Don’t buy it Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED. This is my advice to everyone. Not just those looking for a handy hybrid work device, or those who wouldn’t consider a device costing around $3,500, but even super early adopters who have the cash burning a hole in their pockets for such a purchase.
Asus knows this too. WIRED sat down with the first-year foldable maker for an exclusive piece on the device’s prototyping process, and during our chat, Gaming and PC Technical Marketing Manager Sascha Krohn confessed: “Clearly price was not a consideration,” adding, “this is not a consumer product, it’s not for everyone. In effect. ZenBook 17 Fold OLED may not be ready yet, but…love the idea. And between Lenovo and Asus, the only foldable PC makers right now, there’s a future here.
Screen with Smarts
Despite my reluctance to recommend anyone buy this device, after using the ZenBook 17 Fold for a few weeks now, I’m all for foldable PCs. The main appeal is being able to carry a large screen in your bag. Some may think of this device as a laptop that can turn into an extended canvas. However, something that looks like a portable display with Windows built in, rather than a laptop with a folding screen, is a more accurate description, especially when it comes to highlighting the best of this design.
When unfolded and resting on the attached stand, the beautiful 17-inch OLED display is an ideal size for multitasking, or just for tasks, like working in spreadsheets, that benefit from a screen. bigger.
The ZenBook 17 Fold OLED comes with a Bluetooth keyboard included in the package. The slim component can be stored inside the device when folded or carried separately. It’s a good shape, size and weight, similar to a 13-inch laptop keyboard, and can either sit on half the machine when folded (which the screen will respond to accordingly) or can be placed separately on a desk. The latter is my favorite way to use this device – a large, bright display with the keyboard in front. And, if the included keyboard and trackpad combination doesn’t work for you, you can always connect your own.
Conversely, I’m much less of a fan of portable mode. Asus says it’s gone as big as possible with the 17-inch screen here, but that’s still not enough, as for this incarnation the screen size is cut in half. It gets the size of a typical 13.3-inch clamshell machine, but the chunky bezels mean the screen is 12.5-inches. The typing experience is also worsened in this mode, with the accessory flexing more when not on a flat surface. Overall, though, the typing experience is strong, if a bit lacking in travel, and the trackpad is pleasantly clicky. Having had its hands on its rival Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (2022), Asus has beaten it well. I will come back later to other points of comparison with its only competitor.
In all honesty, my first impressions of laptop mode were worse than they are now, as the large, initially jarring bezels do fade a bit and it’s possible to get used to the screen size rather 12.5 inches small, especially if it’s only needed when space is limited.