The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is coming in Q4 starting at $3,499
Asus has finally revealed official pricing and availability information for its first foldable ever, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. The laptop, which is one of the first foldable PCs on the market, will be rolling out globally in the fourth quarter of the year, and it will start at a whopping $3,499. It had first been announced at this year’s CES back in January.
That’s not an easy price tag to stomach, but you do get a lot of your money here. Of course, the main appeal of the device is the display itself, which is a 17.3-inch OLED panel, coming in a very sharp 2560 x 1920 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. When you fold the screen, you get two 12.5-inch halves, with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1920 x 1280, which enables various use cases.
Laptop mode lets you use the top half of the screen as a regular display and the bottom half as a keyboard – and there’s a physical keyboard you can attach to the bottom half for a more comfortable experience – while desktop mode lets you use the full screen with the keyboard connected via Bluetooth, with Extended mode being a variant of this where the display is laid vertically and partially folded, so you get more vertical screen real estate. You can also use it in tablet mode and reader mode, where you hold the device like a book.
The keyboard we mentioned above is also a big part of this design. It’s included with the laptop, and designed to attach magnetically to the bottom half of the screen, or to be used wirelessly via Bluetooth so you get the full 17.3 inches of screen real estate. Asus actually claims this is its best laptop keyboard ever, with a 19.05mm key pitch and 1.4mm of key travel, so it should be pretty comfortable to type on.
Powering the experience is an Intel Core i7-1250U processor, hailing from Intel’s U9 series, which is meant for ultra-thin devices like this one. And yes, this is a very thin device, at just 8.7mm when unfolded. You also get 16GB of RAM (soldered) and a 1TB SSD (slotted), so you’re getting fairly high-end specs to compensate for the price. You also get a pretty big 75Whr battery, which should get you very good battery life considering the low-power processor.
Asus also put a lot of thought into the design. The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes in at 1.5kg (3.3lbs) of weight by itself, and 1.8kg (3.97lbs) with the keyboard), so it’s still fairly portable all things considered. This is enabled by a magnesium alloy chassis, which is pretty common for thin and light laptops. There’s also a glass panel on the outside with the etched Asus monogram, and a leather cover wraps around the hinge. The hinge that enables the foldable design was also designed to be as durable as possible, and Asus tested for 30,000 open-and-close cycles, which would be enough to last you five years, assuming you open the laptop 15 times a day.
As for ports, the thinness of the device limits what you can get, but with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, you can connect just about anything using a Thunderbolt dock, and you’ll have at least one accessible port in any mode you use the laptop in. Plus, you get a headphone jack, which you can’t say of other foldables like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold.
Some will probably find it hard to justify the $3,499 price tag based on the specs, especially when the best laptops available today can have a lot more power for a lot less money. But when it comes to foldables, Asus is breaking new ground with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, and this price tag is much more in line with other foldables when you consider the top-tier specs. For example, the ThinkPad X1 Fold started at $2,499, but that was for a model with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Again, you’ll be able to buy the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED in the fourth quarter of the year.
Source: Asus (YouTube)