The new Asus Zenbook 17 Fold makes my Apple iPad Air look awfully dull

CES 2022: the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold can be a huge tablet or an excellent laptop

Asus Zenbook Fold 17 CES 2022
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus has made an early play for the best 2-in-1 laptops crown this year: its Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, announced at CES 2022, has a massive 17.3" foldable OLED touchscreen that folds down to 12.5 inches. That's smaller than a sheet of copy paper.

The specs are really impressive. There's a Dolby Vision screen that's PANTONE validated for excellent colour reproduction, and the detachable Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad turn it into a proper laptop. Inside there's a 12-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, Harman Kardon-certified quad speakers and Dolby Atmos, and it runs Windows 11.

A genuine do-anything, go-anywhere device

What Asus has delivered here is the same kind of futuristic device Apple patent-watchers have been hoping for for years: a full-power laptop that's as portable as an iPad Air. It certainly makes my MacBook Pro look rather dull.

It's practical, too. You can have the display organised into one, two or three separate display areas, and you can have it not just in tablet or laptop mode but in book mode too. And with Thunderbolt 4 built-in you can connect it to high speed peripherals too. 

My fear with foldable devices is their longevity: Samsung's early adventures with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold weren't great, although they seem to have solved the problems with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Asus says its hinge has been tested over 30,000 cycles to ensure durability.

There are two potential deal breakers here: the weight, which at 1.65kg is quite hefty, and the price, which hasn't been announced. Asus will reveal that at Computex in May.

Carrie Marshall
Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).