When Intel unveiled its 12th-generation mobile CPUs on Tuesday, the company pointed out the chips’ suitability for use in foldable PC designs by showing unidentified concept images. It didn’t take long to find out what Intel was talking about. On Wednesday, Asus announced a foldable PC – think of it as a 17.3-inch OLED tablet that can be folded in half.
In addition to a 12th-generation i7 CPU, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. The components live in a device that measures 14.9 x 11.32 x 0.34–0.46 inches when open and includes an OLED touchscreen with a resolution of 2560 x 1920 and a GTG response time of 0.2 ms.
The screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, making it tall when fully open. When you flip it in the middle, the screen acts as two 12.5-inch displays with a resolution of 1920 x 1290 and a 3:2 aspect ratio. When you’re done, you can fold the device so it’s “smaller than a sheet of copy paper,” according to the Asus announcement. And if you’re concerned about how many times you can fold the device, Asus claims the hinge will last at least 30,000 cycles.
Asus’ foldable OLED display can achieve a brightness of 350 nits with SDR or 500 nits with HDR, while covering an impressive 100 percent of the DCI-P3. OLED is known to deliver vibrant colors, and Asus is announcing a particularly wide range with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. The screen supports HDR with VESA’s DisplayHDR 500 certification. The display can also use the built-in color sensor to adjust the brightness and color according to the environment.
The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED joins an entirely new category of foldable PCs that first took shape when Lenovo released the ThinkPad X1 Fold in 2020.
Lenovo’s foldable PC stalled due to limited CPU power, poor battery life and, as is always the case with foldable PCs and new technology, a hefty price tag. In addition, Windows 10 didn’t fit the foldable design perfectly, especially since Microsoft scrapped plans to create an operating system specifically for foldable devices.
More than a year later, Asus produces a foldable PC with a bigger screen, a new-generation CPU and a bigger battery. Asus hasn’t shared a price yet, though, and that will be a big part of the story.
The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED differs from the ThinkPad X1 Fold by its larger size. Lenovo’s foldable has a 13.3-inch screen with a smaller 2048 x 1536 resolution. However, the Lenovo’s size (11.8 x 9.3 x 0.5 inches when unfolded, 2.2 pounds) makes it more portable. Asus’ folding 3.64-pound is heavier.
Asus’ machine will use the Intel Core i7-1250U. Since Intel’s 12th-generation mobile chips have just been announced, we haven’t seen them in action, but in terms of specs, the processor generally looks more powerful than what’s in the X1 Fold.
The i7-1250U is specified for a clock speed of 1.1 GHz which can be increased to 4.7 GHz with two performance cores, eight efficiency cores and 12 MB cache. The foldable Lenovo uses an i5-L16G7, which has one performance core, four efficiency cores, a turbo clock speed of up to 3 GHz and 4 MB cache. You can still buy it today, but with half the RAM and storage of the upcoming Zenbook.