Can computers with a folding screen kill computers with a keyboard?

In Berlin, Asus and Lenovo both presented laptops with a folding screen. This futuristic technology allows them, once unfolded, to offer a giant display surface.

After folding smartphones, folding computers? While it’s true that most laptops can already fold, the devices presented by Asus and Lenovo at the IFA in Berlin have little to do with a normal “laptop”, like a MacBook. Air. Indeed, these new generation devices do not have an integrated keyboard… but a screen that extends over the entire lower part. What interest ? The same as with a device like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, namely allowing their user to carry a huge screen in a minimal footprint. The Asus Zenbook Fold, for example, is smaller than a 13-inch (12.5-inch) laptop. Yet when needed, it can transform into a 17.3-inch tablet.

A rather convincing concept

We can doubt the usefulness of a folding smartphone, but with a laptop, the interest seems quite obvious. By eliminating the keyboard to enlarge the screen, brands are not disrupting user habits. A folding screen laptop looks like a normal laptop, which is a huge positive. The presence of a crutch on the back of the device, to hold it when it is unfolded, is also great. It’s as if your laptop could suddenly turn into a mini-TV.

Unfolded, the Zenbook Fold offers a huge surface. // Source: Numerama

What about the keyboard? Here too, manufacturers fear ingenuity. Both Lenovo and Asus offer a magnetic keyboard that can be placed on part of the screen to deactivate it. Automatically recognized, it turns the folding PC into a normal PC, only turning on the screen at the top. It’s pretty awesome to see that, since the folding aspect of the device then becomes a simple bonus. Its primary function may remain that of a computer.

Zenbook Fold 3
When you put a keyboard on a folding PC, it pretends to be a normal computer. // Source: Numerama

Should we expect to see folding screen PCs land in all stores? It is possible, but not in the short term. The price is already a first obstacle (count in the 3000 euros for the Lenovo model, in the 4000 for the Asus model), while the technology is still far from being mastered. Folding screens are made of plastic, manufacturers don’t know how to manufacture them massively… There are plenty of reasons why this technology is not likely to be the norm for a few years. On the other hand, the day it will be ready, we can well imagine high-end PCs switching to this new design.


Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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