What is a Rolltop laptop?

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What is a Rolltop laptop?
The Rolltop would use a flexible version of the OLED technology found in some TV screens. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The Rolltop is a design for a laptop computer that can roll up into an 11 inch tube. It takes advantage of OLED touchscreen technology. As of April 2013 it had not been commercially released and the makers had not given any indication it would do so.


The Rolltop would be a flexible laptop computer that rolls up into a tube. When fully unrolled, you would be able to access the upper surface which would be a touchscreen, used in one of two ways. You could fold the device with the vertical part being a screen and the horizontal part being a touch-sensitive virtual keyboard. Alternatively you could keep the entire surface flat and plug it into a separate laptop to create a 17 inch display.

Central hub and straps

When rolled up, the Rolltop screen would wrap around a central hub which would be similar to the cardboard tube inside a roll of tin foil or cling film. This would connect to the screen and would house a web camera and a loudspeaker. The device would also come with a carrying strap which houses electrical cables. When using the device, you would use the carry strap as a power lead between the base station and the plug socket. The designers of Rolltop have not released details of where components such as processors and memory would be houses, or what specifications these would have.


The main technology used in the Rolltop would be a flexible organic light-emitting diode systems. This involves housing a semiconductor on a flexible plastic base. The semiconductor would be made of a material that lit when an electrical conductor passes through it, with different chemicals allowing different colours. As of April 2013, several smartphone manufacturers were preparing to launch handsets using the technology to create wraparound screens, though there was no sign of such screens being available in the size talked about for the Rolltop.


The Rolltop was originally designed by German company Orkin Design, purely as a concept. After showing off the design in 2009 and receiving a good response, the company began working on a revised design, known as the Rolltop 2.0. It unveiled this design in 2011 and said it was now seriously planning to manufacture the device. As of April 2013 the Rolltop is still listed as in development with no pubic timetable for a release.

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