This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.
Folding screen phones are an interesting niche market that at least has a couple of flagship products, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Folding screen laptops are much more conceptual. To date, only a couple have gone on sale, like the Lenovo X1 Fold. Most of the others, like Dell’s Ori concept, are still just prototypes.
Asus diving right into the deep end of the pool at CES 2022, not with an iPad-like 13-inch screen, but a massive 17-inch folding OLED display, called the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold. Asus calls it “the world’s first 17.3-inch foldable OLED laptop,” which I believe, as I think I’d have noticed something similar.
This 2,560×1,920, 4:3 aspect ratio touchscreen can be propped up behind a bluetooth keyboard for something that feels like a 17-inch all-in-one desktop. Or, it can fold in half and become a 12.5-inch clamshell laptop with an on-screen keyboard on its lower half. There’s a custom software package for deciding which half of the folded display different apps should appear on, as Windows is not very savvy at that yet.
The system will be powered by 12th-gen Intel processors and have 16GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, along with WiFi 6 and a 75Wh battery. It’s about 3.75lbs, not counting the bluetooth keyboard, which seems reasonable. A 16-inch MacBook Pro is about 4.8 pounds for comparison. It’s got two Thunderbolt 4 ports, more than some, less than others.
This is one of the devices I really regret not getting a chance to see in person at CES 2022. There’s no price yet, but Asus says it’s coming “mid-year” in 2022.