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LG dives into the foldable laptop fray

The LG Gram Fold is only launching in South Korea for now, but has a 17-inch foldable OLED display that can be used like a tablet or a laptop.



LG dives into the foldable laptop fray
LG dives into the foldable laptop fray

Following the likes of Lenovo, Asus, and most recently HP, LG has announced a new laptop built around a single large foldable display. The device is called the LG Gram Fold, and it’ll be available to buy online in South Korea for 4.99 million won (around $3,697) from October 4th. An international release is yet to be announced.

Like previous foldable laptops, the LG Gram Fold can be used in a variety of different orientations. If you’re after a traditional laptop experience you can fold it upright and place a Bluetooth keyboard on its lower half to use the remaining part of its screen like a 12-inch laptop with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Or, if you ditch the physical keyboard, you can type on a virtual keyboard on the screen itself. Flattening the laptop fully lets you use it like a tablet, or you can add a keyboard to use it like a computer with a 17-inch screen. There’s also a book mode that’s designed for you to half-fold the laptop and hold it in your hands in landscape.

LG Gram Fold half folded on a person’s lap.LG Gram Fold half folded on a person’s lap.
In its laptop mode, using the lower half of the display as a touchscreen.
Image: LG
LG Gram Fold being held half folded like a book.LG Gram Fold being held half folded like a book.
The foldable being used like a book.
Image: LG

The display itself has a resolution of 1920 x 2560, with a peak brightness of 500 nits. In a separate press release announcing mass production of the panel itself, LG Display notes that the screen features a “specialized material” on the folding area of the screen to minimize creasing. LG says the Gram Fold is rated to survive 30,000 folding cycles. That might sound low compared to the 200,000 or even 400,000 that some folding phones are rated for, but the idea is that you typically fold and unfold a laptop less over the course of a day so the lower number of folds shouldn’t translate to a much lower lifespan.

LG is just the latest company to have announced a foldable laptop like this. Earlier this month HP launched the Spectre Fold, which also has a 17-inch display but a much higher price tag of $4,999.99. Prior to that we also saw Asus release the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED with a 17.3-inch display for $3,499.99, and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold with a smaller 13.3-inch screen for $2,499 (the latter also used a foldable panel from LG Display). Lenovo has a second-generation ThinkPad X1 Fold on the way with a 16-inch screen which ArsTechnica notes should finally be shipping in the fourth quarter of this year for $2,500.

Dimensions of LG Gram Fold.Dimensions of LG Gram Fold.
Images show the laptop with a pretty big gap when folded.
Image: LG

Away from the main attraction of its folding screen, the LG Gram Fold’s specs are more modest. It’s powered by an Intel i5-1335U CPU with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a 72Wh battery. It weighs in at 1250 grams, and is 19.9mm thick when folded and 9.4mm thick when unfolded. The Windows 11 machine comes with a pair of USB-C ports, one Thunderbolt 4 compatible, and the other USB 3.2 Gen 2x1. The LG Gram Fold is also stylus compatible, but LG is selling those separately.

With LG Display proudly boasting about mass producing these kinds of foldable displays, and competitors Samsung Display and BOE making foldable panels of their own, it seems likely LG won’t be the last laptop manufacturer to announce a device like this. Now we just need to hope for future models that don’t cost multiple thousands of dollars.