Asus’ first foray into the world of folding-screen laptops, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, is now on sale for $3,499.99, the company has announced. Asus says the laptop is being sold in the US via B&H and Newegg though as of this writing only Newegg seems to have the laptop available for immediate shipping, with B&H listing it as “coming soon.” That aligns with the Q4 target date given to us when we reviewed the laptop in August.
At $3,499.99, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is eye-wateringly expensive, but my colleague Monica Chin points out that it’s the first such device that starts to deliver on the promise of this new form factor. You can either use the laptop with its 17.3-inch 2560 x 1920 screen fully unfolded and paired with a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. Or you can bend the screen to get two 12.5-inch 1920 x 1280 displays. The lower display can either be used as a touchscreen keyboard, or covered with the magnetically attaching keyboard for a more traditional laptop-style experience.
That’s not to say the laptop is perfect. Monica encountered a fair few hardware and software bugs in her time with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, which aren’t acceptable on a laptop at this price. And while it’s decently specced, with an Intel i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 75Wh battery, it still struggles when used with even moderately intensive apps like Lightroom. Its hinge is rated to be opened and closed 30,000 times, though as always there’s no telling how durable it’ll be in practice once it’s subjected to messy real-world conditions.
But as a proof of concept, Asus’ device is far more promising than previous attempts at the form-factor such as the ThinkPad X1 Fold from Lenovo, which released in 2020 for a slightly more affordable $2,499. “I do think the problems I’ve encountered, combined with the very, very high price, make it difficult for me to recommend this as a daily driver,” Monica wrote in August, but added that “the fact that it exists and that it mostly works is a great sign for this new category of device.”