Four IBM laptop designs that never panned out

Although creative, these four IBM laptop designs never made it to market—telescoping screen, pop-up magnifier, scissor hinge lid, and folding sun shield.

For decades, IBM was a pioneer in the portable computer market, introducing the venerable ThinkPad laptop brand—sold to Lenovo in 2005. And when Big Blue was still designing laptops, its engineers and designers came up with some pretty strange ideas.

Image taken from U.S. Patent 6,504,707 - Digitized by Google

The U.S. patent drawings in this gallery showcase four of those ideas:

While none of these ideas made it to market in their original form, they illustrate the creativity of IBM employees. They also provide a glimpse of current technologies that were being toyed with years ago—such flippable displays (found in many convertible, tablet laptops).

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...