Are you ready for foldable laptops?
Sure, foldable phones are becoming more common, but the same isn't true in the laptop market. Sure, devices like the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold exist, but most foldable laptops (like Dell’s Concept Ori (opens in new tab)) are just prototypes. Now, Asus is pushing the market forward by launching its own foldable laptop: the Asus Zenbook 17. Though it’s certainly strange-looking, the device’s versatility should make for more than a mere oddity.
Announced during CES 2022, the Asus Zenbook 17 is effectively a large 17.3-inch 2560 x 1920 OLED screen. Unfolded, the full 17.3-inch screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio. Folded, the screen converts to a 3:2 12.3-inch clamshell with an on-screen touch keyboard on the lower half. If you’re not a fan of touchscreen keyboards, the laptop also comes with a spacious ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard. This configuration makes the Zenbook 17 look and function like a traditional laptop. The Zenbook 17 weighs 3.75 pounds without the keyboard and 4.39 pounds with it.
Under the hood, the Zenbook 17 packs a 12th gen Intel Core i7 U-series processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The onboard ScreenXpert 2 software helps you govern how the screen is split and arrange whatever apps and folders you have on it. The laptop will have Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and a 75Wh lithium-polymer battery. Other features include a built-in 5-megapixel camera and a 3.5 audio combo jack and a single Thunderbolt 4 Type-C port that supports external display.
Asus claims the Zenbook 17 will be released in Q2 of 2022. We don’t yet know how much it will cost, but it probably won't be cheap.
Though the Zenbook 17 looks as weird as other foldable devices (I have mixed feelings on them, to say the least), it also has a strange allure, so I’ll reserve judgment until after I’ve had a chance to go hands-on with it.
In other foldable laptop news, HP is reportedly working on its own foldable laptop that may launch as early as the end of 2022. We don't have official word on that particular story, but it's another sign that we'll see more foldable notebooks in the future.