Intel’s Horseshoe Bend PC is a foldable laptop with a massive 17.3″ screen
Foldables displays have been luring enthusiasts at tech shows like the CES, Las Vegas, for over a decade now. The start was rough and patchy and all we saw were concept products. With time, we started seeing foldable OLED TVs and even though Samsung showed the first prototype of a foldable smartphone display in as early as 2014, the company took five years – and multiple hiccups – to realize that vision. After devices like the Huawei Mate X, the Galaxy Fold, and the Motorola Razr, there’s decent confidence in foldable smartphones but many laptop manufacturers like Lenovo have already started pitching ideas for foldable laptops. After Lenovo, chipmaker Intel is publicizing their own concept of a foldable “Horseshoe Bend” computer that can be folded into a 12.5″ laptop.
Instead of seeing this as a typical laptop, you can see Intel’s Horseshoe Bend concept as a desktop computer with special powers. The kickstand allows the concept device to sit straight on a table and hooked to a keyboard and mouse. In this orientation, the OLED screen measures 17.3-inches diagonally, which is quite a lot of real estate compared to a standard desktop monitor. Plus the display also supports touch which makes it even more useful.
Images courtesy of CNET
When folded along the center, the Intel concept becomes a mini laptop with a screen size of just about 12.5-inches. In a conversation with CNET, Intel GM Chris Walker insists that this is “not a reimagine tablet” but a mobile PC with full PC capabilities. CNET, which also got an exclusive look at the prototype, reports that Intel may not build this prototype into a commercial machine – after all Intel is not a PC manufacturer, but it is likely to sell this recipe to one or more OEMs for the latter to convert the concept to a product.
The Intel Horseshoe Bend concept is just 7.75mm in thickness and comes with “two hinges in parallel” to unite both the halves. Like the Galaxy Fold, there’s a gap towards the center when the display is folded. But this space, Intel suggests, can be used to accommodate a full-sized physical keyboard. The same keyboard can be used when the PC is fully stretched out for desktop usage. If you won’t like that much, a virtual keyboard comes up on the concept PC when it’s folded midway. For now, the prototype only seems to fold inwards and not outwards; so a tent mode may not be feasible just yet.
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Inside, the Intel Horeshoe Bend PC rocks Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake 10nm mobile processor which will succeed the current Ice Lake Intel Core processors. The Tiger Lake processors will be announced later on in 2020 and not only is Intel showing the concept design but also using this chance to tease the new microarchitecture.
Clearly, the Intel foldable concept PC is far from being utilized as a commercial device. You obviously cannot buy it but the chipmaker will be working with other manufacturers to produce other pragmatic solutions. Naturally, there will a hefty price tag hanging from one of those but if you cherish technology irrespective of the money, you should be able to treat yourself with one of the devices based on this concept later this year.
Featured image courtesy: CNET