Thought Starters

We Couldn’t Wait for a Foldable Mac Screen — So We Made One Ourselves

The hype around foldable screens has been gaining steam over the past few months, and it’s no surprise why people are excited— foldable screens offer the promise of more display real estate, without compromising how much space they take up.

It all came to a crescendo when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold back in February. It’s designed to be a tablet and phone all in one, with a sleek 7.3-inch display that you can still carry comfortably in your pocket.

A foldable smart phone.

Despite Samsung’s shaky rollout, the hype is so widespread that even Motorola is jumping on the trend. The company is rumored to be resuscitating the Razr with a new foldable display.

So where is Apple in all of this? It doesn’t look like they have plans to launch anything like this in 2019. But that hasn’t stopped us from dreaming! We took matters into our own hands and mocked up some foldable-fantasies.

Our Concept Design for a Foldable Mac-iPad Combo

Here at Astro, we’re all about finding innovative ways to work within the Apple ecosystem. We believe that tech products like the Mac and iPad are even better when you’re able to integrate their unique capabilities. Last fall, we even wrote about how the iPad and Mac Mini could be combined to use the iPad as a primary display. With Apple’s suite of super-pro hardware, why limit yourself to just one tool at a time?

So, when imagining a foldable screen, what immediately came to mind was an opportunity to merge the Mac and iPad together. We pitched this idea to our industrial designer, Federico Donelli, and he came up with these concept designs:

Mac foldable screen concept design, aerial view

Our concept design pushes the Mac and iPad to new boundaries. By enabling touch and Apple Pencil interactions on the display, we’ve created new opportunities for creative workflows that would otherwise be limited by a mouse and keyboard, such as photo retouching or freehand illustration.

The foldable screen could also be opened up and turned horizontally into a larger, flat display. This design offers the flexibility to interact with the display in conventional ways (mouse, keyboard) or with newer workflows (Apple Pencil, touch interactions).

Mac foldable screen concept design, front wide view
Mac foldable screen concept design lineup

Here’s How You Can Create This Workspace Today

For now, our vision for a foldable Apple product is merely a concept design. But it got us dreaming! We were so inspired by this new design trend that we wanted to build our own makeshift foldable setup. Using Luna Display — our hardware / software combination that turns the iPad into a second display for Mac — we were able to seamlessly extend our Mac desktop to our iPad to create a foldable-screen experience.

What’ll you need for this setup: 

  • MacBook Pro or MacBook Air (new models work better because of the lower-profile keyboard)
  • iPad Pro 12.9”
  • Luna Display
  • MacBook stand (we like the Curve by Twelve South)
  • External mouse and keyboard 
Foldable screen with Luna Display, iPad, and Mac

Luna’s cofounder Giovanni Donelli discovered this setup when he started working more frequently from co-working spaces and coffee shops in San Francisco. He wanted to slim down the weight that he carried in his backpack while not compromising the ergonomics and the productivity of his setup. So, when it came time to update his Mac, he opted for the new 13″ MacBookAir.

“To my surprise, the surface area of my new Mac matched up perfectly with my 12.9″ iPad. That’s when I started imagining creative ways that I could combine them using Luna Display. This setup provides more screen real estate, along with the flexibility to use my iPad for drawing and annotations with the Apple Pencil. Mission accomplished for my office on-the-go!”

Foldable screen with Luna Display, iPad, and Mac

Interested in recreating this foldable-screen workspace for yourself? Get 10% off of Luna Display when you enter the code FOLD at checkout.  

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