Imagine if the Lenovo Yoga Book’s unique design was available on a smartphone?
Over the Christmas holiday, I started testing the Lenovo Yoga Book— the Android and Windows versions—and found its clamshell laptop-like design to be one of the most innovative I’ve seen in the past five years.
Both sides of the Yoga Book have a screen. One side is the video display while the other side can be used as a virtual keyboard and writing surface. It’s extremely slim and light, and uses the “watch band” hinges to tie these two screens together.
Apple watchers may recall that the idea for the iPad came before the iPhone. When engineers showed Steve Jobs a prototype tablet, he asked if it could be done with a smaller screen and the iPhone was born.
As I used Lenovo Yoga Pad, I had a similar thought. The Yoga Book has a great display, and the second screen adds extra user interface touches that make it more versatile. Although I am still not proficient using the virtual keyboard, I appreciate the role of that second glass display.
Now imagine if that design was available on a 5.5-inch smartphone that folded out to feature multiple displays? In folded mode, it would look and act like a normal smartphone. But open it up to double the surface space and turn it into an 8- or 9-inch tablet. This would take serious engineering chops to create, but it could drive mobility to a new level.
Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks this is an interesting idea. Microsoft recently filed a patent for a foldable smartphone, while Samsung’s Galaxy X has a similar concept; a three-screen device with foldable displays.
What appeals to me most about this design concept is that a smartphone could double as a tablet. Today I carry an iPhone and iPad, but it would be nice to merge them into one.
While this concept is highly speculative on my part, I am convinced that if it could be thin enough to be a solid smartphone and unfold for tablet features, too, this design could deliver the kind of innovation the market needs.