Asus debuts a foldable portable display for some reason

Asus debuts a foldable portable display for some reason

Asus has shown off a new product, and well, it's definitely something new for most of us: A foldable display that's intended to be a portable screen. Essentially the concept Asus Zenbook 17 Fold but without all of the PC hardware tucked inside, the ZenScreen Fold OLED (MQ17QH) is a 17.3-inch monitor that can fold down for transport.

When folded, the display shrinks down to a 12.5-inch size that makes it ideal for tucking into a bag, but when unfolded it becomes a 17.3-inch OLED display sporting a 2560 x 1920 resolution. As with most folding screens, it's covered with a layer of shiny plastic that facilitates the fold, and cannot be used as a touch screen or with a stylus. While Asus's Waterdrop hinge allows for a seamless "no-gap" display while unfolded, there's a visible crease in the display while open, but that's the case with all foldable displays at the moment, and not much of a cause for concern.

It's relatively light and slim (for a monitor), weighing 1.17kg and measuring 9.7mm thick. A kickstand allows it to sit on a desk by itself, and it can be positioned in landscape or portrait mode as required, giving it some extra versatility. Ports-wise, you're looking at a mini HDMI port or a USB-C (DisplayPort Alt-Mode) port. In terms of display specs, it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, and has certification for VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500.

It's an impressive piece of kit, but something of a puzzling one. In short, why has this been made? It's clear it's meant to form part of an office on the move, plugging into a laptop and offering extra screen real estate for those who need it, but who's the user? It's hard to imagine a remote worker plugging this in at a cafe, but it could see some use within the growing number of "hotdesks", being easily pulled out of a laptop bag and set up within a more traditional but only semi-permanent office space.

Pricing wasn't announced alongside the device, but it's not likely to be cheap. The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, when fully upgraded, comes in at a princely $3,500, so it stands to reason that the ZenScreen Fold OLED wouldn't fall on the lower side of $1,000, and may even come in close to $2,000.