HP is reportedly set to release a 17-inch foldable laptop later this year or early next year. South Korean publication The Elec (via Notebook Check) reports that a subsidiary of SK IE Technology (SKIET) is supplying the flexible polyimide (PI) film that will be used for the cover of the foldable 17-inch panel LG is outsourcing for HP.
Notebook Check previously posted a story about LG manufacturing foldable OLED displays for upcoming Apple and HP devices. The upcoming 17-inch laptop will reportedly fold into an 11-inch clamshell and feature 4K resolution, along with touch and stylus support. It’s expected that LG will begin mass production in the third quarter of 2022.
SKIET and LG will reportedly ship around 10,000 flexible OLED displays made from a thin polyimide film. HP has apparently chosen SKIET for the cover film because other suppliers bid a higher price. Where these suppliers bid $15-20, SKIET bid $8. This would potentially lower the price of HP’s foldable laptop.
The best foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 are starting to mature but foldable laptops are quite rare. The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold was the first foldable laptop to hit the market and the Asus Zenbook 17 is expected to drop in the latter half of the year. Dell is also working on a prototype foldable laptop currently dubbed Project Ori.
While exciting, foldable laptops have some downsides — namely, they tend to be underpowered and overly expensive. The aforementioned ThinkPad X1 Fold was a gorgeous laptop but it was an underpowered battery hog that had a starting price of $2,500. We don’t know how much this alleged HP foldable laptop will cost, but given the history of these devices, it may command a higher price than a standard notebook. But if HP partnered with SKIET specifically to keep costs down, then perhaps these foldables won’t be overly expensive.
As is always the case with reports of this nature, take all of this with the proverbial grain of salt. But even if none of this comes to pass, it’s clear we’ll see more manufacturers dip their toes into the foldable laptop market. But will these devices be good enough to land on our best laptops list? We’ll have to wait and see.