Asus democratizes OLED with new Zenbook line and we’re all for it

At a recent event held in Sydney, Australia Asus launched a whole new range of lifestyle and professional laptops centred around OLED displays. I was invited as a guest of Asus to see first hand the company’s vision for OLED displays and all I can say is, “my body is ready“. 

I’ve always been a huge proponent for OLED display tech because of its exceptional colour performance, perfect blacks and speedy response time. Our favourite gaming monitor and television both use OLED for impressive performance. Asus says all of its OLED displays in the Zenbook range boast 100% coverage of DCI-P3 colour space which makes them perfect for precise colour and image work. Additionally, they have 120Hz refresh rate and an almost instantaneous response time of 0.2ms which gamers will undoubtedly appreciate. 

Bradley Howe, Head of Consumer at Asus Australia pointed out that OLED technology has previously been quite limited in laptops but ASUS is “committed to pushing the boundaries of the PC industry by bringing innovative technology to more people with multiple use cases, from enterprise level work to consumers and creators,” 

Basically, more OLED for more people. Asus seems to have cracked the affordability conundrum with Zenbook OLED laptops starting as low as $1,899 which is truly impressive. And if you want the most bleeding edge of innovation, look no further than the crown jewel of the new line up – the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED –  a folding laptop with an OLED screen. 

If you’ve ever seen Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phones, you get the gist. The Zenbook Fold has a massive 17-inch touch display with a 2.5K resolution that literally folds in half to become two 12.5-inch 1920 x 1280 displays. It’s a really trippy experience since your mind tells you that you can’t fold a screen. Asus has designed a clever hinge that smoothly folds to either a traditional laptop form or close completely shut. 

When closed shut, the Zenbook Fold looks like a stylish business diary(do people still use those?) that a C-level execs carry around. There’s also a built-in kickstand so you can use the Zenbook 17 Fold as a standalone 17-inch monitor. To complement this ‘PC mode’, Asus provides a Bluetooth keyboard accessory with a touchpad but sadly, that wasn’t available during my hands on time. 

I imagine this setup will be great for those who need more screen real estate when working, playing games or watching Dolby Vision content because, yeah, it can do that. But don’t expect too much when it comes to gaming or heavy duty workloads. The Zenbook 17 Fold is powered by a 12th Generation Intel Core i7 U-Series processor which is great for power efficiency, not multi-threaded workloads. It’s also using Intel Iris Xe graphics which will be fine for playing Diablo Immortal but forget about Call of Duty: Warzone. However, you can always stream your games via Xbox Cloud Gaming or NVIDIA GeForce Now. 

For ports, the Fold only has two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports which support fast charging but you’ll clearly need a USB dongle hub if you want to connect more peripherals. Asus included a webcam as well which should make it great for work calls on the go and includes Windows Hello support. 

The Zenbook 17 Fold is really something to behold and while I’m not sure it’s the most practical device in the world, it’s hella cool. 

Asus also announced the updated Zenbook Pro 16X OLED which is squarely aimed at creative professionals who want the absolute best. Key features included the Active Aerodynamic System Ultra (AAS Ultra) which raises the keyboard deck for improved airflow and the Asus Dial which is a physical rotary controller that can be customized for workflows in creative applications like Adobe Suite. 

Also new to the line up is the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED which uses the dual screen design from its predecessors. It has not one, but two OLED displays:  a 14.5-inch 2.8K, 120 Hz OLED NanoEdge touchscreen for the main and a secondary 12.7-inch, 2.8K, 120Hz OLED ScreenPad Plus. The Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is powered with the latest 12th Gen Intel i7 and i9 processors for maximum performance. They also get NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics to drive those gorgeous displays and include Dolby Vision for quality content consumption.   

We’ll be sure to get some hands-on review time with as many of these devices but in the meantime, here’s the full list of devices announced and available pricing for Australia:

  • Zenbook 17 Fold OLED | Pricing and local availability coming soon
  • Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition | $2,499 | Available now
  • Zenbook 14 OLED | From $1,899 | OLED model available soon; non-OLED, non-touch IPS version available now
  • Zenbook Pro 16X OLED | Pricing and local availability to come soon
  • Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED | $3,799 | Available from beginning of September

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Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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