Asus released its new Zenbook 17 Fold OLED at the end of August 2022. This is considered the best foldable laptop yet and has the largest folding screen in the world to date with a 17.3 in. touch display.
And with its shape-shifting technology, users can use it as a tablet, laptop, desktop, and in reader mode (where it opens like a book). The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is also powered by 12th Gen Intel® CoreTM i7 U-series processors, making it a powerhouse to maximize working productivity. But at over $3,000, is it worth it for the average computer user?
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Asus Zenbook 17 Fold Overview
Release date and price
After unveiling the Zenbook 17 Fold, Asus officially released it in the U.S. on August 31, 2022. The foldable laptop had a launch price of $3,499.99 and is currently at the same price. We don’t see this laptop having a reduction in price any time soon.
While the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is the largest foldable laptop so far, it’s not the first in its family. The Zenbooks have been around since October 2011, with the most recent models being:
- ZenBook x33 series (2018)
- S UX393 (2020)
- 14X OLED (2021)
The best feature about the Zenbook 17 Fold is its setup and screens. First, you can use the laptop as a desktop by fully extending its 17.3-inch 2560 x 1920 screen. When you do that, you’ll need to use a Bluetooth-connected keyboard and/ or trackpad.
You can also bend the screen to create two 12.5-inch 1920 x 1280 monitors. If you’d like to use it as a traditional laptop, the lower-screen display can be utilized as a touchscreen keyboard.
The large display and thickness make it harder to tuck away than a smaller laptop. But, at just 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg), it’s lighter than a MacBook Pro, so it won’t weigh you down if you’re traveling with it.
- 17.3” 2560x1920 foldable OLED NanoEdge touchscreen
- DisplayHDR True Black 500
- 100% DCI-P3 color gamut
- 0.2ms response time
- 87% screen-to-body ratio
- 12th generation Intel Core i7-1250U Processor
Asus reported that the metal chassis and folding mechanism are solid and that the laptop can be folded around 30,000 times before wearing down. But while the hardware is reliable, the fold in the middle of the screens can be highly noticeable, depending on the lighting circumstances. This may bug some users.
Please Note: As of July 16, 2023, the ASUS ZenBook 17 Fold is currently unavailable on Amazon. If you cannot find the product elsewhere, please check back later.
And, unlike tablets, the Zenbook 17 Fold can’t be used with digital pens, as they will scratch the surface. The battery life is another potential drawback of the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold. Due to the large OLED screen display, the laptop draws quite a bit of power. Users have reported as few as four hours of usability before the battery needs to be charged.
The low blue-light Dolby Vision screen is also PANTONE® Validated for accurate color reproduction, making this an excellent option for graphic designers. It comes with a detachable ASUS ErgoSense Bluetooth® keyboard and touchpad and includes a 5 MP AI webcam, HD IR camera (for face logins), and color sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness based on your location.
|Size||0.46 inches by 11.32 inches by 14.9 inches|
|Weight||3.31 pounds (1.5kg)|
|Screen Type & Size||17.3 inches OLED|
|Video Output||2560 by 1920|
|Audio Output||Quad-speaker Dolby Atmos® audio system|
|Internal Battery Type||75 wHr, 4-cell Li-ion|
|Operating System||Windows 11|
|Battery Life||11 hours|
|Average Charging Time||3 hours|
|Warranty||12-month limited warranty|
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold Review
The Zenbook 17 Fold is astronomically high in price, especially considering the fact that the laptop could use some work on certain features and specs. But, the PC design is years into the future, offering an all-in-one type device (laptop, desktop, tablet, and reader), based on a simple movement and layout. So, this foldable laptop seems promising, but let’s dive into the main aspects.
The Zenbook 17 has a large flexible OLED display with a built-in kickstand and detachable magnetic keyboard. The keyboard perfectly fits when the Zenbook is in laptop mode. It weighs under four pounds and measures 1.25 inches thick when folded in half.
When fully extended to the 17.3-inch screen, and with the help of the built-in kickstand, you can use the Zenbook with the Bluetooth keyboard just as you would a desktop computer. The gadget also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, located on opposite sides of the device, making it easy to charge.
The machine has a dark blue magnesium alloy chassis, along with a black faux leather stand and thick plastic bezels. The chassis can be folded upwards of 30,000 times before wearing out. The Bluetooth keyboard has a leather-like finish and is hydrophobic, so it won’t be ruined if you get water on it.
The Zenbook 17 Fold offers a 2560 x 1920 OLED display when the screen is stretched to its full size. The screen also has a naturally shiny coating. It’s reflective and will showcase fingerprints, so we suggest cleaning the screen fairly often.
While the Zenbook was intended to be used mostly in desktop mode, its vertical images and videos are often better to view when the device is in laptop mode. Also, the webcam is located on the side of the display, making taking meetings and video calls difficult when it’s in desktop mode.
The Zenbook’s touch screen is the main key selling point, offering a 4:3 aspect ratio and 2.5K resolution with PANTONE® Validated colors.
Ports and Connectivity
The keyboard that comes with the Zenbook is connected via Bluetooth. As far as physical connectivity goes, the device has two Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C connectors. These are located in the upper left corner and on the right side. Both options allow for the AC adaptor. However, if you need a USB Type-A port or an HDMI monitor connector, this laptop is not for you.
Processor and Graphics
This laptop sports a Core i7-1250U processor, 16 GB of memory, and a 1 TB drive. If needed, you can replace the GPU with Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. With a U-series CPU, this laptop is best for working and productivity and maybe some light gaming.
But it seems to work best with simple tasks, like reading or watching high-resolution videos. The Thunderbolt connectors can be used to connect an external GPU for heavier gaming, but this may cause the processor to slow down.
RAM and Storage
With just 16GB of RAM, the Zenbook is on the lower side, and programs (or even many tabs open on Chrome) can gobble up system memory. However, its 1 TB storage capacity will enable you to save or download many movies, large files, and more without worrying if your laptop can store it all.
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold: Pros and Cons
- OLED touch panel and vivid colors
- Works as multiple devices, including laptop, desktop, and tablet
- Internal speakers are loud and clear
- Included Bluetooth keyboard
- Subpar battery
- Bluetooth keyboard disconnects often
- No stylus support
- Kickstand can’t work in portrait mode
- Screen is highly reflective
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold: Is It a Buy?
We’re going to list this as a “not to buy” but only due to its current pricing. However, this futuristic model has a lot to offer, and we think with a little time and a few software updates, this will be the best foldable laptop yet.
Buy it if…
You want a travel-friendly device that can work as your main workhorse or machine.
You appreciate solid sound quality and want a “movie theater” experience when viewing videos.
You’d like to earn “cool points” or want to wow your peers with an innovative piece of hardware. Or, if you’re an early adopter of new technology.
Don’t buy it if…
You are a budget-conscious shopper.
You need a gaming laptop or device that allows you to do more than work and browse.
Battery life is important to you, as this laptop can die within four hours if on full brightness and streaming movies.
You want to be able to use a stylus or pen when in tablet mode.
Future of Asus Zenbook 17 Fold: What’s Next
Possible technology updates for the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold in the future could include:
- Upgraded processor: Transitioning to Intel 12th Gen processors, offering significant performance improvements for demanding tasks such as gaming and video editing.
- Increased RAM options: Providing configurations with 32GB or 64GB of RAM to cater to users who require extensive multitasking capabilities for running multiple resource-intensive applications simultaneously.
- Enhanced display: Upgrading to an 18-inch UHD+ display from the current 17.3-inch WQHD+ display, delivering a sharper and more immersive viewing experience.
- Improved battery life: Implementing enhancements to increase the laptop’s battery life beyond the current 8-hour mark, making it more portable and suitable for extended use on the go.
- Thunderbolt 5 support: Integrating Thunderbolt 5 support to replace the existing Thunderbolt 4, enabling users to connect more external devices at even faster data transfer speeds and enhanced functionality.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©tinhkhuong/Shutterstock.com.