South Korean giant Samsung is showing off a brand new foldable display at CES 2023. The sliding Flex Hybrid is another new take on foldable technology and with the company’s track record with foldables, including the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the industry is excited.
Foldable displays have been touted as the future for a while now, but there still seems to be plenty of room for the industry to experiment. We’ve seen folding displays work in a number of ways and even to produce a rolling TV (the LG OLED R), but never have we come across a dual sliding and foldable display.
Samsung describes the Flex Hybrid prototype as a “smart mobile device,” but thanks to its unique functionality, it also looks to make for a convincing tablet once at its full size. Although we know no under-the-hood specs so far, we do know that thanks to the sliding mechanism, the screen can expand from a 10.5” display with a 4:3 aspect ratio to a 12.4” display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. A neat trick.
We have seen sliding and folding prototypes before, but this is the first such display to combine both features. The left side of the display uses foldable technology to reveal the extra screen and then it can slide from the right side to use the extra space.
While the Flex Hybrid could easily be imagined in a smartphone or small tablet, Samsung is also interested in bringing sliding displays to the world of laptops. The Flex Slidable Solo and Flex Slidable Duet (which has two sliding screens) can expand from around 13 inches to 17.3 inches. If it is ever integrated into a device, this could make for an excellent portable laptop and rival the likes of Microsoft Surface.
Of course, it is worth remembering that these devices are all prototypes and unlikely to hit consumer shelves any time soon, but it is exciting to see where foldable technology could go in the near future.