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Lenovo patent filing teases tablet with folding screen

Because one rigid screen is no longer enough.

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Lenovo filed a patent application that hints at a device with foldable screen. 

Lenovo/USPTO

The foldable screen is the new big screen.

A Lenovo patent application, recently uncovered, hints at a device with a foldable screen. The invention "provides a portable information device capable of securing the appearance quality or the durability of products while having a foldable configuration," says the patent filing, which was published in July 2018, spotted earlier by Windows Latest

In 2016, the computer giant played around with the concept of flexible screen. It made a bendable smartphone, the CPlus, that could wrap around your wrist. The device had a 4.26-inch flexible display and ran the Android operating system.

Lenovo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the new patent application.

Foldable phones have become a hot topic, including at the CES trade show in Las Vegas in January. Royole's FlexPai came out as the world's first flexible smartphone, and Samsung's foldable phone, rumored to be called the Galaxy X, is expected to be released in March. Although the technology is still buggy, mobile giants like LG, Huawei and TCL have also said they're working on flexible or foldable devices.

There still are many challenges for foldable phone technology, but consumers should be able to see a small selection of pliable devices soon. 

First published on Jan. 22, 12:31 p.m. PT.

Updates, 1:03 p.m. PT: Adds that Windows Latest spotted the patent application earlier. 

The foldable phone revolution will be awkward: Someone's got to take that first, weird step.

Galaxy S10 launch date confirmed: Tune in Feb. 20 for Samsung's Unpacked event.