Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is the embodiment of such an ideaIt costs $3,500, so it's not intended for mass sales, but after using it for a month, it was thought that until just a few years ago, it would end up as a gimmick. to see the future.

I can see a world where everyone will carry an all-in-one foldable PC in their backpack. It feels like it.

Asus Zenbook 17 is a 17.3-inch Windows tablet when spread out.

Portable desktop PC with kickstand and included Bluetooth keyboard.

When folded, it transforms into a 13-inch clamshell laptop.

After use, you can fold it all together and put the keyboard in between to make it look like a thick day planner. This is convenient!

Suitable for all occasions, whether on the plane, at a cafe, or while traveling. It impresses me every time I use it.

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The price is relatively high for the first generation, but I think it captures the concept of a foldable PC well, so the next challenge is to improve the operability to a level that matches the price.

# Option

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is one version. For $3,500, you get one with a 2.5K (2,560×1,920) 4:3 OLED screen.

CPU is Intel 12th generation Core i7-1250U (high-performance core 2, high-efficiency core 8), GPU is Intel Iris Xe, memory is 16GB LPDDR5, SSD storage 1TB (PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2). The 75Wh battery comes with a 65W Type-C charger.

It comes bundled with Windows 11 Home edition, a Bluetooth keyboard, a USB-C to USB-A dongle, and a synthetic leather sleeve.

# Design

When you take it out of the box, the design is a masterpiece. I get the impression that they are doing everything they can to make sure that they can change to any form.

It's still a smart machine, and it's kind of futuristicThis is partly due to the subdued black color (called "Tech Black"). However, the prototype smell has not disappeared.

The magnesium alloy body is very sturdy even when you change the way you hold it. The upper half of the back is frosted glass (the new logo shines brilliantly), and the lower half is two-tone synthetic leather. The leather doubles as a kickstand and cover protector.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

The kickstand is sturdy, and once you remember where it is (it's in the back), it's easy to pull out.

However, it is a little short and cannot cover the entire width like the Microsoft Surface.

There's no problem if you use it on a hard base, but if it's on a soft surface like a bed, it's easy to fall over, so it might be better to have one on each side.

It weighs 1.8kg including the keyboard. Considerably lighter than the similarly sized Dell XPS 17 (5.58 kg).

It is thick. It's designed with the keyboard in between, so it's similar to the thickness of two stacked MacBook Pro 16s. When in laptop mode, it looks like a ThinkPad and has tactile keys.

I love the industrial build and design of the Zenbook 17. The only downside is the thick, plastic-like bezels, which Asus says are absolutely necessary with the screen fold.

It attracts dust easily, so it's difficult to clean, and I'm worried about its durability, but so far I haven't noticed any noticeable wear or scratches.

# Display

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

The centerpiece of the Zenbook 17 Fold is its 17.3-inch screen. It's not just a screen that bends, it's just gorgeous, with 2.5K resolution detail, vivid OLED colors, and deep blacks. Brightness is an issue with OLED, but Zenbook 17 doesn't have that problem. Peak brightness goes up to 500nit, which is more than enough when you're working out in the park on a sunny day. Watching a movie on a full OLED screen is completely different. I feel like I bought a TV on my bed.

The folding was smoother than I expected. Unless you look at the crease from the side, you won't be able to tell.

It can be held in a variety of ways, but the two I use most are when it's fully opened and used as a 17.3-inch all-in-one desktop PC , and when folded at 90 degrees and used as a 13-inch laptopThe bezel is not noticeable on the former, but I found it annoying at first on the latter (I got used to it after a few days).

I folded it slightly inward to make it hold like a book, but at 1.5kg, it's too heavy to be. The closing structure is sturdy but requires a little force. At first, I was unfamiliar with it and had to pry it open (that is, I couldn't open it with one hand).

According to Asus, it can withstand 30,000 openings and closings, so even if you bend it 10 times a day, it will last more than 8 years.

# Keyboard, touchpad, webcam, port

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

The included keyboard is thin but doesn't clog the keys, and the tactile switches have a nice clicky feel (keystroke is 1.4mm), and you can still type 100 words per second as usual.

Sometimes it's really fun to hit, but sometimes it's hard to tell when the screen changes due to bugs, so it's hard to evaluate.

In fact, if you fold it and attach it to the bottom, you should be able to use it like a laptop, but sometimes it doesn't switch to the laptop mode software immediately, and sometimes the taskbar doesn't appear at the bottom.

Also, I often have to turn off the power and turn it back on because the keyboard doesn't connect.

Even if you don't carry the keyboard separately, you can store it in the center of the folded screen. When I unfolded the Zenbook 17 at my destination, the keyboard was turned off and I needed to charge it.

Also, despite being so expensive, there is no keyboard backlight, and gesture sensitivity is a little uneven, so it's a pity that you have to wait for a software update, or the cursor disappears and you have to restart.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

The webcam (5MP) is the centerpiece of the Zenbook 17. It can be unlocked with facial recognition, and video calls are crisp and bright.

Best notebook I've ever usedWell, if you expand the screen and put it in desktop mode, the webcam will move from the top center to the left edge, so video calls will be at an unreasonable angle. The ports are two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports and a standard 3.5mm audio jack. The top has an LED light and a volume button to inform you of the remaining battery level.

# Sound

A total of four powerful speakers are arranged on the left and right. It is quite loud. When in notebook PC mode, it's divided into upper and lower parts, but in tablet mode, you can enjoy a stereo effect that spreads the sound to the left and right.

When you actually listen to it, you will be surprised by the rich sound spread. Even if you raise the volume to MAX, you won't feel any distortion.

It may not be the level that you can be satisfied with by concentrating all your attention on Ludovico Einaudi's classics, but even that can be solved to some extent by fiddling with the built-in equalizer, and it's enough for normal listening.

Netflix and podcasts don't even require headphones.

# Processing performance

When Asus first announced the Zenbook 17 Fold, I was concerned about processing performance, but I was able to handle my daily tasks without any problemsWhether you're multitasking with tons of Chrome tabs open or running multiple Zoom video calls, the power of the 12th generation i7 chip makes it a snap.

Once at the airport business center, open the Zenbook 17 fully and open and use a lot of tabs, spreadsheets, and high-load apps (Slack and Zoom), then cut off the work halfway, fold it, and board. When I spread it out on a small table in the plane in laptop mode, all of my work was zoomed out to half the screen and I was able to continue.

Of course, it's not blazingly fast, so the fan runs slower for more demanding creative tasks.

The benchmark results are not so good, with Geekbench 5's single-core task score of 1,612 and multi-core task score of 4,301, which is the best result. On the Blender bench, it took 9:58 minutes to render the test scene, which is faster than average but beats even smaller and cheaper laptops.

The Zenbook 17 Fold isn't meant for heavy-duty tasks like Photoshop in the first place, and the GPU performance was sluggish on the bench.

Handbrake measured the time to convert a video file from 4K to 1080p at 16 minutes and 30 seconds, and Geek bench's OpenCL test was 14,577. By the way, the M2 MacBook Air is 4 minutes and 15 seconds, the Asus Zenbook S 13 is 9 minutes and 47 seconds, and in Blender's test, the GPU needs to break the 9-minute and 20-second barrier to complete the test.

I thought it would be great if I could play games on such a beautiful 17.3-inch screen, but with this GPU performance, it feels like it's just a thought.

I played "Overwatch" at 1,080p at 20 FPS, and the benchmark for "Sid Meier's Civilization VI" showed an Average Turn Time of 9.35 seconds.

# Battery life

OLED notebooks suffer from battery life, but the Asus Zenbook 17 lasts much longer than expected.

I measured it using Chrome, Slack, Zoom, and Netflix, using desktop and notebook modes half and half, and it was just under 7 hoursIt won't last as long as the MacBook Air, but with a screen this big and just under 7 hours, it's great.

In my video viewing test (playing YouTube at 200nit, 480p), lasted 9.5 hours. With the included 65W charger, you can go from empty to full in just over 90 minutes.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review

# Where to buy?

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is the first foldable 17-inch notebook on the market.

There are rough spots only in the starting lineup, but it was more complete than I expected. Having a notebook-sized PC that can be used as both a desktop and a notebook was a dream come true, but after trying the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold, I'm realizing that it's no longer a dream.

With the Zenbook 17 Fold, it's good that it not only folds but also has the best screen. It has good battery life and can handle daily tasks smoothly.

There's still a lot of room for improvement, so I'm not sure if I'd be willing to pay $3,500 to buy it. If it's this high, you'll want to criticize things that don't matter, like the position of the webcam.

Many other manufacturers are planning to release 17-inch folding PCs this year. If you wait for a few more generations, it will probably reach the point where it encourages migration from existing notebook PCs. I felt a certain response when I saw the Zenbook 17 Fold.

Source: Shubham Agarwal 

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