A Lenovo subsidiary has designed a “smart notebook” concept called MOZI that packs a PC, projector, and keyboard into a compact.

While it’s unclear if MOZI will ever see the light of day, the project did recently win a Red Dot Design Award, and it’s an interesting take on what a portable computer could look like in 2022.

While PC makers have been playing with the design of laptops for decades, for the most part one thing that’s been consistent is that you have a keyboard and a display. Sometimes that display is in the form of a detachable tablet, but in most modern laptops it’s either an LCD or OLED screen.

The MOZI concept does away with that kind of display altogether. Instead there’s a projector built into the base. You can use a separate projector screen (basically just a white surface) to view imagery, or you can set up Mozi in front of a wall or another surface for use without any screen at all.

While the description at the Red Dot awards page refers to “a separate screen” for projection, there are no images of that screen so it’s unclear if MOZI features an ultra short-throw projector meant to work with a screen that sits right atop it (you know, like a notebook), or if you’re supposed to put a projection screen a few feet away.

According to the product description the projector has “a low ratio of blue light,” which is in keeping with current trends in laptop displays, although I’m unclear on whether this is something people actually want from a projector.

MOZI also has an “extendable keyboard” that slides out from within the body of the computer when you need it, but which can be retracted when you want to save space while using the projector to watch media or when carrying MOZI from place to place.

There’s no word on hardware specs, pricing, or availability, and I can’t find any more details about MOZI at the Lenovo or Hefei LCFC Information Technology‘s websites, which is why I’m calling this a concept device for now.

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  1. This won a Red Dot? Give me a minute while I get a roll of duct tape and combine a pico projector with a laser keyboard. Voila! Truly portable computer with no external hardware at all!

  2. It’d be more viable to make it a very long and narrow clamshell, but have the lid be a rollable display that extends to a more conventional aspect ratio. Even though it kinda seems like the idea of rollable displays has kind of fizzled out on phones.

  3. Projector technology just isn’t there yet. This is going to be awful to use in bright conditions, it will have poor colour reproduction, and the lifespan of the projector hardware will be questionable compared to a standard panel.

    If I wanted this solution, I would just combine a mini Projector with whatever portable PC I wanted to use. It would have a more flexible lifespan, considering I can just replace the projector when it inevitably dies, rather than servicing a proprietary internal projector.

      1. I’m no expert either, but can share my opinion backed by some experience using several projectors small and big, and doing decent research before buying them. I agree with Grant that to rival a standard laptop screen in image quality, projection will need to be done in low light and an appropriate projection surface. Unless the builtin projector is particularly bright, i.e., considerably brighter than most mini projector on the market. Most good small projectors are around 500 lumen, which is not enough for daylight. The recent Samsung Freestyle is 550 lumens and costs 1k€, Philips is releasing a small ultra short throw, screeneo u4 which is 400 lumens for 1.2k€. I don’t see how they could go higher in a smaller form factor without going prohibitively expensive.

    1. What is old is new again.

      The rapid turnover in companies these days may mean companies have a short memory.