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Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED expected in SA later this year with a R70k price tag

At the beginning of August, Asus let it be known that the Taiwanese company would be unveiling a groundbreaking product at IFA 2022 in the form of its new Zenbook 17 Fold OLED.

Said unveiling happened earlier today, with a live streamed event showcasing precisely what innovative technology and manufacturing went into bringing this device to the fore.

One of only a handful of foldable notebooks that have hit the market in recent years, this latest offering from Asus is indeed heading to South Africa. While we do not have a precise launch date, Asus plans to make the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED available to purchase locally in Q4 of 2022.

As for pricing, the new foldable notebook is expected to retail for a recommended figure of R69 999. Yes, that is indeed a lot of money for an experimental device, but to put in context the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold of nearly two years ago was going up for pre-order for the same amount.

Given that the Asus variant is better specced with a larger display some two years later, not to mention the X1 Fold never officially landing in SA, the price seems warranted.

So what is on offer?

As the name suggests, a foldable 17.3″ 2.5K OLED panel is present. It is also a feat of engineering in and of itself, with no manufacturer being a foldable display to market in a notebook to date. When folded, you’ll have access to two 3:2 12.5-inch 1920×1280 displays.

Able of being position in four distinct modes – desktop, laptop, reader and extended. The desktop mode is the most interesting in our view, as we have not seen a foldable notebook used for that sort of application before. It is also the mode that most people will use when not on the road, or showing off the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED to others.

As for the folding mechanism, a step-less hinge is present that can bend 180 degrees and is stress tested for up to 30 000 open/close cycles, according to Asus. Added to this is a 75Wh battery that is said to offer up “all-day” battery life, but it is unclear which mode drains the most battery.

Other notable elements include a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics as this device is Evo-certified. There is also up to 16 GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD on offer. The aforementioned battery is charged via a USB Type-C, along with a bundled 65W fast-charge adapter being included in the box.

With Asus pushing the boat out as far as foldables are concerned, we wonder which other manufacturer will be hot on its heels.

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