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If there's one thing tech geeks can all agree on, it's that having more screen is always better. No one would ever claim working off a 12-inch screen is better than working off a 15-inch screen. But laptops can't just keep increasing in size the way TVs or monitors can because they must maintain portability (and the ability to fit inside bags). So most of the best consumer laptops have settled on a 13-inch screen, with more ambitious machines going for 16 or 17 inches.

But the advancement in foldable display technology changes things. It is now possible to go with a larger display that can still fold down to a manageable size. That's where the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED comes in. Yeah, the name is clunky, but I am currently writing this sentence at a Los Angeles coffee shop filled with digital nomads and I have by far the largest work canvas, which gives me a 17.3-inch screen in a 4:3 aspect ratio. I can have all the important windows open in a grid and I don't have to lean forward to see the words. And when I'm done working, I can fold the whole thing up into a package that's actually smaller in two dimensions than most other laptops.

There are legit gripes to be had with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. It's crazy expensive at $3,500, even compared to other Asus laptops, and it's a bit thick and heavy. But as an idea, who can deny the usefulness of such a setup? I am absolutely enamored with the idea of the Zenbook 17 Fold, and I think when the tech matures enough for pricing can be lowered and battery life can be improved, it's going to be the future of computing for those who either need or want to work on the go.

About this review: This review was written after a week of testing a Zenbook 17 Fold OLED provided by Asus. The company did not have any input in this article.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED has a huge screen, but its unique form factor makes it one of the most portable large-screen laptops on the market. However, that price tag is tough to swallow.

Tech Black
12th-Gen Intel Core i7-1250U
Operating System
Windows 11 Pro
2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x headphone jack
5.0MP with IR
Display (Size, Resolution)
17.3-inch OLED, 500 nits peak brightness, 4:3 aspect ratio
3.31 pounds (1.5kg)
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
14.9 x 11.32 x 0.34 ~ 0.51 inches (378.5 x 287.6 x 8.7~11.7mm)
Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5
  • It's a 17.3-inch screen that can fold in half and fit inside a bag
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Versatile form factors
  • High price
  • Thick and heavy
  • Screen doesn't get bright enough

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED: Price and availability

  • The laptop is now available at retailers like B&H and Newegg
  • You can get it for $3,499

The Asus Zenbook Fold 17 OLED is available now at retailers, including B&H and Newegg, for $3,499. It's currently out of stock on Asus's website, but you can sign up for notifications for when it'll be back in stock.

Design and hardware: Unique form factor

  • Sturdy hinge and construction
  • The display is relatively dim compared to just about any other modern computing device
  • Excellent keyboard

When taking the device out of the box, it's worth remembering that this is an all-in-one PC with a 12th-gen Core i7-1250U processor instead of an iPad-like device with smaller ARM silicon. Otherwise, it'll feel hilariously bulky and clunky. Mobile devices running on Arm-based silicon are much sleeker in general than Intel machines because the latter packs more horsepower but are much less efficient in energy consumption. So the fact Asus needed to build a fan in the machine and give it extra space for heat dissipation makes the machine much thicker than what something running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.

The next thing to address is that this design is not original; the Zenbook 17 Fold has basically the same hardware design and concept as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, which launched in late 2020. Lack of originality and typical Windows bulky hardware aside, the hardware construction is quite good. The hinge is sturdy, and the 17.3-inch OLED display does not exhibit a crease. The bezels around the display are relatively thick, but it's not a bad thing here because it can potentially be used as a 17-inch handheld tablet, so a bit more bezel space to grab onto gives peace of mind.

The back of the device is mostly aluminum alloy and is partly covered by a faux-leather wrap that also houses the built-in kickstand. The kickstand design only props the device up in landscape orientation, however, unlike Lenovo's kickstand, which supports the device in either portrait or landscape orientation.


When folded close, the device feels like a big tome and wouldn't look out of place on bookshelves next to encyclopedias. Despite the thickness, the Zenbook 17 Fold can still fit into the laptop compartment of my backpack.


There are two UBS-C ports, both Thunderbolt 4, and I like that they are located on different sides of the machine. I have options to place the charging cable on a side that's more beneficial to the machine's current placement, whether it be on my lap, by the bed, or on a coffee table. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with the usual power button and volume rocker. There are large vents for heat dissipation.

The thin keyboard is included with the package, and despite its thinness, offers excellent 1.5mm of key travel. I am a very fast touch typer (107 words per minute) and I was pounding out words on this thing with ease without any adjustment period. The keyboard's trackpad is responsive, too.


Just like Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold, the Zenbook 17 Fold's keyboard is designed to be able to sit over half the screen so that you can fold the device in an L-shape and use it as a smaller laptop. In this form, you get a 12.5-inch screen in a wider 3:2 aspect ratio. It takes up less space and can fit onto small coffee shop tables along with food and drinks and, I'm assuming, airplane tray tables.

The keyboard can stay sandwiched between the device when it's folded for an easier one-piece package. The bezels are raised enough that the keyboard won't make contact with the screen.

Display: Not even remotely bright enough

  • 2560 x 1920 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 4:3 aspect ratio
  • 500 nits peak brightness isn't enough to use outdoors comfortably


The 17.3-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 2560 x 1920, a 60Hz refresh rate, a 4:3 aspect ratio, and around 300 nits of maximum brightness. Yeah, this isn't very bright at all, and using it outdoors under direct sunlight was sometimes a struggle. It doesn't help that the plasticky nature of the display means the surface is very reflective.

When using outdoors, this screen is underwhelming compared to any other portable devices I have on me. But when I'm using this in a more controlled environment, without light reflecting off the screen, the display can look gorgeous. I have been using this as a bedside movie/YouTube machine, and to have a portable display this big is a satisfying feeling.

Software and performance

  • Perfectly fine as a productivity machine
  • Sub-par battery life
  • Can only handle light gaming

The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED runs Windows 11 Pro, and Asus mostly leaves the software alone, with only the company's Display Xpert to count as bloat that pops up regularly. There is also McAfee LiveSafe antivirus software by default. You can turn both off, thankfully.

However, because this machine can change into several forms, there are bound to be software quirks, especially since this is Windows we're talking about. Rotating orientation takes a second or two, and sometimes I could be using the machine in small laptop mode (with half the screen covered by a keyboard), but Windows will open across the entire 17.3-inch screen, requiring me to remove and then put back the keyboard to remind the machine it should only be using half the screen.

Also, this isn't so much a bug but a longstanding Microsoft issue: Windows sucks on a touchscreen tablet. Buttons remain tiny (because they were designed for mouse cursor use), and swipe gestures, like the aforementioned orientation rotation, have a second delay.

Windows' terrible tablet optimization, along with the machine's weight, makes the Zenbook 17 Fold impractical as a handheld tablet. There are still use cases. For example, I like to prop the machine on my lap when I'm on the couch and read articles or scroll through Twitter, but it's clearly the worse form of the three.

asus-zenbook-17-fold-oled-xda-review-1 2023-01-25 at 3.11.18 PM

Conversely, I absolutely loved using the machine when it was fully unfolded on a table with the keyboard nearby. I enjoy doing my writing work at dynamic locations like indie hipster coffee shops — something about being in that environment spurs my creative juices more than if I am at home staring at the same wall for hours — and having a larger screen than usual for traveling actively makes my work easier.

The laptop packs Intel's 12th-generation Core i7-1250U with two performance cores and eight efficiency cores, along with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. There's a 75Wh battery and four speakers distributed evenly on the left and right sides. All these components are fine, they're just nothing special in the laptop space.

asus-zenbook-17-fold-oled-xda-review-1 2023-01-25 at 3.09.25 PM

I'm not much of a gamer, but I tried a few games on the Zenbook 17 Fold, too. The racing game Asphalt Xtreme ran perfectly fine, and playing it on such a large screen in handheld mode felt simultaneously awesome and exhausting.

However, I tried to play Halo via Xbox Game Pass on the machine, and this is where the hardware limitations were evident. With just Iris Xe integrated graphics, it could not run Halo without significant frame drops and hiccups every 10 seconds or so.

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED's CrossMark score.

For general productivity tasks, I used the machine with a half dozen tabs opened on Chrome, with Spotify streaming and Twitter running on the side without problems. The fan does kick in when I try to open a fourth or fifth app, but no issues as a typical office worker's machine.

Battery life is, as teased earlier, not great. Even with my office productivity usage, the machine drains about 15-20% battery per hour. If you're just streaming videos, the machine can go about 9-10 hours, but anything else, 4-5 hours will drain the battery.

Should you buy the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED?


You should buy the Asus Zenbook 17 Foled OLED if:

  • You don't see $3,500 as a lot of money
  • You want a versatile device that can be a small laptop, desk computer, and mini tablet
  • You want to be the envy of people with smaller screens

You should not buy the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED if:

  • $3,500 is not an insignificant sum of money to you
  • You need a better display
  • You want to play video games

While there are a lot of reasons to buy or not buy the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, it all comes down to how much $3,500 is to you. And it's a fair ask because I have always thought blanket statements like "no one should pay $1,000 for a phone" don't take into account different people with different amounts of spending power. I have friends who scoff at paying $15 for a meal and another friend who regularly spends $150 on dinner. There are people out there to whom $3,500 is an insignificant amount of money, and for them, if they think the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a cool gadget, why not get it?

It's safe to assume, however, that for most people, $3,500 is not insignificant, so for this majority, I can't recommend the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED because of that price alone. As it is now, Asus's product is more a proof-of-concept and a glimpse at the future than a genuine product for the masses.

When the foldable PC tech matures — and judging from how fast mobile phones have improved, it should — perhaps something the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED will be cheaper, thinner, and more mainstream ready. With rumors of Apple planning a foldable iPad, I don't think this future is that far off. Skeptics will always find reasons to be negative, but like I have said about foldable phones for years, foldables are the future, and this will be the case for PCs, too.

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED has a huge screen, but its unique form factor makes it one of the most portable large-screen laptops on the market. However, that price tag is tough to swallow.