If you were intrigued by Asus’ Zenbook 17 Fold OLED but put off by the fact that it, well, folded, there is now a more... normie option for you. Asus has announced the Zenbook Pro 17, a ginormous version of its highly regarded, portable Zenbook line (and the first Zenbook with a 17.3-inch screen).
The device starts at $999 and will be available from Asus and Amazon. Ship dates are yet to be announced. That pricing puts it below many of the best-known 17-inchers in the consumer space today. The Dell XPS 17 and LG Gram 17, two of the best-known products in this category, currently start at $1,849 and $1,199, respectively.
Earlier this year, Asus announced an almost-as-large Zenbook Pro 16X OLED, starting at $2,599. The Pro 17, while bigger, is at least a tier down from that on the premium scale, lacking many of its fancier features, including the OLED screen, the palm rest jog dial, and per-key RGB lighting. The Pro 17 appears to have the typical “ErgoLift” hinge that you’ll see across the Zenbook line, which tilts the entire keyboard deck up when you lift the lid (rather than the fancier mechanism the 16X has, which tilts the keyboard up but leaves the rest of the deck in place).
Inside, the Zenbook is powered by AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 series. The top option is the Ryzen 9 6900HX, which can also be found in powerful but not-too-crazy gaming laptops like Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro. AMD’s latest chips don’t have quite the same raw power as Intel’s 12th Gen CPUs but tend to do better on battery life.
The Zenbook Pro 17 also has a 2.5k IPS touch display with a 165Hz refresh rate (also uncommon on 17-inchers outside of the gaming space). The audio is Harman Kardon-certified. Ports include HDMI 2.0 and an SD card reader.
Asus describes the Zenbook’s target audience as “creators who need the largest possible visual workspace.” But that name and description may be slightly misleading. This doesn’t look like one of Asus’ high-end Pro devices so much as a blown-up version of its smaller Zenbooks — which generally target a consumer rather than a professional audience. Sure, this Zenbook can come with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 as well as integrated graphics — so there’s some room for customization — but that’s still far from the most powerful graphics card out there, and professionals can get a better option in Dell’s XPS 17 (or other 17-inch workstations).
This Zenbook, instead, seems like it may live in an in-between space. It’s not for those who want the most powerful 17-incher or the thinnest and lightest 17-incher or the nicest-looking 17-incher or the 17-incher with the best battery life. It’s likely going to be for someone who wants a solid mix of all of those things for a relatively low price. Of course, that’s the MO of many Zenbook models, and it seems to have worked well for Asus in the past.
In the more expensive creator sphere, Asus has also announced the $1,599.99 Vivobook Pro 15X and $1,699.99 Vivobook Pro 16X. These laptops are powered by Intel 12th Gen H-series processors with graphics up to a GeForce RTX 3060. The 15-incher has a 120Hz OLED display, while the 16-incher has a 165Hz WQUXGA display. The 16-inch Vivobook models, like the 16-inch Zenbook models, do have a nifty little dial.