Folding screens or even flexible screens have more practical uses than you might consider. They might come across as a gimmick or a feature for manufacturers to justify the price, but more often than not, laptops with flexible screens double as touchscreen devices. That’s quite valuable for artists.
Moreover, other applications include the ability to adjust the screen better for a more ideal neck posture. It’s essentially a tablet as well. By “flexible screens” we mean those that have hinges that allow the screens to allow for a 360-degree bend or a literal foldable screen.
Laptops with flexible screens or folding screens, however, do have a glaring weakness; they typically have lower specifications (relative to their price).
But if you still find yourself needing something like this, particularly for work, then these laptops offer the best bang for your buck.
RELATED: 3 Best Tablets for Business Use—Top Productivity Boosters
Asus ROG Flow 13.4"
- High-end AMD CPU for laptops
- Fast DDR5 RAM
- Comes with periperhal freebies
- Pricey for its specs
- 720p webcam
- CPU / Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
- GPU / Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
- RAM / Memory: 16GB DDR5
- Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
- Display: 13.4″ Wide UXGA (1920×1200)
For the best combination of size, features, specs, and reliability among laptops with flexible screens, then the Asus ROG Flow (13.4-inch variant) is tough to beat. Like most other laptops with flexible screens or hinges, it comes with a touchscreen display.
The more impressive part of the spec sheet is the DDR5 RAM, which clocks in at a whopping 6400Mhz. At that point, Google Chrome likely won’t complain about anything anymore.
Everything else complements that level of hardware though the GPU could be better. But at this size and form factor, anything more powerful might produce too much heat.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED
- Beautiful OLED screen
- DDR5 RAM
- True Black display
- 0.2ms response time
- Early-adopter tech
- CPU / Processor: Intel Core i7-1250U
- GPU / Graphics Card: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- RAM / Memory: 16GB DDR5
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Display: 17.3” 4:3 Touch OLED True Black 500
This one has been all the rage in the laptop industry for the past few months, especially with the advent of Samsung’s folding phone tech in the smartphone scene. Asus was among the first to pioneer such technology for laptops and they did so with the aptly named ZenBook Fold series.
It’s quirky and odd compared to the usual laptop layout since the screen is 4:3 and can be split in half. There’s also a separate keyboard and the laptop can be adjusted in many different ways into other form factors.
The only downside is that this is an early-adopter tech and it might not be its best iteration. It’s also overpriced due to the OLED touchscreen and many other features though don’t expect anything from it when it comes to gaming.
Thinkpad X1 Fold Gen1
- Smaller and lighter compared to competition
- Can fit in a purse or a coat
- Perfect for healthcare professionals
- OLED screen
- Only 8GB of RAM
- Soldered RAM
- Processor could be better
- Poor battery life
- CPU / Processor: Intel Core i5-L16g7
- GPU / Graphics Card: Integrated GPU
- RAM / Memory: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB
- Display: 13″ 1536 X 2048 Touchscreen
“Budget” might be a bit of a misnomer here since folding laptops aren’t exactly ubiquitous or have mass appeal yet; but those who want or need a folding laptop yet don’t want to splurge too much on the early-adopter tech might find plenty to like in Lenovo’s X1 Fold.
It’s a smaller and more compact competitor of the ZenBook Fold and it’s not exactly as robust. So don’t expect it to be groundbreaking. There are no fancy specs here but it has the most important feature for its class of laptops, it folds. It’s by far the most portable laptop you can have since it’s only a bit bigger than a “phablet.”
Lenovo Flex 5
- Thin and light
- Decent RAM at this price point
- Runs relatively cool
- Included digital pen
- 16:10 aspect ratio is a bit square than widescreen
- Storage could be better
- CPU / Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- GPU / Graphics Card: AMD Radeon Graphics (Integrated)
- RAM / Memory: 16GB
- Storage: 512GB Storage
- Display: 14.0″ FHD Touch Display
Of course, not all of us have the budget for such a new and shiny folding laptop. It’s more of a novelty for most use cases at this point anyway. Luckily, Lenovo is more than considerate for its normal laptop users since the Lenovo Flex 5 is one of its strongest offerings, and it’s on sale right now.
This is a thin and light 2-in-1 laptop that comes with a touchscreen display and an included Lenovo Digital pen. The screen isn’t anything fancy or expensive but it gets the job done and won’t weigh you down too much.
Since it also uses an AMD Ryzen 5 chip, it’s decent enough for gaming with the included AMD Radeon Graphics. Overall, it’s a solid budget laptop that has something for everyone.
Acer Chromebook Spin 514
- Thin and light
- Ryzen processor
- Backlit keyboard at this price point
- Chrome OS is limiting
- Only 4GB of RAM
- CPU / Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3250C
- GPU / Graphics Card: Integrated
- RAM / Memory: 4GB DDR4
- Storage: 64GB eMMC Flash Memory
- Display: 14” FHD Touchscreen
If you’re willing to bring down the budget even lower, then you’re off to the Chromebook option but even you might be surprised at what a sub-$370 price point can get you. Because for the price of a mid-range smartphone, you can get yourself a nice new Chromebook from Acer with a Ryzen 3 processor.
If your use case involves mostly just Google Chrome-related stuff, then you’re better off with this small and minimalistic device. It does have some games via the Google Play app and the touchscreen display makes that hobby viable even for this device.
Do note that the storage is terrible here and you’re better off relying on some kind of Cloud data bank for your files if this is your only laptop. But for simple matters and work that’s mostly reliant on Chrome, this one will get the job done.
The Many Uses of Foldable or Flexible Screens
So how exactly are you getting your money’s worth with flexible screens or even folding ones? Here’s a list of applications to help you decide better whether these types of laptops are more suited for your needs or wants:
- Using it as a screen/monitor – By folding the screen at a 270-degree angle, you can effectively use the body as a stand. This allows you to watch movies from a better angle without the distraction of a keyboard.
- Working while lying down – This one’s likely subjective but working while lying down has a myriad of benefits for your spine. Moreover, it helps you relax and arguably focus better assuming you’re not sleepy.
- An awesome tool for artists – A 2-in-1 laptop with a foldable or flexible screen is practically a computer and a Wacom rolled into one. Most of them come with digital pens, allowing you to draw on the screen itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are flexible screens more expensive?Digital screens are inherently fragile and in order to make them viable on a flexible hinge or even a folding display, manufacturers need to invest in durability.
Are laptops with flexible screens better?Not necessarily. For most models, they can't have high-end GPUs due to cooling and weight issues so the only usual advantage that laptops with flexible screens have is their versatile display.