Foldable ThinkPad
Image Courtesy: Engadget

Lenovo seems to be placing a major bet on foldable computing devices and a new prototype device was recently announced during a press briefing. Lenovo’s foldable ThinkPad X1 foldable tablet prototype is precisely a tablet PC device with an OLED 2K display that is foldable and measures 13.3 inches in size.

Lenovo hasn’t shared all technical details of the foldable device, but we’ve discovered two new patents detailing Lenovo’s foldable device structure.

The first patent titled ‘Electronic device and mode switching method’ filed by Lenovo and published by USPTO on April 16, 2019, details the mechanism of the folding display.

The patent states multiple methods that will allow the display to fold and its form factor.

In the patent filing, Lenovo says the device includes a first body having a first end and a second end; a connecting body having a third end and a fourth end, with the third end being connected to the second end. The device also includes the second body having a fifth end and a sixth end, with the fifth end being connected to the fourth end. The second body is at least capable of rotating relative to the first body based on the connecting body.

Lenovo foldable
Image Courtesy: UPSTO

“The electronic device has at least a first mode, in which a first surface of the first body is covered by the connecting body and the second body, and a second mode, in which a surface composed by the first surface of the first body and a first surface of the connecting body is covered by the second body,” the company explains.

The patent addresses durability concerns

The second patent titled “PORTABLE INFORMATION DEVICE” filed by Lenovo and published by USPTO¬†earlier this month also details another foldable device.

Lenovo foldable patent
Image Courtesy: UPSTO

 

Unlike the first patent, the second application describes a method that would allow the flexible device to sustain damage. Lenovo says that flexible displays are very thin and vulnerable to impact or the like. Therefore, it has developed a solution where the display is stably supported on the inner surface side of the chassis member which is movable to be double-folded.

“A portable information device is capable of stably supporting a foldable display. The portable information device has a support plate which is fixed to the inner surface sides of a first chassis member and a second chassis member and supports the rear surface of a display. The support plate has a first plate member disposed on the inner surface side of the first chassis member, a second plate member disposed on the inner surface side of the second chassis member, and a flexible sheet-like member connecting the first plate member and the second plate member so as to be foldable into a double-folded state,” the filing reads.