Whether you think foldables are innovative or a gimmick, there’s no argument they’ve gained traction amongst first adopters seeking devices offering more viewable screen space in a compact design. Till now the folding form factor has primarily been limited to mobile devices where the hinge+seam technology does not require spanning a large screen display, most notably in the various iterations of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series and its smaller counterpart, the Galaxy Z Flip. Now, imagine that folding form factor supersized into a 17.3” OLED laptop size with a touchscreen, and you’ve got the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.
The 17.3″ 2.5K OLED folding display design earned ASUS both a 2022 Red Dot Product Design Award and iF Design Award, lauded for a transforming design that allows for various viewing configurations combining its 17.3″ 2560 x 1920 resolution folding OLED 4:3 display with a second 12.5″ 1920×1280 resolution 3:2 display. When folded up, the Zenbook is impressively smaller than an A4 sheet and 8.7mm, weighing a modest 1.5kg.
Specs hit the premium notes, including a PANTONE Validated color-accurate 2.5K slim-bezel NanoEdge Dolby Vision screen with TÜV Rheinland-certified low blue-light levels, a 12th Gen Intel Core processor, Harman Kardon-certified quad-speaker Dolby Atmos speakers, 5 MP AI webcam, a HD IR camera for fast face login, and a color sensor for automatic brightness and color temperature control.
ASUS made sure not to skip on the tactile quality, with the design further enhanced with a premium build in the form of a magnesium-alloy chassis that feels “silky” smooth and keeps oily fingers from leaving their mark.
The Zenbook can be used as a large tablet or held like a book for viewing/reading content. Combined with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard the Zenbook works pretty much like any other full size laptop, hiding away the secondary folding OLED.
But the most interesting configuration is using the Zenbook folded in half, using the bottom half of the screen as an on-screen keyboard and the top half as the display, and using the on-screen keyboard on the bottom half. As a tactile typist who loves their mechanical keyboards, we’re very curious whether this on-screen keyboard configuration is easy to use, but nonetheless are intrigued by a highly configurable form factor that could essentially offer the services of a laptop, tablet, and even an external monitor in a single design. Just get ready to pay a pretty penny for this 1st adopter portable: the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED starts at $3,500.
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