Are Samsung set to join the foldable laptop scene? Sources suggest so, with the South Korean smartphone savants seemingly seeking to super-size the superior spine of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to get on the starting blocks of this emerging market.
Foldable phones have been picking up in popularity over the past few years, but the foldable laptop has yet to truly capture an audience. We’ve seen manufacturers develop plenty of concepts, but real-world results have been few and far between.
Beyond this, everything we have seen so far has one thing in common – a phenomenally expensive price tag. Pair this with consumer frets over foldable fragility and you have a laptop market that’s more flop than fold. But are Samsung gearing up to ease concerns and bring the foldable laptop into the mainstream?
Samsung’s foldable flare in laptop form
According to Korean outlet The Elec, Samsung could be considering the unfaltering fulcrum that is the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5’s Flex Hinge for its own foldable laptop expected to arrive in late 2024 – possibly adhering to the Samsung Flex Note concept revealed at CES 2022.
The Flex Hinge, or 'tear-drop' hinge, gets its name from the shape of the AMOLED Infinity Flex Display of the Galaxy devices when folded – placing less stress on the axial plane of the display, while allowing the ends of the panel to close together tighter.
Samsung’s latest hinge greatly boosts durability while also protecting the Flex Display from harsh creases as it gets to maintain more of a curve when closed. The hinge is an impressive feat of engineering, and even I have become a foldable follower after the Z Flip 5 finessed me with over 400k folds without fault.
Samsung’s tear-drop hinge could allay foldable fears for many, but can Samsung upscale the tear-drop hinge’s success without seeing the price of its foldable laptop expanding at the same rate?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is already a pretty formidably priced product at $1,799 – and that’s for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphone with a 7.6-inch display. Samsung’s conceptual Flex Note laptop is a foldable with a 17.3-inch panel, which could already see the device’s price balloon in size.
Samsung’s tear-drop Flex Hinge hinge approach will bring ease of mind to early foldable laptop adopters, no doubt. But if the price of these devices remains at levels we’ve previously seen then Samsung’s future foldable could fall into the same category as the recently released $4,999 HP Spectre Fold: impressive to look at, but impossible to afford.
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.