As seen by the PadFone series, Transformer Book series, ROG Mothership, and Taichi, Asus is not afraid to try new things when it comes to the form factor of their products. A few concepts, like a dual-screen laptop codenamed “Project Precog,” never made it past the prototype stage, while others, like the ZenBook Duo, have produced several iterations and become increasingly perfected. The ZenBook 17 Fold OLED (UX9702) is not just a concept; it will soon be available for purchase in India, giving us an opportunity to have a look at yet another device with the potential to revolutionise the industry.
To what extent will the demand for a foldable laptop computer actually be met? Is there a need for this that traditional laptops can’t meet? The only way to get answers to these issues is to put the technology to work for a very long time. With only a little amount of time spent with the new ZenBook 17 Fold, all I can offer you today are my initial thoughts. Stay with me here.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED (UX9702) Price in India
- 378.5 x 287.6 x 11.7 mm
- 1*16 Gigabyte
- 5200 Mhz
- Built-In Speakers
- Built-In Microphones
- 802.11 b/g/n/ax
- Laptop, Power Adaptor, User Guide, Warranty Documents
- 1.1 Ghz
- Soft Keyboard, 1.4mm Key-travel
- 1 TB
The Asus ZenBook 17 Fold has a starting price of Rs. 3,29,000, which is a lot of money but not completely outrageous when you realise that many high-end gaming laptops and even a reasonably equipped MacBook Pro can cost as much. We’ll soon discuss the single hardware option that will be made accessible in India.
Pre-booking on Asus’s website will net you up to Rs. 40,700 discount when you purchase a qualifying laptop, plus a further Rs. 5,000 in quick cashback, bringing the total price to Rs. 2,84,290. In addition to the potentially useful extended warranty (which covers the OLED panel and folding mechanism) and free 500GB portable SSD, you also receive accidental damage insurance. To those who pre-order, you’ll have until November 9 to do so, and on November 10, you’ll be able to purchase directly from Asus’s website.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED (UX9702) design, specifications and features
The ZenBook 17 Fold is packaged in a wedge-shaped box that stands upright, creating an air of drama upon initial opening. The tablet is displayed in an upright position, while the supplied 65W USB-PD charger is stored in a container underneath the tablet. A USB Type-A to Type-C adapter, a protective case, and a Bluetooth keyboard are all stowed away within.
A 17.3-inch, 2560×1920 4:3 display awaits you whenever you open it up. The tablet’s thicker than average bezels improve its hold in the user’s hand. Asus claims this prevents users from inadvertently folding their devices by squeezing the screen inwards with their thumbs as they fold the device’s body. The screen’s surface is somewhat malleable, but I was less worried about damaging it than I was, say, with a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold.
There are different ways to use the ZenBook 17 Fold. It could be a big tablet, but I don’t think I could use one for long without a fan. To use the Bluetooth keyboard comfortably, you have to open the kickstand. The screen is bendable enough that you can hold it like a book if you make a small bend in it. Also, there is a “normal” laptop mode in which the keyboard is magnetically attached to the bottom half of the screen. This makes the effective screen size about 12.5 inches and the resolution 1920 by 1280. (though the bottom of that curves downwards and forwards). If you’d rather not use the physical keyboard, you can detach it and use the device in a curved portrait mode, with a virtual keyboard appearing automatically as you type.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED Weight
The ZenBook 17 Fold weights 1.5 kilogrammes (1.8 kilogrammes with the Bluetooth keyboard), which is not too awful in comparison to other modern laptops, especially when taking into account the size of the 17-inch display. Key travel and spacing are OK, and the layout is fairly conventional, although the keyboard’s placement and height might get irritating with time. You won’t have any trouble making use of the trackpad. However, I am worried about the keyboard unit bending, and it is inconvenient that it must be charged via a USB Type-C connection as it has no contact points.
The closed ZenBook 17 Fold is noticeably thicker and bulkier than other laptops on the market, which tend to be broad and thin. It’s heavy, like lugging about a leather-bound encyclopaedia or an enormous agenda. Although Asus has chosen sturdy materials like glass and aluminium for the back, the hinge housing wraps around the exterior like an additional protective shell (or bottom surfaces, depending on how you use this device). While the screen isn’t flat when folded in half, placing the Bluetooth keyboard in the middle makes for a tidy sandwich that protects both the screen and keyboard from accidental harm.
You may use the ZenBook 17 Fold without worrying about it breaking down in harsh environments. Unfolding the 17.3-inch OLED display reveals a wrinkle along the centre, although this will only be bothersome from certain angles and will depend on the task at hand.
Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED Core i7
The Core i7-1250U processor from Intel’s latest ‘Alder Lake’ generation is inside, and it boasts two performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and Iris XE graphics. Although active cooling necessitates the use of a fan, the device’s vents are designed to never be in the way when in tablet or laptop form factor. Not only that, but we made sure to put the four speakers and two Thunderbolt ports in convenient spots.
The ZenBook 17 Fold has a 75Wh battery and can be charged using a 65W USB-PD power bank. Soldering use for all 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. To my surprise, Asus has opted for a conventional 1TB PCie 4.0 M.2 SSD module; nevertheless, you should not attempt to open the device in order to expand the storage yourself. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 are also included. Last but not least, there’s a webcam with 5 megapixels of resolution.
Asus’ software enhancements are just one more topic of conversation. Most crucial, though, is how the ZenBook 17 Fold will feel to use on a daily basis as a laptop for work and play. To be honest, there have been times when I was using my 13.3-inch laptop when I wished I could see more spreadsheet columns or work across two apps side by side.
Will virtual keyboards replace real ones in all laptops? Can you really have the best of both worlds with the ZenBook 17 Fold, or is it simply another niche toy? Will you be able to get everything done if you decide to be an early adopter simply because it’s trendy? In our comprehensive review, we’ll go deeply into these topics and more, in addition to putting the ZenBook 17 Fold through our standard battery of testing. Keep it here on Gadgets 360 for our in-depth look at this technology.