ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED- The best foldable Laptop

Kenya is known in the region as Silicon Savannah and the effort is being made both by the Government and the private sector to be truly a technology led economy. Some efforts like one laptop per child  might not have worked out but it is great to see that everyone is trying to put their best foot forward. One initiative that has really interested me is the constituency innovation hubs and I hope the new Government will improve on the concept. Actually if we can get one innovation hub per ward, that would be awesome.

So a few weeks ago I got an ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED from my great friends at team ASUS Kenya. It coincided with the day I was meant to go and visit an innovation center that is being planned in Ndhiwa constituency in Homabay county.  I carried the laptop with the intention of going to show the team some of the great current innovations that would be awesome to see at the center. 

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is not really the first many-in-one  laptop with a foldable screen, Lenovo tried it but ASUS is the one that has successfully put the concept to the market.  Apart from the very switched on tech enthusiast, not many people have seen such a laptop before and the  reactions of the Ndhiwa team seeing the laptop was priceless.  To say the truth I also had almost similar reactions when I was trying to figure the different modes or use case scenarios of the laptop:” 

First is the Laptop Mode with virtual keyboard

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED can be folded into a 12.5” laptop. With this mode you get a perfect laptop suitable  for working on the go like when traveling through a plane or a bus or even in the restaurant .  In this case, you used it the way one uses the  touch screen of the phone with the virtual screen being on the half of the screen space. 

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Laptop Mode with Bluetooth Keyboard

The same as the first one, folds into a 12.5” laptop  but in this case you  place the ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad onto the lower half of the display. In this mode, you have a powerful PC with a screen that you can split into three windows for multitasking.

The Laptop extended Mode

In this mode, you fold it into the shape of a regular laptop like the first two mentioned above and use the keyboard separately in what is called by ASUS as an Extended mode. It sets the top half to be a primary screen and the bottom half to be a second or secondary screen. 

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Desktop Mode

The leather kickstand at the back of the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED lets you use this device as a desktop computer. In this case you have a 17.3” screen display and separate keyboard just like a typical desktop.   For the young ones or the Gen Z who have no idea what a desktop looks like, ASUS have you covered. You can relive the so-called old people’s great days of the desktop computers. Actually this is my favorite mode for the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED as it gives me a huge screen display as well as a separate keyboard that I can use either on the close proximity of the laptop or as far away from the laptop as I want. 

Tablet mode.

For those who have read my different reviews of the laptop gadgets, you have probably come across my takes about the times when people thought tablets would kill the laptops. That did not happen and the gadget manufacturers seemed to be finding a middle ground where you can have one gadget that fits all the purpose. I think ASUS has done it perfectly with the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. When fully unfolded the Fold 17 OLED turns into an impressive 17.3-inch tablet. For writers or bloggers you can visualize content very clearly with mode as well as share the content to whatever different platforms. It is a joy to use as a tablet  I must say. 

ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Reader Mode

I remember when among my friends and generally Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) the most talked about gadget was Amazon Kindle. Whenever anyone at the time talked about reading a soft copy of a book, the assumption then was always that you have a Kindle. Now ASUS  in a unique way, has brought the concept on the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. In other words, you do not need to buy an ereader gadget separate from your laptop or table.  Folding the device just slightly and holding the device horizontally gives you a book-reading-like experience. Considering the 17”size, it is perfect for reading newspapers, especially those big ones.  Sometimes we talk about comfort, probably for the sake of it but the large screen allows users to read any type of content material with ease. 

Design

One thing that I keep on complaining about is the gadget designs. Nobody does anything unique any more, especially when it comes to mobile phones.  Last year, the ASUS team in Kenya hosted us in Naivasha in Nakuru County,  to go through the range of their devices. One thing that impressed me most at the time is the amount of effort they put into ensuring that each device is uniquely designed.  Despite all that I think  Zenbook 17 Fold OLED has topped whatever else they have done with the other devices. It is unique, it is Sophisticated, and pretty. The chassis of the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is made of magnesium aluminum alloy and finished in a Tech Black color. It features the new ASUS logo design with the “A” in the ASUS name pointing upward. 

The question that I know some of you might be asking and I also asked myself is how can a screen be folded without cracking.  You know, the screens are made of glass  and given the number of my phones by different people that have had their screen cracked and hence could not be used any more. 

 The fact about the foldable OLED screens is that the technology used employs plastic rather than glass, meaning the screen can be flexible.  Given how impressive the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is, I think it is just a matter of time before the technology found its way in most of the screens for other gadgets. 

According to ASUS, they  torture-tested the hinge ? the area that folds ? by putting the device through a 30,000-cycle open-and-close session, which gave them satisfactory outcome. The device is also certified with a US Military-Grade Durability badge. 

Impressive Performance

A device that can assume many use scenarios, definitely has to be fitted with a powerful processing unit.  Normally e-readers or tablets are close in specifications to mobile phones and not as powerful when compared to the  high end laptops or desktops. For ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED we are talking about everything in one device. It is equipped with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 U-series processors, up to 16 GB of onboard memory, and a 1 TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. The Fold also features two Thunderbolt™ 4 ports and a 3.5 mm audio combo jack. Lastly, a large 75 watt-hour battery provides enough battery life for extended usage sessions

The functionality that I think is key in any device is covered from all angles.  The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED features an onboard memory design to allow for a thinner and lighter chassis. The Fold features up to 16 GB capacity and fast 5200 MHz LPDDR5 clock speeds to provide plenty of processing power. In terms of storage, the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED features an M.2 slot with up to an optional 1 TB PCIe4.0 x4 NVMe SSD with over 6500MB/s read performance.  Getting the functionality right is very important for the future of foldable technology in laptop devices and others.  Since the device can be metamorphosed to another form all together, it is possible that people will find it more useful than any typical laptop or tablet or e-reader or desktop. 

Entertainment Center

I think the  device was made with entertainment in mind.  First the users can reduce the screen to any size they want, like 17 inch display or 12 inch display or even splitting the windows into three where one is being used for entertainment while doing other work on the other screens. The most amazing aspect is how crystal clear the images are and that due to the screen specifications. 

The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED features a 17.3-inch OLED touchscreen with 4:3 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1920 resolution. The display provides an up to 87% screen to body ratio, it also features a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 0.2 ms response time, 60 Hz refresh rate, and wide coverage of the color gamut with 100% DCI-P3. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is certified VESA DisplayHDR™ 500 True Black. The display can support up to 500-nit of peak brightness and 0.0005 nits of deep black brightness providing a brighter and more detailed viewing experience. The panel is PANTONE® Validated to provide the most precise color accuracy.

Audio

And since we are on the entertainment aspect, it is great to discuss the audio aspect,  especially for those who would want to use the device to watch movies or listen to music. ASUS mentioned so many people or teams that have fine tuned the sound but in simple terms you get the best  sound for all kinds of content. I agree with the fact that  it outputs louder volumes, richer depth and better surround-sound effects compared to other laptops of a similar size. 

AI Noise-Canceling Audio

For the virtual meetings that are now the new normal for many businesses, voice quality is very important .  Zenbook 17 Fold OLED features an ASUS AI Noise-Canceling Audio, which ensures that users can hear and be heard clearly in any scenario. The ClearVoice Mic function page lets users select from one of four modes: Normal, Balance, Single presenter or Multi-presenter.

When a user selects the Single Presenter mode, all ambient noise except human voices are filtered out. When a user selects the Multi-Presenter mode, the system normalizes individual voices from different positions or distances, so that all voices are conveyed at a similar volume. The ClearVoice Speaker function filters out all ambient noise except human voices, so that users can hear and record more clearly — even if background noise is present. 

Conclusion

I think this device is awesome and I can talk about it forever. It is unique, it is sophisticated, it is pretty and it works….

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