“The main takeaway from the foldable laptops is that we get bigger screens and can be closed into a more compact size when not in use”
Intel has built a new foldable prototype PC dubbed Horseshoe Bend that comes in a small laptop form factor but with a big screen. It measures 17.3-inch diagonally, has 4:3 aspect ratio, and supports pen-input. The machine can be folded into a regular clamshell laptop shape. One can use the virtual keyboard or magnetically attach the physical keyboard that covers the bottom portion of the screen. It is powered by the Intel’s next-generation Tiger Lake chip and has an OLED touchscreen display. The main takeaway from the foldable laptops is that we get bigger screens and can be closed into a more compact size when not in use.
Niraj Bali, senior engineering director at Intel’s Client Platform Engineering group, said, “This product is the culmination of phones, tablets and PCs. It’s going to move the needle.” Sadly, Intel isn’t revealing how durable the hinge is or how much the Horseshoe Bend would cost or will it ever be on sale. However, considering that foldable PCs are the future of computing, we might see them hitting the stores sooner rather than later. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 with a 13-inch screen would go on sale in the next few months. Intel’s Horseshoe Bend development began in 2018 to smooth out PC designs that use two moving screens, instead of a single folding screen.
Foldable screens come with their share of concerns such as fitting the screen inside the frame as you fold. The Horseshoe Bend comes with a 7.75mm thickness and uses two hinges in the parallel to link the top and bottom halves of the laptop. Intel claims that these hinges offer enough space to accommodate the screen when it’s flexed. When placed in full-width landscape mode, the cover has a kickstand to hold the screen up. Inside the cover, there’s a graphite panel that decapitates the heat from the processors. The two-axle hinge and flexing display open up small gaps in the hinge area, and Intel covers them with flexible gaskets to keep out dust. The detachable keyboard fits inside the teardrop-shaped interior gap and held in magnets by magnets.