It’s slowly becoming pretty clear that Samsung wants to be the dominant player in the foldables market. Based on a patent filing uncovered by LetsoGoDigital and rendered by Sarang Sheth, here’s a look at the Galaxy Z Fold Tab, a Note-style smartphone with 2 hinges and a nifty ‘crawl-space’ to dock and charge your S-Pen. The Z Fold Tab hopes to form a third cool gadget in Samsung’s line-up alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which are set to launch this year – in effect consolidating Samsung”s position in a questionable yet rather interesting foldable-devices market.
The Z Fold Tab concept takes on the avatar of a folding device with an outward screen. Although, unlike the Huawei Mate X or any of Royole’s Flexpai devices, the Z Fold Tab comes with two hinges on its massive screen, creating a novel folding format that has a rather interesting set of pros as well as cons. In its closed mode, the Z Fold Tab can obviously be used as a regular smartphone (albeit being slightly thicker) with a waterfall display on both left and right edges thanks to the folding screens (this obscures the volume and power buttons, but those could easily be translated to the screen via force-touch like in the Vivo Apex 2019). However, unfold the screens on either side and you have yourself a larger tablet. The obvious cons are that instead of one crease running across the screen, you’re now faced with TWO creases, however, given how we consume content and the amount of time we spend looking at centrally aligned elements, this format oddly works, because the two creases sit on the sides of the screen rather than along the center.
The foldable design comes with a unique detail. The two halves leave a distinct gap when folded completely, solving two purposes – the gap exposes the main camera lenses, enabling you to take photos and videos without worrying about unfolding your phone; and the gap even acts as a safe space to magnetically dock your S-Pen. Unlike previous Note devices that came with hollow slots that allowed you to slide an S-Pen into the phone, the Z Fold Tab lets the S-Pen dock outside, almost like the iPad Pro. The magnetic dock charges the S-Pen while that comfy gap prevents the pen from accidentally sliding out or getting lost.
The Galaxy Z Fold Tab is not unlike the Z Fold 3 concept we featured last year, however, its key difference is that the two-part hinges don”t overlap to form a 3-layered device. Even when folded, the Z Fold Tablet still remains relatively slim by foldable standards.
For now, however, the Z Fold Tab exists only in conceptual form, protected by an international patent filed by Samsung. The Korean consumer-tech giant is slated to host its annual Galaxy Unpacked event in August this year, although according to analysts and experts, we’re probably only going to see the Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3 devices this year along with the usual suspects. According to LetsGoDigital, Samsung may have this under wraps until 2022.