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We found out the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold price (and it ain’t pretty)


The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a truly amazing insight into the future of laptops, but can its gimmick justify how much it costs?

At an event held in Sydney on 30 August 2022, ASUS showed off its latest range of OLED Zenbooks to assembled media. The Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition, Zenbook 14 OLED, Zenbook Pro 16X OLED and Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED all looked vibrant and beautiful, but they were forced to play second fiddle to the true star.

The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a remarkable creation. I'll go into my initial impressions on it shortly, but let's start with the price.

While I was demoing the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, I asked the ASUS employee walking me through the laptop how much it would cost. He responded with the figure of $6,999. I asked twice to double-check.

To be transparent, the press release I received after the event simply states "pricing and local availability coming soon". As such, this figure could change in the days ahead. Or indeed, following media feedback.

But this price isn't far off what is being anticipated in overseas markets, once GST and "Australia Tax" have been considered. (The anticipated price in the US is around $5,750 which puts the leaked price in the ballpark.)

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What do you get for that price?

The Zenbook 17 Fold sports a stunning 17.3" OLED screen when in its tablet form. It offers a 2.5K (2,560 x 1,920) resolution display at 4:3 aspect ratio. It's got an excellent 0.2ms response time and delivers 120Hz refresh rate, with Dolby Vision.

Other OLED features like 70% reduction in blue light, 100% SCI-P3 (133% sRGB) colour gamut, 500nit peak brightness and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio are also in effect.

When folded, the screen becomes a 12.5", 1,920 x 1,280 (3:2) screen on the top half. The other half can be fit with the included physical Bluetooth keyboard or a virtual keyboard can be displayed on the screen.

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There are 4 mics and 4 Harmon Kardon speakers, capable of delivering a Dolby Atmos audio experience. It also charges through USB-C with a 65W block, while being Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth 5 compliant. As well as sporting a 5MP AI camera with HD infrared and colour sensor built in.

An audio jack and 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports round out the key features.

In terms of power, it's OK, but not mind-blowing (at this price). You're looking at a 12th gen Intel Core I7 CPU, integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, 1TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD storage and Windows 11 Pro.

It comes with not just the nifty little keyboard, but also a professional-looking carry case.

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Zenbook 17 Fold OLED impressions

Assuming the price does come in on what was indicated at the event or even anywhere near it, the Zenbook 17 Fold needs to be something special.

And it is. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I will be putting up some footage on my YouTube channel, so look out for that shortly.

Rather than feeling flimsy or cheap, bending the Zenbook 17 Fold feels robust and strong. ASUS has flagged the screen can withstand 30,000 open and closes on the press notes, but the ASUS representative I spoke to said they have a unit that's done up to 50,000 folds internally and it's still going strong.

When open, you can't even see the fold line when looking straight on. You can just about make out what looks like a depression (but isn't) if you view the stunning OLED screen side on. A kickstand at the back holds up the device resolutely.

But I also loved how well the system adapts from tablet to laptop. You just fold it in half, then drop the keyboard on the bottom screen and it's automatic. That's all that is required to convert it to laptop mode.

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Looking forward to my Zenbook 17 Fold review

I'm impressed with the flexibility and usability of what ASUS has built here. I can imagine watching a movie in 17.3" mode, then writing my review in 12.5" mode and loving life. But while awesome, I'm in no position to jump in at that price. Especially given the lack of a dedicated graphics card and a 16GB memory ceiling.

It's also bulky. Given what ASUS has to work with here, the company has actually done an excellent job. It folds down with the keyboard inside it and packs away into a great carry case. But when full, that case is relatively thick and heavy compared to, say, traveling with a Macbook Air and your phone.

I can't wait to spend more time with this device. I applaud ASUS for not just innovating, but setting such a high-quality bar on what, as of 2022, is speculative technology. But will the price meet the market?

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