on far fewer times a day than a smartphone.

According to a 2022 study from Asurion, the average US adult checks their phone a staggering 352 times per day. Three out of four users even take their handsets with them to the bathroom.

Without additional details, some of my earlier concerns about Lenovo's rollable laptop persist. Is it going to be heavier than carrying around a traditional laptop and a portable monitor? Will it be top heavy while extended? What sort of impact will the motors have on the laptop's battery life?

Image credit: The Verge
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