There’s no denying that the design of notebook computers has been more of an evolution than a revolution for the last 20 years: sure, trackballs have disappeared in favor of trackpads, screens are larger (and in color!), and the systems are far sleeker and much more powerful than their early brethren. But if you were to put a notebook from 1991 next to a notebook from 2011, most people would notice the system’s similarities rather than their differences.
Every once in a while a design comes along that challenges traditional thinking about notebook computers: one might be the Acer Iconia that opts for two touchscreen displays rather than one display with a conventional keyboard and pointing device. However, another might be a design concept from Yanko Design for a Fujitsu Lifebook X2. Dubbed a “folded notebook,” instead of opening on a single hinge like a traditional notebook, the X2 concept features four sections that open accordion-style on three hinges.
The top two sections feature flatscreen displays, and the X2 concept is apparently intended to operate with just one slim panel opened up: it serves as a display while the touch-capable lower display pops up a virtual keyboard for quick messaging and communications needs. When a user needs a complete notebook, all four sections unfold to reveal a physical keyboard and trackpad, and the two screens meld together to become a full-sized notebook display.
And when users are done with the computer, the whole thing folds up into a package that looks like it could fit into a clutch purse.
The Lifebook X2 concept is just a design at this point, so no hardware specs are available, although the design does feature a webcam, USB ports, dedicated media keys, and apparent audio jacks. Even if the Lifebook X2 never reaches consumers, it’s good to know at least someone out there is challenging the traditional idea of what a notebook computer should be. Over two decades of the same-old same-old might be more than a enough.