Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED: The future is foldable

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED: Two-minute review

‘Foldable laptops’ – what a ridiculous term. All laptops are foldable, surely? They’ve all got a hinge; some are arguably more foldable than the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, like the 360-degree convertibles found on our best 2-in-1 laptops list. If you try to open this laptop that far, you’ll snap it in two!

But I digress. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a huge technological achievement for Asus – even if it’s one the manufacturer mirrored from Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2. Fortunately, both of these large-scale foldables are a lot better than the original ThinkPad X1 Fold; unfortunately, though, the Zenbook 17 Fold still has some pretty major drawbacks.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this review, I’ll provide a quick breakdown of exactly how this weird, awesome laptop works. Fully unfolded, the Zenbook 17 Fold looks and feels like the world’s most luxurious tablet: a huge 17.3-inch touchscreen with a rear kickstand and a separate Bluetooth keyboard. That OLED display is undeniably gorgeous, with excellent maximum brightness and color density.

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

But of course, colors that pop aren’t all this screen has to offer. Thanks to a sliding rear panel and concealed hinge, you can fold (see what they did with the name? Truly ingenious) the display and snap the keyboard magnetically to the lower half, turning it into a much more compact 12.5-inch ‘conventional’ laptop. Alternatively, you can leave the keyboard off and split the display in two at the hinge, or turn it horizontally for a sort of ‘book’ configuration.

It’s a clever, versatile device, and a great deal of work has clearly gone into making it feel durable. I’ve long been wary of folding displays – though they’re stylish and appealing, I’m dubious about the longevity of the best foldable phones – but this one at least feels very robust. When I first saw this product unveiled at IFA 2022 in Berlin, Asus had set up a big machine to repeatedly fold and unfold the display; it’s reportedly rated for 30,000 cycles, which should be more than enough.

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

When folded away, you can either clip the incredibly thin keyboard between the two sides of the screen, or fold it shut without the keyboard (though the angle of the hinge when I did this made me a little anxious). However, at almost two kilograms, it’s undeniably pretty thick and heavy when folded up – one of the best ultrabooks, this ain’t.

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