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The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is an incredibly exciting, but expensive convertible

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With the Zenbook 17 Fold, Asus has released the first large foldable convertible, which - as it turns out in our review - is a concept that integrates well into practical use. There are of course some technological challenges, but the biggest problem is the high price of 3,499 USD.

With the Zenbook 17 Fold, Asus has released a large 17-inch convertible with the ability to be folded-up. While Lenovo released a similar concept in the form of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold two years ago, Asus uses a significantly larger 17-inch OLED screen instead of the Lenovo's smaller 13-inch display. This makes the Zenbook Fold much more flexible and its 12.5-inch display in laptop mode stiil worth using for productivity. The true advantage is the possibility to set the large tablet down on a table (which can be easily accomplished thanks to the integrated stand) and enjoy the large OLED panel in its entirety. When folded-up, the Fold is significantly thicker than traditional, mobile laptops, which is something users will have to contend with. The laptop also weighs more than 1.8 kg including the Bluetooth keyboard, making it not exactly great in terms of portability.

When it comes to the build quality, the metal chassis and the folding mechanism are good, although the rubberized display bezels will attract grease and dust. The image quality of the OLED panel is excellent and Asus provides its own software solution to counteract distracting PWM flickering, which works well. Depending on the ambient light conditions, the fold in the center is very apparent particularly when the panel is off, although this is not a problem in practice. There is one more peculiarity concerning the surface, which is fairly soft in order for it to be able to bend (there is no additional protective layer unlike on most touchscreens) and thus unable to support digital pens without the risk of damage according to the manufacturer.

Asus uses a fairly recent Alder Lake processor from Intel that is quite energy efficient, but still sufficiently capable for day-to-day tasks. Additionally, the system benefits from a fast PCIe-4.0 SSD and 16 GB of RAM. Similarly, the large convertible is up to modern standards when it comes to technologies including Thunderbolt 4 and a Wi-Fi 6E module from Intel. A 5G/LTE modem is not available, however.

Furthermore, the battery life is another weakness, since the large OLED screen simply draws a lot of power. Depending on the brightness level, users should not expect to get more than 4-7 hours out of the convertible. There is, of course, also the high price of 3,499 USD. The true value of the Zenbook 17 Fold will only become apparent once direct competitors are released. With the upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (this time with a 16-inch display), one rival is already on the horizon.

More information, in-depth benchmarks, and measurements can be found in our detailed review:

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 10 > The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is an incredibly exciting, but expensive convertible
Andreas Osthoff, 2022-10-23 (Update: 2022-10-22)