Most laptops have 16:9 displays. Some have 16:10 or 3:2 screens. But one thing that pretty much every modern laptop has in common? The display is wider than it is tall.

At first look, the PivoBook from Taiwanese manufacturer Compal looks the same. But there’s on key difference — you can flip the screen from landscape to portrait orientation.

The PivoBook isn’t a real thing that you can buy yet, but that didn’t stop Compal from winning an IF World Design Guide award for the laptop.

That means that while detailed specs aren’t available, we do know a few things about the design:

  • It has a 14 inch OLED FHD touchscreen display.
  • The screen is “extra thin and lightweight for effortless one-handed rotations.”
  • The rotation is made possible thanks to “a hinge ingenuity” which isn’t very well described by the pictures.
  • The laptop weighs about 3.5 pounds (1.5 kilograms).

While my first thought was that this was a 2-in-1 tablet with a screen that you could lift, rotate, and then re-attach, the description clearly states that screen rotation occurs “without having to remove the display first.” So my best guess is that the long bar on the back of the PivoBook is able to work like a normal laptop hinge or rotate 90 degrees to let you lift the screen in portrait mode.

Compal is an ODM (original device manufacturer), which means that we’re unlikely to see the PivoBook hit the streets under the Compal brand anytime soon. But we could see this design used and re-branded by other companie sin the coming year.

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9 replies on “Compal PivoBook is a laptop with a display that works in landscape or portrait”

  1. I’ve wanted this in a laptop for a long time. At 14″, would like this concept to materialize as a 16:10 or 3:2.

  2. I love this idea, it’s genuinely a feature I wish my laptop had. With m older windows tablet, I used a logitech k480 keyboard that could connect to multiple devices and I would use my tablet in portrait mode, helped a lot when doing a writing assignment, also you can read comics in portrait mode way better 🙂

  3. I’m definitely a fan of using portrait-orientation screens, and I this concept does appeal to me. However, I would never buy a laptop specifically to get this feature. More specifically, I would never buy a laptop specifically because it offered a niche feature that wasn’t available elsewhere. Its just too much of a compromise to shop for something that is only available on 1 model total. I’d rather find another solution than compromise my purchase.

    I’d much sooner buy a Windows 10 tablet, and figure out a way to use it in portrait orientation with a bluetooth keyboard.

  4. “HINGEnuity leverages blockchain for flexible visual display unit needs for ideal market positioning”

    I wonder if we’ll see all-wireless all-the-time displays using interesting mechanical linkages and equally interesting display protocols.

  5. I could see it helping if you have a tendency to dock the laptop and when docked used the external display as the primary monitor.
    But on the other hand, if you dock a 360° hinged laptop with a USB-C and stand the thing up on it’s side next to the monitor by leaving it partly open, you’ll get…mostly the same effect. So this thing is a niche device for people who REALLY need as many lines of text on their screen as possible while still being able to type on their lap, meaning this should be a business laptop.
    I’m not totally sure if they did enough on the keyboard and port selection for that.

  6. Looking at the picture, I’d say the top half includes a back cover that is separate from the screen, probably making this slightly thicker than it would otherwise be, which makes this interesting because that would mean the center of the screen would have to move upward as the screen rotates — the connecting cables must go through that point. The hinge we see, though it looks to stand out and we’d like to think is part of the screen-rotation mechanism, is probably a rather typical hinge for a laptop.

    1. Nope.
      You can’t get any information based on that picture, because it isn’t real, that’s a poorly made render.

      My bet is that this is a tablet like the Surface Pro 4, and the keyboard is wireless.
      However, the base of the keyboard is sturdy unlike the flimsy Surface/iPad keyboards. And I believe the keyboard also houses half of the battery. There’s no worry about screen cables, the top/screen doesn’t have to send a signal down, rather the bottom/base sends a signal up (basically keystrokes, battery, and USB). And this can be done using pogo pins found at the “hinge” of the base, connecting to pogo pins at either the side or the bottom of the top-screen.

      …well, that’s the smarter way to do it anyway (less mechanical/failure points)

      1. I doubt that the keyboard is wireless when there’s 3-4 ports of various sizes on the right side.
        It’s still not impossible I guess.

        1. Yeah, I misspoke.
          I meant the MS Surface Pro 4 has a wireless keyboard, and this one is very similar to it. Except it uses something like a Proprietary Connector or Pogo Pins instead.

          Maybe I should have said the MS Surface Book, except it lacks a dGPU in the base, and the connector is different (doesn’t clip in front-back reversibly). But yeah, it’s much more easier to describe via video then typing it out.

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