Asus' new Fold/Unfold laptop out in 2009

Asus pretty much stole the show at this year's CeBit, showing off a couple of truly innovative new mobile computing concepts - the dual touchscreen 'flipbook,' and its origami-inspired and ergonomically-enhanced superslim Fold/Unfold notebook, some of the most imaginative Asus laptops to be unveiled.

TechRadar managed to catch up with Asus' CEO Jerry Shen for a long and revealing interview following the company's successful CeBit press conference.

Amongst other things, Shen was happy to let it slip that the Fold/Unfold concept - collaboratively developed by groups of designers from France, Italy and Korea - should soon be in production and is set to be commercially available in Q3 this year.

That's right. In 2009.

Dual-screen Flipbook in 2010?

Shen also added that early adopting techies are going to have to wait a little longer before they see a commercial release of Asus' dual touchscreen 'flipbook' concept.

What was clear was that the Eee PC manufacturer is very serious about developing the dual touchscreen concept - which emerged from its initiative - for commercial release as soon as possible.

Shen also noted that while Asus' Fold/Unfold's futuristic-styling was certainly inspired by Apple's superslim MacBook Air, the design objective was to produce a machine with a far more ergonomic keyboard.

Which is what the company has done, as you can see from one of the first pics of Shen holding Asus' latest machine right here. We were lucky enough to get a good look at this pre-production model at CeBit and cannot wait to test out the final version later this year, as it is already at the top of our Xmas wish-list for 2009!

Stay tuned for more exclusive Asus news as well as the full, unexpurgated interview with Asus CEO Jerry Shen shortly.

Head over to YouTube for a video demo of the design background to Asus' Fold/Unfold mobile PC concept.

Adam Hartley