Asus Zenbook 17 Fold in review – Folding 17-inch OLED convertible debuts
The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is the first large foldable device available on the market and after our mixed experiences with the older one Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (13.3 inches), we were pleasantly surprised by the Zenbook as a whole. The system is very versatile, and it’s very tempting to be able to fold out a fairly compact laptop into a 17-inch OLED screen when there’s enough space. Similarly, the device could be good for space-constrained workspaces at home, where external peripherals can be connected.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the performance, as Asus uses a TDP that significantly exceeds Intel’s minimum of 9 watts for the ULV Core i7. Although users shouldn’t expect any miracles and most games will probably still be too demanding, the performance level is easily enough for everyday tasks such as web browsing, text editing or video conferencing, and system noise is quite quiet. . The speakers are decent and there are modern features like Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6E, while 5G/LTE is missing.
Subjectively, the large OLED screen offers a great visual experience, although color accuracy isn’t particularly high even after our attempted calibration. Therefore, the panel is not suitable for serious assembly work. On the other hand, there is a software solution to suppress PWM flicker.
With the Zenbook 17 Fold, Asus demonstrates that a large format foldable device is a real possibility. It’s exciting to be able to carry a fairly compact laptop while still enjoying the benefits of a spacious 17-inch screen. However, there are some shortcomings in certain areas, and the new concept has an advantage.
Of course, there are downsides, which certainly include the $3,499 MSRP. Since the Zenbook 17 Fold is a brand new product, this is something prospective buyers should be aware of. Additionally, the device is relatively chunky, especially in laptop mode, and there are better alternatives in the traditional travel laptop space, albeit without a large 17-inch screen.
The true value of the Zenbook 17 Fold will only become apparent when there are real, direct competitors. With Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Folda slightly smaller 16-inch model is already on the horizon.
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