IFA 2022 – Our first impressions of the Asus ZenBook 17 Fold Oled and its foldable screen

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Presented on the sidelines of IFA in Berlin, we took control of the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled for long minutes. We were able to discover the ergonomics and responsiveness of this new format according to Asus.

The new format of the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled allows multiple uses: held like a book, flat on a table like a tablet, standing facing you like a screen or even as a classic laptop with a virtual or physical keyboard, since a Bluetooth the keyboard comes with the machine.



Laptop mode with virtual keyboard


Laptop mode with physical keyboard

Undeniable wow effect

We were able to take control of the device for many minutes. And the least we can write is that the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled provides an undeniable wow effect when we surf a website and scroll through information from the curvature of the screen. After this moment, project yourself to imagine how you would use it in real life. We can actually imagine holding it like a book and scrolling through the pages of an e-book, although the one and a half kilograms of the whole thing is quickly felt. The two uses that seem most relevant to us are in large-screen mode, placed in front of you thanks to its crutch, and in classic laptop mode with the Bluetooth keyboard located on the lower part of the folded screen.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled

The 17-inch screen in portrait mode allows you to consult your favorite pages in a different way.

© The Digital

Confusing mess

Once folded in on itself, the size is surprising: the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled is thick, just over 3.5 cm. The screen squeezes the keyboard. And if the user does not want to integrate the keyboard, the “folding” of the screen does not change, leaving a gap of about one centimeter between the two parts of the screen.

It is above all the density of the whole that we are not used to. Even if we have a laptop with a 17-inch screen in our hands, our brain can’t help but see the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled, once folded, as a 12.5-inch thick 3-inch laptop. .5 cm and weighs just over 1.8 kg. Confusing…

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asus zenbook 17 fold oled

When folded, the ZenBook 17 Fold OLED is as thick as a good novel.

© The Digital

The keyboard clicks on the lower part of the screen when the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled is in laptop mode. It is equipped with a USB-C port to recharge its battery – in other words, we would prefer it to be recharged by induction when placed on the screen. Another pitfall, the laptop isn’t backlit; for a €4000 product, this is a saving that the manufacturer could have done without.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled

In widescreen mode with the physical keyboard in front of you.

© The Digital

Regarding the transition to the different modes, if the size of the screen when the keyboard is located on the lower part of the screen happens almost instantly, the transition from portrait mode to landscape mode is still just as slow (between 1 and 2 sec. ). The fault probably lies with the sensors, but also with Windows, which ensures that the user has not made a false move before changing orientation.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled

Close-up of the curvature of the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled.

© The Digital

In order to organize the windows on the Windows desktop according to the selected mode, Asus has removed Snaps from Windows 11 for its own software. This is suddenly much less transparent as a floating icon wanders around the desktop and its use proves frustrating. You never really know which window ends up on the top or the bottom. Let’s hope Asus will refine its software before the ZenBook 17 Fold Oled is released.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled

The Asus software allows you to organize your windows into three zones.

© The Digital

The plate does not curl

For those concerned about the durability of the foldable panel, the technology is similar to that used on smartphones with a plastic film that is particularly prone to reflections. Asus has also ensured the resistance of the panel manufactured by BOE and its hinge with several tests. 30,000 opening and closing cycles are thus certified – however, the manufacturer ensures that its ZenBook 17 Fold Oled far exceeds this number of cycles.

asus zenbook 17 fold oled

The torture robot used by Asus to ensure the solidity of the hinge.

For this first iteration of the foldable ZenBook (the manufacturer suggests others will follow), a lot of compromises have been made. The magic that is present in the first few minutes of the grip fades little by little.

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