HP is preparing to Tippy-Toe into the Hybrid Tablet-Notebook Market to Gauge Demand sometime in Q4 or CES 2023
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On April first Patently Apple posted a report titled "LG Display to supply HP with 17" Foldable Display Panels for Notebooks while continuing their Foldable Display Project with Apple." Today we're learning that HP's first next-gen 17" flexible/foldable tablet-notebook hybrid is likely to debut sometime between Q4 2022 and CES 2023.
This morning, The Elec is reporting that "SK IE Technology will be supplying the transparent polyimide film, which is used as the cover windows of screens, on Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) foldable notebook.
The company will be the exclusive supplier of the films and had won the order by offering them at half the price of rival bids, sources said.
SK IE Technology, the subsidiary of South Korean energy firm SK Innovation, will provide the films to LG Display, which will put it on the foldable OLED panels it will manufacture for HP.
The notebook will use a 4K (3840x2160) resolution, in-folding panel that is 17-inch in size when unfolded and 11-inch when folded." For comparison sake, Apple's current 16" MacBook Pro provides a native display resolution of 3456 x 2234
HP will be tippy-toeing into this market before it could properly gauge true demand for these next-gen tablet-notebook hybrid devices. According to The Elec, "SK IE Technology is expected to produce around 10,000 units of the film; LG Display is planning to manufacture thousands or up to around 10,000 units of the foldable OLED panel, starting in the third quarter.
The new device is expected to debut late this year or early next year at CES." For more, read the full report by The Elec.
As a concept, most consumers want this kind of next-gen tablet-notebook hybrid to succeed as it would save them the cost of purchasing two separate devices. There's no doubt that Lenovo's Thinkpad X1 Fold was ahead of its time, and being so, was plagued with issues that didn't make it viable in 2020.
In the Verge review, they absolutely loved the Thinkpad X1 Fold … as a concept, while acknowledging the device wasn't ready for prime time. Below is Lenovo's original ad promoting their next-gen device.
Two years later, Wintel and partners have worked to advance the concept while display technologies have greatly advanced to now be able to provide a large 17" foldable display from suppliers LG and Samsung Display that will make it viable as a notebook.
Is the concept now ready for prime time? If you think of the iPhone and its evolution, there's no doubt that this hybrid will eventually win consumers over with each passing year.
How far has this next-gen device really advanced? Well, we should see a series of Wintel partners bringing this next-gen category of device to market over the next 6-18 months to judge for ourselves. Yet one thing is for sure, Apple will be observing its reception in the market very closely.