TCL shows off rollable display tech with a cool scroll-like tablet concept

Printed OLED Scrolling Display-1
Printed OLED Scrolling Display-1 (Image credit: TCL Group)

What you need to know

  • TCL shows off two new rollable display concepts at CES 2021.
  • The first is a smartphone that expands upwards from a compact form-factor.
  • The tablet concept expands outwards into a scroll-like design with a printed OLED display.

Things have officially kicked off at CES 2021 and TCL has already announced several new products, including affordable 8K TVs and an environmentally-friendly Android tablet with a battery-efficient ISP display. And while it might finally be a good time to start considering foldable phones, companies are already looking ahead to the rollable form factor. TCL is one company focused on the next form factor, and not to be outdone by LG, showed off more of its display tech as it unveiled two new rollable display concepts. The first is a smartphone that expands upwards, while the second is a tablet that expands outwards.

The smartphone display is an interesting, yet fairly practical take on the rollable form factor. While devices like the recently teased LG Rollable focus on increasing the size of today's standard smartphone, TCL's model starts off in a fairly compact format 6.7-inches and a more square aspect ratio, which expands upwards into a more "standard" aspect ratio at 7.8-inches. When not expanded, it looks more like something akin to a Galaxy Z Flip, which is fairly compact when closed.

TCL Rollable Display Phone Concept

Source: TCL Group / SlashGear (Image credit: Source: TCL Group / SlashGear)

The second concept looks more like something out of a sci-fi movie, which frankly is something we used to say about rollable smartphones. It's a tablet that can be expanded outwards, with a "Printed OLED" display that resembles a scroll when opened or closed. TCL states that because it's manufactured using inkjet printing technology, the cost to produce it is roughly "20% lower than traditional display technologies and is more applicable for large-size displays and mass production." A video posted by SlashGear shows the physical prototype in action, which is pretty cool to watch.

TCL Rollable Display Tablet Concept

Source: TCL Group / SlashGear (Image credit: Source: TCL Group / SlashGear)

TCL has shown off rollable smartphone concepts before, including a tri-fold design and one that rolled outwards on one side as opposed to upwards. These new concepts just show how the company is committed to commercializing the tech, something that LG seems keen to do as well. Of course, durability may be a big factor, as it's one of the main concerns with today's best foldable phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Galaxy Z Flip 5G

The Galaxy Z Flip 5G gives you all the features you'd find in a regular smartphone but adds the convenience of a foldable form factor for extra portability. One of the best Snapdragon 5G chips makes this phone incredibly fast, and anyway you look at it, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G will make a statement.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.