While I’ve never personally experienced a folding screen device yet, the behemoth 17″ ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold gives me pause. When it is folded up, it is essentially the size of a 12″ laptop and that to me is very close to the perfect size for me. But a device that folds out entirely to something 17″ in size seems a bit unwieldy. I remember avoiding the Surface Book 2 15″ for that very reason.
While it might be huge, it does allow for a respectable amount of room for some good specifications. A few to note are:
- Intel® Core™ i7-1250U Processor 1.1 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 2P+8E cores)
- 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio
- 16GB LPDDR5 onboard
- 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 Performance SSD
- 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display/power delivery
- 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
- 5.0M camera with IR function to support Windows Hello
- Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax)+Bluetooth 5.2 (Dual band) 2*2
- 75Whr Battery
Now looking at this device and its US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard testing being passed, the comparisons against the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold that was announced last year are immediately drawn. In fact, seeing photos of the Zenbook 17 Fold closed makes it look like the X1 Fold’s big brother.
While I had mixed feelings about the launch of the first-generation device, I think the size and form factor of the X1 Fold makes a bit more sense. In short, I can imagine far more easily the person that would use an X1 Fold than I can imagine the person that would use the Zenbook 17 Fold. The X1 Fold has a 50Whr battery to drive its modest screen whereas the Zenbook 17 Fold has a lot more computer to drive with only a slightly larger 75Whr battery. The X1 Fold has a keyboard as well but also has the option for a pen. We don’t yet know if the keyboard on the Zenbook 17 Fold will be included.
The other matter of interest is the hinge mechanism which is rated for 30,000 folds according to ASUS and looking at the design of the hinge, it even looks somewhat similar when compared to the competition. It almost makes you wonder if ASUS has some kind of deal with Lenovo to share some design secrets. If nothing else, it would be hard to deny that somebody at ASUS was inspired by what Lenovo was doing last year.
Pricing and availability of the new foldable have yet to be released but ASUS is saying later this year.