The folding laptop concept has potential

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop with keyboard 1

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

I can correctly be described as a desk monkey. I expend most of my workday sitting down behind a check (or two), and I know this is not information to anybody, but it can get previous. As such, I’m usually looking for approaches to, um, spice up my desk everyday living. In the past, that intended shopping for a bigger, broader check (verdict: mixed) or trying out a standing desk converter (verdict: advisable).

In excess of the very last weeks, I tried out a thing new: a transforming, foldable notebook. The verdict? The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold has quite a few flaws, but it’s continue to a single of the coolest ways to split from the tyranny of the desk. And you never have to give up a great deal productiveness. Allow me explain.

Wait, how does this matter work again?

Like a Galaxy Z Flip 4 mobile phone, the Zenbook 17 Fold’s monitor folds down the center. The tech has been close to for a long time, but that doesn’t make it any much less spectacular, in particular when it’s used to a significant-ass display screen (to use the technological expression). The monitor is coupled with a skinny Bluetooth keyboard that attaches magnetically. Together, they make up the “laptop” — you could just as easily contact it a “tablet” or “All-In-1 Personal computer,” even though.

The Zenbook 17 Fold is a suitable transformer. Asus lists 6 configurations you can use it in, but the most important kinds are as a 12.5-inch notebook (display folded midway, keyboard masking the base component) and as a 17-inch All-In-A single (screen unfolded, kickstand out, keyboard positioned in front of it). The other modes are appealing but less simple — you can use it as a giant tablet or fold it midway and permit websites and apps circulation down the bent screen like some maniac.

This is a legitimately exciting product, the likes of which we haven’t seen in the Computer system area in years.

Ok, so what’s so awesome about it?

First, I really do not consider I’m stretching the definition of “cool” here. This is a legitimately enjoyable device, the likes of which we haven’t witnessed in the Pc place in yrs. The Zenbook 17 Fold is only the 2nd foldable laptop computer on the industry right after the Lenovo X1 Fold. Asus adopted the similar notion as Lenovo but built it even bigger. As these types of, the Zenbook 17 Fold is the initially 17-inch foldable laptop computer you can purchase. The expansive display screen is a person of the best factors about it, as it delivers lots of screen area irrespective of how you use it. Which is not something you could say about Lenovo’s claustrophobic to start with-gen X1 Fold, though the observe-up model enhanced monitor dimensions to 16.3 inches.

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop with keyboard 4

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

The very best thing about the Zenbook 17 Fold is how very easily and seamlessly it transforms.

In notebook manner, you get quite a great deal particularly what you’d hope from a machine of this screen sizing. It’s chunky, but it usually appears and works quite related to, say, the tiny Chromebook I’ve been working with as my each day driver. This mode is fantastic on the go or anytime you lack a continual surface area to prop the monitor on.

When you unfold the monitor and prop it on the hidden kickstand, magic transpires.

When you unfold the display and prop it on the hidden kickstand, magic comes about. From a compact 12.5 inches, your world of pixels expands to 17 inches of glorious Comprehensive Hd OLED display. Which is plenty of monitor room to give some older standalone screens a operate for their income. And mainly because the display screen is 4:3, you can in good shape a lot more information than on conventional 17-inch laptop computer screens, most of which are 16:9. Searching the world wide web necessitates less scrolls, functioning with complex spreadsheets is considerably less complicated, and overall it is just less difficult to see the massive picture.

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop top view with keyboard on 9

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Concerning the roomy 4:3 format, the stunning OLED hues, and the touchscreen, making use of the Zenbook 17 Fold at your desk is a satisfaction. But you really don’t have to be tied to your desk — you can set up the identical productivity-enhancing huge screen on your kitchen area desk or at your favourite cafe. And that’s the essential benefit proposition of the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold. It’s both moveable and compact and expansive when you will need it to be.

I would not go as far as to get in touch with the Zenbook 17 Fold a replacement for a committed watch, in particular if you personal a big ultrawide or 4K keep an eye on. And Asus’s implementation of the foldable display screen strategy is not with out troubles. You can tell Asus was additional anxious with transport an innovative merchandise fairly than sharpening it to perfection. The bezels are anachronistically thick, the edges are also blunt and plasticky, and the kickstand gives minimal adjustment choices. As well as, it will take a even though to determine out how to easily pop it open, particularly when the keyboard attachment is tucked in.

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop with virtual keyboard 15

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Just one matter that’s not a difficulty is the monitor crease, built notorious by foldable phones. The Zenbook 17 Fold doesn’t have one particular. In its place, there is a slight indentation running down the middle of the screen, which will cause a tiny shift in colors and luminosity when considered at selected angles. I was in the beginning skeptical, but following working with it for a handful of hrs, I understood this wasn’t an issue. I simply just stopped seeing it after a whilst.

I am sold! How do I get one?

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold

Ok, here’s the challenge. As substantially as I assume you’d delight in it, I can not advise that you invest in the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold. Indeed, it is innovative and adaptable but also unpolished and really high-priced. It is the textbook definition of a to start with-generation product or service that only committed early adopters should really even contemplate, allow on your own buy.

The Zenbook 17 Fold is the textbook definition of a 1st-era product. Only devoted early adopters ought to even take into account it, let alone acquire.

Even if money indicates almost nothing to you, you need to know about some other problems with the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold. It suffers from mundane difficulties like unstable Bluetooth connectivity, middling overall performance (this is no gaming device), and bloatware (McAfee pop-ups experience downright insulting on a $3,500 Pc).

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop with keyboard and kickstand 18

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

Asus also struggled to clear up all the distinctive difficulties produced by the foldable design and style. Bafflingly, mainly because the webcam is on the side, the picture is sideways in Zoom calls. That oversight should not have manufactured it to a shipping merchandise. From time to time, the laptop forgets what manner it’s in, causing the interface to spill more than the whole display screen even when the keyboard is on leading of it. Talking of the keyboard, it is really superior for the most section, with decent key journey and ergonomics, irrespective of its slimness. It is not backlit and not some thing I’d appreciate to use each working day, but it’s great more than enough when you are on the go.

A strong, if not wonderful, Computer, which is wholly overshadowed by its major marketing position — that attractive folding display.

On the flip side, the battery is strong at ~7h of use, despite the acres of display it has to energy. The audio is remarkably loud and pleasant, the build quality is satisfactory, and Home windows 11 gracefully adapts to the transition concerning display modes (except for the bugs I mentioned).

In quick, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is a stable, if not fantastic, Pc, that’s entirely overshadowed by its main marketing position — that beautiful folding display.

asus zenbook 17 fold foldable screen laptop exterior design 13

Bogdan Petrovan / Android Authority

So what is the level, then?

The level of the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold is to demonstrate that folding screens on laptops are not only technically possible but also useful, simple, and enjoyment to use. If that was the mission Asus set out to carry out, it is now a achievement, even if the value rules out the likelihood of it turning out to be a professional strike.

There are however several issues to clear up to make foldable laptops a practical products category, but I never see any offer-breakers. I’m inclined to guess other producers will bounce on the bandwagon before long, and probably resolve the early complications encountered by the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold and Lenovo X1 Fold.

In the meantime, this desk monkey will regret acquiring to send the review device back to Asus.

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