Tag Archives: foldable devices

Samsung Gets Patent for Multi Folding Tablet With Physical Keyboard

By Radu Iorga

Samsung received a fresh patent this week, one that involves the usual folding tablet, but this time with a twist: a physical keyboard. We’ve seen multiple foldable devices patented by Samsung, some linked to the Samsung Galaxy X project, others not. But the keyboard is a new approach….

Sammy already has a multi fold patent under its belt ever since September 2016. This time it gets a patent for a next gen device, that folds its keyboard below the screen part, at the back side of one of the folding panels. Samsung has yet to launch a proper foldable device, even though they’ve been exploring the segment ever since the Youm prototype at CES, more than 4 years ago.

To me this looks more like a MID, a small Vaio, or something like that, not exactly a futuristic machine. You could get more use out of a tablet keyboard dock or a case with a keyboard integrated. Having a physical keyboard on a tablet, even if foldable doesn’t make much sense anymore, for ergonomical reasons, battery reasons and also for the sake of a pretty looking design.

It’s true that convertibles and detachables do have keyboards, but they aren’t the pinnacle or ergonomics or aesthetics. A touch keyboard makes more sense for foldables. Also, word through the grapevine says that Samsung is going to adopt a Snapdragon CPU on a future Windows on ARM device.

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Foldable AMOLED Screen Prototype Shown in Action (Video)

By Radu Iorga

We’ve been keeping up with the trend of foldable devices and dual display machines for a while now, showing you a variety of patents for such units. Now, for the first time we actually get a prototype of such an unit handled in front of the camera.

It doesn’t come from Samsung, LG or Microsoft. Instead it comes from ITRI, the Industrial Technology Research Institute from Taiwan, that demonstrated recently the features of this machine. It’s a foldable phone with an AMOLED display on board and it seems a bit beefy at first sight. It reminds me more of an e-reader than a smartphone, but with a few tweaks it may just make the cut.

We see it folded multiple times, used to take photos, to turn a page and other mundane tasks. The seam down the middle is pretty clear and there’s a slight fragility vibe I’m getting here. ITRI’s tests have shown that this AMOLED screen is able to take quite a bit of stress. It’s got a folding radius of 3 mm, it can be folded over 200,000 times and can withstand 1 kilogram of steel wool friction for up to 50.000 times.

 

Up until now, ZTE has been the closest to cracking the format, with the ZTE Axon M. Samsung should be next, since they’ve been teasing with the Galaxy X and Youm for many years now. And Microsoft’s got the Andromeda too.

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Microsoft’s Foldable Andromeda Device Could Debut This Spring

By Radu Iorga

Microsoft has managed to capture many headlines over the past months, simply by patenting technologies, that are supposedly related to a so called Surface Phone, also known as the Andromeda. Now we learn a potential debut date or maybe a time frame for more serious teasers: this Spring.

I have to admit we suspected such a thing, since the Spring is usually the time of the BUILD event, where a new release of Windows is sometimes showcased. Windows Core OS may just come this year, together with the Surface Phone/Andromeda. Redstone 5 is also in the cards. The rumor has yet to be confirmed by valid sources, which even mention that the device is coming before or after BUILD, so not exactly there.

The way the development evolves will decide if it’s ready in time or not. Expect a dual screen smartphone here, or maybe a foldable tablet, which will make it to the market in the second half of the year. Microsoft has already patented a slew of aspects of the device, like a new type of hinge, a dual display machine and a foldable slate. It’ll probably end up as a 3 in 1 machine, which can be a phone, tablet or laptop in tent mode.

Patent applications have shown how the device could swap from one format to the other and the factor will depend on the position and angle of the screens. Before we see an actual release we may see a prototype showcasing behind the scenes, so leaks are our best hope for this Spring. By the way, we ARE actually in Spring mode right now, you know that?

For some reason the foldable format has yet to convince me. I call DOA for this unit.

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Microsoft’s Foldable Tablet Patent Feels Like an ASUS Transformer Pad

By James A.

Every two or three days we get to see a brand new Microsoft or Samsung patent that explores yet another way to make a laptop, tablet or phone fold and expand with a bigger screen estate. Today we run into a Microsoft foldable tablet patent, that feels oddly familiar.

This new document shows a foldable tablet that can slide into a keyboard dock. It may remind you of a Surface Book or an ASUS Transformer Pad or some other similar device. The tablet-like machine docks to the keyboard, but it also functions separately with fold and all. If you ask me, this is a horror show of ergonomics and innards. Imagine the crazy engineer work to make a central structure that can bent for the tablet and at the same time leave a GAP for the docking mechanism, which is by no means small.

The amount of breakage points here is seriously insane. One would imagine that folding the tablet in two would offer you a piece of screen estate for a virtual keyboard, which doesn’t seem to happen here, for some reason. A patent is still just a patent and there’s no reason to believe this will happen. Andromeda Surface Phone is most likely just a dual display machine, a 5.5 inch phone that becomes an 8 inch tablet or something like that.

Providing an original device format and than adding something extra on top like a dock sounds like something ASUS would do, not Microsoft.

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Microsoft New Patent Shows an Andromeda Device That Replaces a Laptop

By Radu Iorga

Microsoft has been working on a foldable device for a while now, known as either Surface Phone or Andromeda. We’ve seen numerous patents leaked for the device and the latest one hints at more of a mini laptop than your average smartphone. Let’s dig!

Up until now the Andromeda project was associated to a foldable device, that has telephony capabilities and runs on the Windows Core OS. This means that the unit could be a phone when folded and a tablet when unfolded. Twitter user WalkingCat discovered a patent that documents explanations for the device format. It describes the way the folding technology works and some usage cases.

The patent shows a hinged foldable device, but there’s an interesting feat here. When it’s unfolded, one of the two screens could work like a main display, while the second one works as a keyboard. This can turn the Andromeda device into a potential mini laptop. When totally opened, it can become a full fledged big tablet. It’s clear it’ll run at least Windows Core OS (WCOS), if not full Windows.

WCOS is supposed to be a modular OS, that switches dynamically between shells and composers depending on the form factor. Microsoft is attempting to get back into the mobile world for sure, but the way to do that is trickier than ever.

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