This analysis is somewhat special for us to have in our hands the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED, the world’s first foldable OLED screen laptop.
With innovation always as a standard bearer in the brand, this device provides us with modes of use which have never seen before in a computer with a wide 17” screen unfolded or an extremely compact laptop for travel.
It incorporates a high-quality rigid wireless keyboard, sound with 4 harman/kardon speakers, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and even a 5 MP camera as luxury peripherals.
When considering about hardware, we have Intel i7-1250U CPU, 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB Gen4x4 SSD being a full-fledged laptop.
ASUS Zenbook 17-Fold Review
As a good premium product, the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED comes to us in a luxury presentation, although the outer box will be the typical black rigid cardboard.
Of course, the one that contains the laptop will be a hard cover which highly work at the design level to store the fully deployed equipment.
The content will be brief:
- Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED Laptop
- transport case
- Power adapter with European plug
- USB-C to USB-A adapter
- Additional supports
A stylus should have been included as an add-on to get the most out of the screen right out of the box, especially for creative work.
Folding Chassis Design
Until now we have only seen Samsung foldable mobiles that marketed as the manufacturer capability of building this type of OLED screen with flexible capacity.
But Asus is the first manufacturer to do the same in a laptop, we are not talking about a tablet as it has a hardware which having a typical structure of a PC and Windows operating system.
It is a product designed for a public with high purchasing power who wants to have something unique, beyond power or utility for specific purposes due to its exclusivity and price.
With this as a premise, it is about having in our hands something that stands out wherever we use it and its folding capacity will be the main attraction.
Behind this we have a chassis built entirely in technological black aluminum on rigid plates for each part of the screen joined by a carefully designed hinge system to withstand at least 30,000 cycles.
This consists of a central flat profile on which the anchors rotate on both sides allowing a 180º turn.
Due to limitations of the image panel, the laptop cannot be closed so that their faces are completely glued together, so the thickness in the hinge area will be about 13 mm, while it will drop to 9 mm at the end.
To reinforce the system, a rigid synthetic leather outer cover has been fitted and that protects the outer area and limits the opening on the left side with a sliding hinge fixing.
Cover on the right side has a mobile support extension that allows us to place the screen in landscape mode to use the computer on a desktop.
Still there is a space outside for one of the faces to have a metallic finish and the screen-printed logo that gives us color effects when light falls on the surface.
At the opposite extreme, we have a normal design with the stickers identifying the technologies to incorporate and two small supports to place the equipment on the ground as a laptop or tablet.
Taking the position of its extended screen as a reference, the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED has a grill on the upper edge to expel hot air from the cooling system.
Right on the left edge we have 3 grilles which share the output of the two speakers on this side and the air intake. Finally, on the right side we have an integral grill for the two remaining speakers.
We are at the front of the device where we have a screen which is not less than 17.3 inches in extended mode which has 13 mm thick frames on the sides and 11 mm on the top and bottom edges.
These have a non- slip rubber finish to stick dirt easily. The screen finish will obviously be glossy to give the image of striking and bright point.
Ports and Connectivity
We continue with the connectivity section where the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED will have little to offer, but great power and we can find:
- 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
- 1x 3.5 mm combo jack for audio and microphone
- Power button and battery LED in the top or right-side edge corner
It will be two 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports which will support 65W charging for the device as the only way to charge it and can be included with a USB-A adapter, or a dongle, we can expand the types of connection for peripherals.
As for network connectivity, we have an Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 card which supports triple band at 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz like the most powerful equipment today.
Remember that, it supports a maximum bandwidth of 2.4 Gbps on 5 and 6 GHz with 160 MHz channels as well as 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.
Flexible OLED display with never-before-seen Mobility
It is clear that one of the main novelties not only of the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED but also of the electronics market will be the flexible OLED screen that we have in this unit.
It is a panel whose central area allows its total folding to go from a 17.3-inch diagonal fully extended in 4:3 format to 12.5 inches in a single half in 3:2 format.
The resolution will be 2560x1920p which is providing spectacular image quality thanks to the high density of pixels per inch.
It offers strong image characteristics such as a maximum brightness of 500 nits with DisplayHDR True Black 500 certification, Dolby Vision, Pantone calibration validation and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage thanks to its 10-bit depth.
It also has a response of 0.2 ms only with the limitation of 60 Hz in refresh rate. 90 or 120 Hz would have been the finishing touch to round off this wonder.
These are characteristics of a panel prepared for design tasks, but beyond this what is really valued is mobility. We have different placement possibilities up to 6:
- Portable mode with virtual keyboard on the screen: taking advantage of the full extension of the screen in portrait-lay format.
- Portable mode with Bluetooth keyboard: if in portable mode we place the keyboard on the screen, only the upper half will be used, saving battery life and giving us an ideal physical keyboard surface for office automation.
- Extension: like two previous ones, but using the Bluetooth keyboard externally to the equipment.
- Desktop position: with the screen fully extended, we will have those 17.3 inches in landscape format to control them using the Bluetooth keyboard
- Tablet to use: of course, another key position is that of the tablet type, but much broader than any portable device. The multipoint touch input is fantastic with fast response and a good gliding surface, but a stylus has not been included to complete the possibilities
- Book type: in a horizontal position with the laptop slightly closed, the layout on the screen will be divided into two parts with the help of the ScreenXpert 3.0 system that will already be included from the factory.
One of the main concerns of this screen is obviously the area where it bends and Asus promises a durability of at least 30,000 cycles.
We cannot test this in such a short time to see if it is true, but the smoothness and good treatment of the screen will be the key so that, it lasts as long as possible.
A common question is the curve noticeable on the screen when it is extended? Well, it is noticeable especially to the touch, and this can be an inconvenience for drawing, but it is inevitable at least with the powerful, it is very well hidden from view.
Sound System and Webcam
Be careful with the sound configuration of this Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED, because it will be at a very high level to surpass current tablets and also many laptops.
We have no less than 4 speakers signed by harman/kardon located in the corners that give us a surround effect, compatible with Dolby Atmos.
Such a display leaves us with a great listening experience especially in multimedia content with a volume that surprises with its power where Smart Amp does its bit.
It has a good balance of frequencies, detailed sound with an appreciable presence of bass and good sound despite its thin chassis which other “normal” laptops would like to have.
It is accompanied by not less than 4 microphones distributed throughout the equipment with an AI noise cancellation system integrated into the MyAsus software. These provide us with far-range capture and good clarity for video calls.
The webcam also goes up a notch compared to normal laptop options as it is a 5 MP sensor that incorporates an IR sensor for facial recognition.
Once again, they are the typical characteristics of a tablet, so we are more than satisfied with the benefits of this section.
A necessary component to talk about a laptop to use in this Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED will be the rigid Bluetooth keyboard that is included with 3 connection profiles.
The touch input is fine, but when it comes to typing quickly and working, the ideal is a peripheral like this with a rigid metal chassis and island-type membrane keys.
Nor could it miss a 105 mm wide by 62 mm deep touch pad with integrated buttons and an excellent sliding surface. We have an ANSI type TKL format with distribution in Spanish from Spain and only row of F keys on the top edge.
These have double functions like any laptop keyboard, but we do not have a backlight which is the only drawback that we can put at the level of usability.
It is not as rigid as a keyboard to use, but we hardly have sinking in the central area nor does it slip on surfaces as it has a non-slip rubber base.
The mobility functions seen before are largely thanks to a peripheral like this which allows it to be placed on the laptop with strong magnetic fixing and automatic detection to turn off this area of the screen.
On the right edge it has the USB-C port that will allow us to charge its battery, as well as a switch to turn off the device when not in use.
We liked its performance a lot in any of the situations and being comfortable for fast typing.
Features and Hardware
The Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED packs laptop-like hardware despite its thin chassis. For this, an Intel Core i7-1250U CPU is used, the same one used for example by the Surface Pro 9.
It is a unit with low consumption Alder Lake architecture composed of 2 P-core at 4.7 GHz and 8 E- 3.5 GHz core, 12 MB L3 cache and a ridiculous TDP of only 9W expandable in PL2 to 29W.
It features 12th Gen Iris Xe Integrated graphics made up of 96 execution units at 950 MHz.
It is accompanied by 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM as the most powerful option available using a Dual Channel configuration with some possibility of expansion.
Finally, a 1 TB Gen4x4 SSD completes the storage configuration, so at the speed level, we are facing powerful specifications that allow us to work on demanding tasks smoothly.
The integrated heatsink features a tiny fan that we don’t hear even under stress on the unit. This ensures a completely silent use at all times.
We begin the tests of the Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED with autonomy which has a 4-cell Lithium-Ion battery and a power of 75 Whr.
This takes around 5.5h for a full charge cycle which is quite slow for a laptop and clearly outclassed by tablets.
Using the saving mode, screen brightness at 20% and carrying out basic tasks, the autonomy that we have obtained in the best of cases has been almost 9 hours.
It will be the case where we use the full screen, so in portable mode at half screen we should get more than 10 hours easily.
The stress process of Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED has been subjected and lasted around 60 minutes. It has been carried out with FurMark and the capture of temperatures with HWiNFO.
There is momentary Thermal Throttling when starting the stress process, but as soon as the fan is activated the temperature stabilize between 68-75ºC giving us a pretty good average, but without reaching the maximum PL2 possible.
The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is one of those highly exclusive products that we will be able to touch on very few occasions which take steps towards a new era in terms of mobility.
ASUS Zenbook 17 – Fold OLED
- Brand: ASUS
- Series: ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
- Screen Size: 17.3 Inches
- Color: Black
- Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
- CPU Model: Intel Core i7
- RAM Memory Installed Size: 16Gb
- Operating System: Window 11 Pro
- Card Description: Integrated
- Graphics Coprocessor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Flexible OLED screens still have few applications for the general public, but it is satisfying to see how it is implemented well in this laptop that will lead the user to a new user experience.
Undoubtedly, the OLED panel is the main focus of the laptop which allows us to use it in full format with 17.3 inches very well used or only half to have a very compact device for travel.
Its high brightness, color rendering, and excellent touch input are on par with the best Zenbooks.
The irremediable central crease is a bit noticeable especially in tactile operation, but it is something that we still have to deal with in this type of technology simply due to the limitation of materials.
But the equipment is much more than its screen, because we have a well-optimized chassis with a robust and reliable hinge, peripherals at a high level such as the sound of 4 speakers, a 5 MP camera with 4 microphones and its rigid Bluetooth keyboard with battery which only lacked backlighting. It will be the perfect option on trips.
To get an idea, it has given us more than 8 hours of autonomy with the screen displayed using Wi-Fi and the keyboard.
The hardware is powerful and allows us a smooth multitasking experience with DDR5 RAM and 1 TB Gen4x4 SSD.
The price of this Asus Zenbook 17-Fold OLED amounts to $3,500, a figure that is obviously due to its flexible technology.
It is not a laptop designed for everyone, rather for gourmets where money is not a problem to purchase a very exclusive product in terms of design.
Zahid Khan Jadoon is an Interior Decorator, Designer and a specialized Chef and loves to write about home appliances and food. Right now he is running his interior designing business along with a managing a restaurant. Also in his spare time he loves to write about home and kitchen appliances.