TCL’s product lineup includes smartphones, tablets, TVs, audio gear, and home appliances. But the company also makes displays, and as interest in foldable devices has grown in the past few years, TCL has shown off a number of foldable display prototypes.
The latest is a 10.1 inch tri-fold screen that can be folded in half and closed like a book. But it can also be bent at another point so that the bottom quarter of the device works as a keyboard or input area while you’re using the device like a laptop.
A short video shared by @folduniverse is worth a thousand words, so I’ve embedded that below. But in a nutshell, there appear to be two creases – one in the middle of the device and a second that lets you fold just one quarter of the prototype and then flip up a plastic cover that lets you use that small section as a keyboard. This reminds me of the magnetic keyboards designed to work with Microsoft’s delayed Surface Neo and Dell’s dual-screen Duet concept device.
In the video of TCL’s prototype, you can see the handler flip out a kickstand from the back of the device to prop it up while you’re typing.
But when the device is closed, a secondary cover screen is also revealed, suggesting that like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and Huawei Mate X2 foldable phones, you’d be able to choose between using a smaller screen when you want a tablet small enough to hold in one hand or a larger screen when you want more space.
There’s no word on if or when you might be able to buy an actual product using TCL’s new tri-fold display technology. Some concepts the company has shown off in the past have yet to make it to market.
TCL 10.1″ Double Foldable concept with keyboard LEAKED pic.twitter.com/Gkf7DrjlNE
— Fold Universe (@folduniverse) February 23, 2021
Or maybe it could be coming to tablet, phone, and laptop, all in one outrageously expensive and fragile device.
That keyboard stencil looks awful. Truly awful.
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