First presented during CES earlier this year, Asus has just officially launched their folding screen laptop, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED which will go on sale during the final quarter of 2022.
We have seen plenty of foldable phones in the last few years so it was inevitable that this technology would be transferred to the big screen. But this isn’t actually the first of its kind, Lenovo has previously released the ThinkPad X1 while LG and Samsung have also been working on their equivalents.
For now, they may not be seen as the best laptops in the world, but going forwards could they actually take off? I think they could but a few things will have to change first.
At first glance, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED looks a lot like a laptop but instead of opening to reveal a keyboard, it folds out into a huge display. You can, of course, hook it up to a keyboard as well to give you a more desktop-like experience.
You can choose to use it flat or unfold it partially and prop it open like a laptop, giving you the ability to use it as two displays. Foldable laptop screens like this are massively versatile because you won’t need an office full of devices, you’ll only need one. It’s a tablet, a laptop and a desktop PC combined.
During the day you can use it to work on big spreadsheets, you can move around with it to take notes on the touch screen and then at the end of the day, you can take it home and use it to stream a movie on Netflix without being limited to a tiny display. I can definitely see these taking over, particularly for those who would benefit from as much screen real estate as possible.
The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is about the size and shape of an A4 notepad which means you can slip it into your bag for the commute and it’ll take up as much room as a standard laptop. The only downside to the design is that it is still quite thick and heavy so that will need to be improved if these devices were to become popular.
Another quite significant issue right now is, and you probably guessed it, the price. This technology is currently very expensive. The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED will go on sale starting from an eye-watering $3,500 / £3,300 which is sure to put a lot of people off for now at least. But like anything, it’s likely that the price will be brought down over the next few years, in which case, this could well be the future for laptops.
Be sure to keep an eye out for T3's full review of the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED which will be coming soon.