Saturday, April 13, 2024

Apple patents new MacBook design with a bendable hinge

After working on foldable iPhones and iPads, then on an iMac designed in a curved sheet of glass, Apple has now filed a new patent, which hints at the possible appearance in the foreseeable future of bendable MacBooks. Rather than the current complex hinge mechanism that connects the screen to the computer body, Apple is studying a more flexible laptop design that beds like a stack of papers.

The patent, titled “Planar hinge assembly,” mainly describes how such a design could apply to a MacBook Pro-style device. It would be a unique structure that can fold in on itself. A similar solution is currently used in the most expensive Surface Book 2.

To date, the difficulty with folding designs is to select a material that can be bent without damaging the device itself. In addition, such a bendable part should carry all the electronics that can now be found in the swivel joint of the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

A multi-state planar hinge assembly carried by the single piece body at the bendable portion.
A multi-state planar hinge assembly carried by the single piece body at the bendable portion.

The latest hinges described will have the ability to adjust the angle of inclination. The patent also informs that they can be used in other mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

According to Apple Insider, the main idea of the patent is to enable the creation of a one-piece laptop body with a bent part, which is also a hinge and an additional place for electronics. This type of design will allow further minimizing the size of portable computers. But, unfortunately, the idea of building a computer consisting of one part that bends in a certain place will make portable computers from Apple even more difficult to repair than today.

This is just a patent, and this idea may not be implemented in practice. However, this new patent is yet another confirmation that Apple is highly interested in the folding device sector.