Asus takes a page from Lenovo with new foldable PC

Zoom / Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED can take many forms.

When Intel unveiled its 12th-generation mobile CPUs on Tuesday, the company indicated the chips’ suitability for use in foldable computer designs by displaying unidentified concept images. It didn’t take long to find out what Intel was talking about. On Wednesday, Asus announced a foldable computer — think of it as a 17.3-inch OLED tablet that folds in half.

In addition to the 12th-generation i7 CPU, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. Components live in a device that measures 14.9 x 11.32 x 0.34 – 0.46 inches when open and features an OLED touchscreen display with a resolution of 2560 x 1920 and a GTG response time of 0.2 milliseconds.

Asus announced several OLED laptops at CES this week, but this is the only one with a bendable screen.
Zoom / Asus announced several OLED laptops at CES this week, but this is the only one with a bendable screen.

The screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, which makes it tall when fully open. If you fold it down in the middle, the screen will act as two 12.5-inch displays with a resolution of 1920 x 1290 and an aspect ratio of 3:2. When you’re done, you can fold the device closed so it’s “smaller than a sheet of photocopier paper,” measuring 11.69 x 8.27 inches, according to an Asus announcement. And if you’re worried about how often you can fold the device, Asus claims the hinge lasts at least 30,000 cycles.

Asus’ foldable OLED display can go up to 350 nits with SDR or 500 with HDR while covering 100 percent of the DCI-P3. OLED is known to deliver vivid colors, and Asus is promoting a particularly wide range with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. The monitor supports HDR with DisplayHDR 500 certification from VESA. The monitor can also use its built-in color sensor to adjust its brightness and color based on its environment.

The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED joins a very new class of foldable computers that initially bowed out when Lenovo released the ThinkPad X1 Fold in 2020.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold was launched in November 2020.
Zoom / Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold was launched in November 2020.


Lenovo’s foldable PC faltered due to limited CPU power and poor battery life, and as always with foldable devices and new technology, the high price tag. Additionally, Windows 10 hasn’t fully complied with the foldable design, especially since Microsoft has scrapped plans to create an operating system dedicated to foldable devices.

More than a year later, Asus produces a foldable computer with a larger screen, a new generation of CPU, and a larger battery. However, Asus hasn’t shared any pricing yet, and that will be a big part of the story.

The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED stands out from the ThinkPad X1 Fold with its larger size. Lenovo’s 13.3-inch foldable display has a smaller resolution of 2048 x 1536. The Lenovo’s size (11.8 x 9.3 x 0.5 inches when opened, 2.2 pounds) makes it feel more mobile. The 3.64-pound Asus foldable is even heavier.

It will use an Asus Intel Core i7-1250U. Since Intel’s 12th-generation mobile chips have just been announced, we haven’t seen them in action, but spec-wise, the processor looks more powerful overall than what’s on the X1 Fold.

The i7-1250U is specified with a clock speed of 1.1GHz that can increase to 4.7GHz with two performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and 12MB cache. The Lenovo foldable uses the i5-L16G7, which has one performance core, four efficiency cores, up to 3GHz turbo clock speed, and 4MB cache. You can still buy it today, but with half the RAM and storage space of the upcoming Zenbook.

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