Does the versatility on offer justify the Rs 3 lakh plus price tag?
We first spotted this device at CES 2022 at the beginning of this year and have been wanting to check it out almost ever since. Foldable smartphones have gone mainstream. This year Samsung released the fourth gen Galaxy Z Fold 4, even as more consumers across the world have begun to figure use case scenarios that work for them. The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold
OLED is positioned as the world’s first 17-inch foldable laptop with a versatile form factor. In 2020 Lenovo launched the ThinkPad X1 Fold review that didn’t set the sales charts on fire and never showed up in India. ASUS hasn’t shied away from experimenting; the Zenbook Fold 17 is a case in point. The big question is whether this device justifies its Rs 3 lakh plus price tag?
Flexible form factor
Versatility. That’s the first word that comes to mind after a week with the Zenbook Fold 17. It’s anything that you want it to be – tablet, laptop with a fully functional keyboard or a book. But does this flexibility also come with practicality? It’s easy to carry around when it’s folded with a 12.5-inch footprint. We like the carrying sleeve in the box; ASUS has also bundled an ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard that’s easy to cart around. It stretches to a 17-inch display once you ‘unfold’ it. It’s this massive display that is the Zenbook’s headline feature. The crease on the display is easy to ignore, ASUS claims that the proprietary hinge design is
durable and has been tested for 30,000 cycles. This flexible device is finished with premium materials including a magnesium-aluminium alloy frame and a leather kickstand.
It’s the large 17.3-inch display (2560 x 1920 pixels) that sets this foldable apart. Whether you’re catching a movie on a flight or flipping through a presentation deck at a client pitch, you will make a big impression. ASUS adds that the screen delivers perfect colour accuracy with 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut and Pantone validation. It peaks at 500 nits of brightness, with 1000000:1 contrast ratio and 0.2ms response time. This is one of the best laptop displays we’ve checked out in 2022 and one reason why the Zenbook Fold 17 deserves your attention. The display is a fingerprint magnet though.
While the bundled keyboard is light and portable it’s not quite perfect. We like the battery life and the in-built charging port that make it easy to juice it up. But it still doesn’t quite feel as a seamless accessory like some of the other tabs and laptops with detachable keyboards (like the Microsoft Surface). It’s reasonably comfortable to type on but it’s certainly not the best laptop keyboard (it’s not back-lit) out there. We think this might boil down to your workflows. You also have the option of using the on-screen keyboard when you unhinge the Bluetooth keyboard.
Portability is a big win for this foldable. It’s just 8.7 mm thin and weighs just 1.5 kg. The Zenbook also packs the firepower most of us need, It’s propelled by a 12 th gen Intel Core i7-1250U CPU with 10 cores and 4.7 GHz max frequency. It’s packed with 16GB of RAM and 1 TB of internal storage. You get the convenience of two Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as fast charging. You can use your Type-C charger, doing away with the need to carry an additional charger on a short business trip. Battery life is quite impressive. While this is subjective, you should comfortably last 10-12 hours in most scenarios.
The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is more than just a concept device. We like the flexible form factor – both in landscape and portrait mode, that opens up multiple use case scenarios. But its appeal (given the stiff price tag) may not go beyond early adopters or those who need a large Content Consumption device that can also get some work done.
The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED costs Rs 3,29,900