Lenovo has been heavily invested in e-paper over the course of the past year. The company developed the C930, which had an E-Ink screen on the bottom of their 2-in-one tablet and they recently invested millions of dollars into Clearink. Lenovo recently filed a patent for a foldable tablet that might have an E Ink screen.
Originally filed in December 2017, and published in July 2018, the patent for “Portable Information Device” states that current-generation tablets have large touch screens and no physical keyboard, but there is a desire for it to be “miniaturized for carrying.” As a solution, the patent suggests a device with a flexible display that can be configured and folded with a hinge in the middle to connect and close a gap between two screens. The keyboard screen might have an E Ink display, similar to the C930.
Lenovo elaborated, “As a chassis of the above-described folding structure, a configuration of connecting adjacent edge portions between a pair of chassis members arranged side by side on the right side and the left side by a hinge mechanism is mentioned, for example. However, with this configuration, when the pair of chassis members is closed into a double-folded state, a gap is generated between edge portions on the hinge sides of the chassis members. Then, internal elements are exposed from the gap, which has posed problems in the appearance quality, durability, and the like of products,” the company explains.
The patented Lenovo device uses a hinge for foldability as we haven’t reached a point where the screens can be bent perfectly flat like you would fold paper.
If Lenovo did release a foldable product with an E Ink screen, it would add two products to their current portfolio and hopefully encourage other companies to give e-paper another look for commercial products.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.