While CES 2022, the nation’s premier tech show, was notable for low attendance and fewer exhibitors due to the pandemic, there was no shortage of cool product and technology debuts, including a raft from PC maker Asus, which has never been short on innovation.
While Asus commands just a 7.2 per cent share of global PC sales, according to Statista, its second-tier sales status hasn’t stopped it from producing cool desktop and mobile units. The new Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, billed as “the world's first 17.3-inch foldable OLED laptop” offers ample proof.
The 3.5-pound unit features a huge, seamless 17.3-inch display which is just 8.7 mm (0.34 in.) thin when laid flat and folds smoothly into twin 12.5-inch 1,920-by-1,280-pixel screens in laptop mode, in which case you can have different content on each half or use the entire screen as one.
You can type directly on the touchscreen, place the included Asus ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard over half of the display or use the wireless keyboard while detached, in which case you essentially end up with a 17.3-inch PC. The well-powered Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes with an Intel Core i7 U-Series main processor and uses Intel's Iris Xe graphics hardware.
The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED’s display can provide rich colors and deep blacks because of the way OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens work. Most laptops have LCD (liquid crystal display) screens made up of tiny pixels that filter the illumination provided by a backlight. OLED pixels, on the other hand, generate their own light. Thus, while an LCD pixel creates the color black by blocking as much of the light behind it as it can, an OLED pixel simply shuts off—thus resulting in a true black.
Not only is the screen big and colorful, it’s also Pantone-validated, which means it can render colors very accurately, an essential feature for professional image editing. According to Asus, the OLED screen also emits 70 per cent less eye-tiring blue light than an LCD display.
Of course, with a folding screen durability always comes into question. Asus said that its display and hinge has been tested for 30,000 open/close cycles. The unit also comes with a four-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system with Dolby Atmos immersive sound technology and ample connectivity, including two 40Gbps-capable USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports.
No pricing was announced, but given the OLED technology and other specifications, it certainly won’t be cheap. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED will be available by the middle of the year, according to Asus, but that remains to be seen given today’s chip global chip shortages and shipping challenges.
My tech tips appear regularly in Sree's Sunday Note.
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