The world of foldable devices is growing and we’re not just talking about the number of devices that fold. ASUS has unveiled its Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, and it’s a great full-size device.
ASUS isn’t the first company to develop a Windows-based foldable PC. Lenovo released its version in 2020 with the ThinkPad X1 Fold which measured 13.3 inches in diameter when unfolded. Samsung is rumored to be working on its own Galaxy Book Fold 17, but so far this has not been confirmed. Not to be outdone, ASUS has announced its Zenbook 17 Fold OLED and apparently it’s the real deal.
The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED sports a fairly large 17.3-inch foldable OLED touchscreen (FOLED) that can fold into an even more portable 12.5-inch size. ASUS claims this makes it smaller than a sheet of copier paper for easier portability. The device will be offered with a 12th generation Intel Alder Lake processor up to an i7 U series. It will include 6E Wi-Fi capability and support Bluetooth. The foldable will have a 5MP camera for taking video calls and an HD infrared camera that will support the Intel Visual Sense Controller and Windows Hello.
The Zenbook’s OLED display will have a brilliant 2560×1920 resolution with HDR capability and will be powered by a 75 Wh battery. It will sport a 0.2ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE validated for accurate color, up to 500 nits of brightness and an ultra-vivid 100 color gamut. % DCI-P3. When the device is fully unfolded, it will have an aspect ratio of 4: 3, and in laptop mode, each 12.5 “half of the screen will provide 3: 2 sharp images.
The adaptability of this impressive device is not only in its size, but also in the versatile modes that it offers. You’ll be able to fold the device into a traditional-style laptop and use the available on-screen keyboard, or use the included ASUS ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard on the lower screen for easy web browsing. If you prefer the traditional desktop experience, you can simply unfold the device to its total size of 17.3 inches, place it on your desk with the built-in kickstand, and connect the Bluetooth keyboard. Don’t feel any of these options? Well, you can also open the screen fully and simply works with a very large tablet format. If you fancy reading a good book, you can use the book mode and your eyes and circadian rhythms will always be protected by the screen’s TUV Rheinland certified low blue light emission. Still need another mode? How about using the full portrait display while the device is sitting on a desk in laptop mode …
When it comes to audio, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED offers a Dolby Atmos four-speaker Harman Kardon certified audio system. It will also incorporate a Smart Amp which is said to be 350% louder with zero distortion. The amplifier is equipped with a DSP chip that drives the twin speakers to the maximum possible volume while avoiding long-term damage to the sensitive voice coils of the speakers.
If you don’t want the neighbors to hear what you are listening to, you can take advantage of the audio jack on the side of the device. In addition to the audio jack, you’ll find a Thunderbolt 4 port on each side, volume buttons, and a power button. ASUS notes that the device’s hinge has been tested against torture and is designed for 30,000 cycles. So theoretically you should have a lot of folds and unfolds before you use it.
As for the price, ASUS has yet to confirm how much its foldable will cost. If the foldable Lenovo is any indication, we can expect it to be an expensive device and ASUS notes that its first foldable PC will be available in mid-2022.
The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED looks impressive in terms of design, functionality, and portability. It’s bigger and potentially better than Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold in a number of areas, but we can’t wait to get our hands on one to test and prove it. The possibilities it presents should appeal to a wide range of consumers and a wide variety of use cases. The land of the folds has certainly become much more intriguing.