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The bleeding edge: For the last several years, companies have been telling us that we will soon have devices with ultra-thin, roll-up displays. However, all we have seen so far are concepts. Various companies have presented us with everything from imaginary roll-out TVs to slide/roll-out phones. Now TCL brings us the tablet scroll.
Budget TV maker TCL held its CES 2021 virtual press conference on Monday. Among its product lineups, the company teased a 17-inch roll-up tablet. The device is just a concept (for now). Still, it demonstrates the potential of TCL's printed OLED display technology.
Dubbed the TCL CS0T, the device is just a couple of inches wide when rolled up—narrow enough to holster in a side pouch or elastic loop on your backpack. The concept shown in the video does not seem all that practical, but TCL envisions using the tech in other products, such as rollaway TVs, curved screens, and foldable displays.
A digital, conceptual animation shows the highly flexible screen connected to two spring-loaded rollers on either side, allowing users to open the almost paper-thin tablet like they would an ancient scroll—not kidding (video above). However, the prototype model in the video appears to use only one roller. Presumably, the display would have touch support, even though it takes two hands to hold the thing, but TCL didn't go into it in much detail.
According to the company, the printed OLED scrolling display has a "100-percent color gamut" and would cost 20-percent less than current commercial display technologies. However, it did not have any other details to reveal at this time, nor did it articulate even a rough timeframe of when it would begin implementing the printed screens. So don't start holding your breath.