Taiwan's Asus will be Entering the New Wave of Hybrid Tablet-Notebooks in the second half of the year joining HP and others
On April first Patently Apple posted a report about LG Display winning the contract for HP's 17" foldable display for a next-gen product referred to as a foldable notebook, wherein a large 17" display could act as a large tablet that could fold in half to act as a notebook-like device. The keyboard could be virtual or a separate keyboard could be provided that stands alone or could be magnetically attached to the lower half of the folded tablet.
On April 18 we posted a follow-up report stating that HP was likely to tippy-toe into this new product category with an initial order for 10,000 units. In related report in October 2020 we had noted that the push into this new class of device was spearheaded by Intel, Microsoft and Samsung under the "Horseshow Bend Project." This is definitely a Wintel project that will have many PC partners joining in to create excitement for this new product category that should be able to save consumers money by buying a hybrid tablet-notebook device versus two separate devices.
Today we're learning that Asus is planning to enter this new PC segment as well. They took will produce 10,000 units to test this new market before committing to higher productions. Our cover graphic represents image of the coming Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.
According to a new report by The Elec, "South Korean companies Kolon Industries and SKC will be supplying polyimide (PI) films to Taiwan’s Asus for the latter’s foldable notebook. The films will be used as cover windows __ protective films __ for the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, which was unveiled earlier this year by the PC maker.
Chinese display panel maker BOE will be supplying the foldable OLED panel used on the notebook. Kolon and SKC will supply their films to BOE, which will start manufacturing the panels during the second quarter.
Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is expected to go on sale mid-year. The notebook will feature a 17.3-inch foldable panel that can be folded to 12.5-inch. The screens have 2560x1920 and 1920x1280 resolutions, respectively. For more, read the full report by The Elec.
Will hybrid tablet-notebook devices challenge Apple's iPad dominance by 2023-2024? While only time will tell, we've reported that Apple has a series of patents on record (01, 02 and more) that prove that they've been working on such a device themselves. At the right time, Apple could easily jump into this market when the technologies are ready for prime time. Below is one of Apple's patent figures pointing to a foldable laptop.