LG’s foldable and rollable displays offer a fascinating glimpse into the future

(Image credit: LG)

While folding displays have mostly garnered attention in the smartphone space so far like on the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, we expect the first foldable PC the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold later this year (the results of a partnership with LG) and there are naturally quite a few other applications for this screen technology, including tablets, TVs and more. 

This week, LG is demoing a variety of its foldable, transparent, bendable and rollable display tech during the digital-only Society for Information Display conference. Both the folding and rollable applications caught our eye and we have no doubt these will continue to find their way into more gadgets in the coming years (Via SlashGear).

Foldable displays

(Image credit: LG)

As I mentioned, we expect to see the first foldable PC from Lenovo later this year using an LG display. But it likely won't be alone for long as others, including Samsung, have made their intentions to create foldable PCs known.

The display that LG is showing off for this event is a 13.3-inch foldable OLED with a resolution of 1,536 x 2048 pixels, a reported DCI 95% color gamut and 300 nits of brightness. It also supports an active stylus, something that we haven't seen with many foldable displays to date due to durability concerns.

(Image credit: LG)

The prototype is a traditional clamshell laptop form factor with a screen that extends across the top and bottom of the device. While you wouldn't confuse the bottom screen for an actual keyboard, the default layout resembles what you find on the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15. With the crease created at the hinge, it is difficult to tell at first glance that it is one contiguous screen.

You can fold the screen perfectly flat and enjoy a full 13.3-inch tablet experience that would be great for consuming content or possibly to use with an external keyboard and mouse when a bigger display would come in handy for work. One added little detail is that the screen continues to wrap along the bottom edge of the device, giving you a glimpse of notifications even when it is closed.

The full video walks you through all of the concepts from LG, including transparent and bendable displays, the latter of which certainly has potential for a monitor but is not as likely to find its way into consumer PCs or tablets.

Rollable displays

(Image credit: LG)

LG has a number of different rollable display applications with TVs that either roll up from a stand or roll down from the ceiling. Now the company is also demoing a variety of rollable displays that could be used in the automotive industry.

Some of the suggested implementations included backseat entertainment, dashboard integration, sun visors, roof displays, center console augmentation and more. 

(Image credit: LG)

While foldable displays have all of the attention in the smartphone, tablet, and PC space for now, it is not hard to imagine rollable displays finding their way into these markets as well. The backseat entertainment display, for example, was 12.8-inches with a resolution of 1,888 x 1,728-pixels. The resolution is a bit low, but this is comparable in size to the iPad Pro 12.9 or the new Galaxy Tab S7+ and the rollable display opens up the opportunity for some unique form factors.

Samsung filed a patent for a rollable tablet a couple of years ago, so perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Z Roll might not be as far off as you think.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.