Will the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED actually be a foldable-screen laptop worth buying?

Asus laptops at CES
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus is a company that’s known for experimenting with laptop designs, and at CES 2022 it’s shown off another bold attempt: the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, which comes with a folding screen.

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED can be used as a huge 17.3-inch tablet, or folded into an 'L' shape for a more traditional laptop experience, with the lower half of the screen turning into a virtual keyboard. It can then be further folded away to easy carry around with you.

When unfolded, the 17.3-inch screen has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,920, and when folded into its ‘laptop mode’, it turns into a 12.5-inch upper screen with a 1,920 x 1,280 resolution. 

If you don’t want to use the lower half of the touchscreen as a virtual keyboard, you can use the Asus ErgoSense Bluetooth physical keyboard. This will be welcome news for anyone who wants a laptop for doing a lot of writing on. The addition of the physical keyboard does bulk up the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, however, which kind of defeats the point.

After Intel also mentioned foldable-screen laptops at its CES 2022 event, we remained unconvinced about these foldable laptops.

The Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED does seem to be packing some good hardware at least, with Asus promising the latest Intel CPU (the new 12th generation mobile chips), Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and Harmon Kardon speakers. According to Asus, the hinge has been tested for 30,000 cycles, so hopefully the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED isn’t prone to damaged screens along the fold, which plagued some early foldable smartphones.

Perhaps best of all, the screen itself sounds fantastic. Not only is it OLED, which offers excellent image quality, especially when it comes to contrast, the screen is also Pantone validated, supports Dolby Vision and offers 100% DCIP3 color gamut. If the screen is truly stunning, this could be the first foldable screen laptop that we’d actually want to buy. However, that all depends on the price. Asus didn’t mention anything, but we expect it to be very expensive.

Asus laptops at CES

(Image credit: Asus)

More traditional laptops

Asus also showed off some new traditional laptops as well at CES 2022. The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition (UX5401) is a limited edition release to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Asus P6300’s 600-day space mission.

It comes in the unique Zero-G Titanium color, and has an additional ‘ZenVision’ 3.5-inch OLED screen that is mounted onto the lid to show messages and animations. So, yeah, not that traditional, then.

It packs 12th generation Intel Core i9 H-Series processors, 32GB RAM and Wi-Fi 6E. The 16:10 screen is OLED and supports HDR.

There’s also the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED 14-inch laptop, which is 16.9mm thin and 1.39kg light, and again uses 12th generation Intel processors, alongside 16GB of RAM. It’s Intel Evo certified, so expect over nine hours of battery life as well.

Asus laptops at CES

(Image credit: Asus)

Asus’ excellent and affordable TUF Gaming laptops get an update with new 12th generation Intel Processors in the TUF Gaming F15 and F17, plus an update to the thin and light TUF Dash F15 as well.

Asus also showed off the ROG Flow Z13 gaming tablet, which can be turned into a gaming laptop with an attachable keyboard.

Overall, then, Asus has given us a very interesting look at the future of laptops at CES 2022. We’ll definitely be giving all of these a thorough test later on this year.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.