We haven’t seen anything quite like this before. The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED (which we’ll just call the Zenbook 17 Fold for brevity) is the first of its kind at its size.
Foldables aren’t new, especially to those who constantly follow tech news. Samsung has lorded over the foldable smartphone segment with its two device types – the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. They are finally getting some competition in 2023 with the likes of OPPO, Xiaomi, and HONOR all gearing up to globally launch their own foldables.
But that’s smartphones. In the laptop category, the closest thing we’ve seen to this is the ThinkPad X1 Fold. And while that’s promising, it still needs a few more iterations to be a really attractive option.
The same is pretty much true with the Zenbook 17 Fold. At least, that’s the impression we got after spending a good hour with it. And that hour wasn’t even the full experience. The unit we had was an early engineering unit, so we can only really tell you so much from that brief experience.
ASUS went out of their way to showcase how the Zenbook 17 Fold. While you can probably get more creative with it, here are four modes that are actually software supported.
In this mode, you prop up the Zenbook 17 Fold on a desk, table, or what-have-you, and use it with the accompanying bluetooth keyboard detached. It’s kind of like the tablet top mode of the Nintendo Switch but for an oversized foldable PC.
This one’s pretty straightforward. You can hold it horizontally and fold it mimicking the folding feeling of an actual book. I gotta say, at 1.50 kg (3.31 lbs) it’s got a bit of a heft to it so maybe holding it for a prolonged period of time isn’t advisable.
In laptop mode, you only get to use half of the screen. What happens is you fold it halfway as if you’re using a laptop. And then you slap on the included keyboard on the bottom half. This gives you a generally smaller device – kind of like the netbooks from a decade ago. It’s a little cramped but is nice for working in tighter spaces.
This one should be self explanatory as well. You simply open it up wide and use it as a true-blue oversized tablet. This is particularly great for media consumption. Can say we definitely enjoyed watching LOONA’s “Flip That” on this thing.
And just look at LOONA Heejin occupying that much space on the FOLED (Foldable OLED) screen. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
It’s also worth noting that in landscape mode, the device will offer multiple split screen options for your multitasking needs.
What’s it packing?
We didn’t get to test it much, since, as mentioned earlier, it is an engineering unit. But here’s what the Zenbook 17 Fold is packing on paper to give you an idea.
- Windows 11 Pro – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business
- Windows 11 Home – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business
- Intel® Core™ i7-1250U Processor 1.1 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 2P+8E cores)
- Intel® Iris Xe Graphics
- 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87％
- 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87％
- 16GB LPDDR5 on board, Total system memory upgradeable to:16GB
- 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 Performance SSD
- 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
- 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Keyboard and Touchpad:
- Soft Keyboard, 1.4mm Key-travel, Touchpad
- 5.0M camera with IR function
- Smart Amp Technology
- Built-in speaker
- Built-in array microphone
- harman/kardon (Premium)
- with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
- Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Dual band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5
Battery and Power Supply:
- 75WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
- TYPE-C, 65W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 3.25A, 65W, Input: 100-240V AC 50/60GHz universal
- 1-month trial for new Microsoft 365 customers. Credit card required.
- Office Home and Student 2021 included
- Microsoft 365 Personal 1-year included.*
- *Activation required with 6-months of Windows activation date.
- Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021
Pricing and availability details to follow.
First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14 Pro Max
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Vibe Check: realme 9 4G
Our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway!
realme, the Philippines’ number one smartphone brand for 2021, has continued to deliver innovative technology to the midrange segment.
Its latest offering is the realme 9 (4G), yet another option joining the realme 9 lineup. We’ve got plenty of time to play around with this new smartphone, and our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway.
Golden like daylight
Hit me like the ray of sun, burning through my darkest night. (Beyoncé, is that you?)
Kidding aside, I like how the realme 9 (4G), especially in its Sunburst Gold and Stargaze White variants, came up with a Ripple Holographic design encompassing its rear body. They look like sand dunes, akin to waves of shining, shimmering gold found by Aladdin.
The design is subtle that when you use a clear case, you’ll think there’s nothing extra about this smartphone. But when you let the light shine on it, it glistens and exudes a beautiful pattern.
Midrange smartphones usually forsake their design language to focus on battery and performance — something that budget-conscious consumers prefer.
But realme is bringing back the charm of its previous smartphones from a few years ago: so beautifully designed you’ll forget they offer these devices at a cut-rate price.
I still fondly remember caressing the realme 5 back in 2019 which, frankly, is the best style that captures realme’s brand and positioning.
It wasn’t experimental; it was something that helped people remember who they are. Its successors played around with new designs, instead of polishing what was already working.
Going back to its rear, the realme 9 (4G) has an aesthetically-pleasing camera island, housing its 108MP ProLight Camera powered by a Samsung HM6 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 120-degree lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
It has a 16-megapixel selfie camera housed in a punch-hole cutout.
The brand’s logo is seamlessly etched in the lower-left corner.
The bottom side sports the most important stuff: speaker grilles, microphone input, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. Yey!
Power under that gorgeous hood
Upfront, the realme 9 (4G) sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. We appreciate how realme puts a high refresh rate for people who simply want to game because they’re the ones who benefit the most from the feature.
With a Snapdragon 680 chipset and an Adreno 610 GPU, you can play heavy-duty games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and Asphalt 9. It’s the same processor housed in most gaming-oriented budget smartphones for under US$ 300.
But let’s be real: this smartphone is perfect for multitasking and casual, everyday use. Its performance is seamless across different apps, thanks to its 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which you can expand up to 256GB via a microSD card. More importantly, it offers a Dynamic RAM Expansion (DRE) of up to 5GB if you need extra memory.
It also comes with long-lasting battery life due to its humongous 5000mAh battery. If there’s one thing that stayed consistent in realme’s midrange lineup, it’s the battery that stays with you throughout the day. When you pair it with a 33W Dart Charge, you can get the juice back up in an hour and a quarter.
Watch to your heart’s content
As mentioned before, the realme 9 (4G) uses a Super AMOLED display. Visuals are definitely bright, vivid, and vibrant. It’s easy to watch even under broad daylight since the display delivers up to 1000 nits of brightness.
I remember using realme’s smartphones before and I have to step on a shade while I was in Boracay, simply because their previous devices deliver lower nits.
This time around, the realme 9 (4G) allowed me to watch my comfort shows to my heart’s content. Yes, I kept replaying Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix whenever I’m sad or when I just need something familiar when everything around me is changing.
The realme 9 (4G) has a featherweight, slim body so it doesn’t put a strain on your hands when watching on a smartphone. That’s something to consider when you’re the type of person who keeps watching content while on the go.
Price and availability
The realme 9 (4G) retails for PhP 14,999 with a 6GB/128GB configuration. It’s available in all realme stores nationwide.
At a glance, the realme 9 (4G) has an inviting demeanor that makes you want to hold it. The experience is similar to most gaming-oriented budget smartphones, and you’ll have a good time using it for quite a while. But that’s where it ends.
When you factor in the overall experience with the realme 9 (4G), it doesn’t match with its competitors — offering better specifications and experience at the same price range. Some, even lower.
In a short amount of time, the realme 9 (4G) passed our vibe check. It’s worth checking out if you’re badly in need of a smartphone right away for your everyday needs.
But in the long run, being a 4G smartphone doesn’t serve any purpose if you live in a developing city — especially with 5G expanding its rollout and 6G is on the horizon, unveiling in a few years from now.
realme 9 Pro+ Unboxing and First impressions
All about that Sony IMX766 sensor
Just in time as things slowly get back to its former nature with this pandemic, realme releases a combination of smartphones that are packed with serious image capturing devices — the realme 9 Pro and the realme 9 Pro+.
Right now, we will be looking at what the realme 9 Pro+ has to offer.
Once again, the signature yellow realme box
A warm welcome from the realme family
Some of the accessories, a smoke gray jelly case, SIM ejector pin and manuals
The 60W SuperDart charger and the USB-C cable
Here is the shiny realme 9 Pro+ in its classy looking Aurora Green colorway
At the bottom is the headphone jack, USB-C charging port and speaker grille
Onto its left is the SIM card slot and the volume rockers
And to the right is the power button
The realme 9 Pro+ has a 6.4-inch, 90Hz, Super AMOLED display with a punch hole selfie camera on the upper right
The screen is also home to the under display fingerprint sensor
A closer look of the cameras wrapped in blue green chrome rings with the OIS labeling
What really got me excited with this phone is that it is armed with a Sony IMX766 sensor. It shoots 50 megapixels for its main camera, 8 megapixels ultrawide and 2 megapixels for its macro.
For those unfamiliar with camera sensors, the Sony IMX is what a lot of flagship phones run on. It’s bigger than the usual sensors we’re used to. That means it will capture more light and perform better under difficult lighting situations. This also means it will result in an overall cleaner image. Plus, a bigger sensor will also produce more depth and dimension creating a more desirable output.
I’ve already gone out for a test run with this camera and I am genuinely amazed at the images it can produce. So better watch out for our full review on this one.
Here are some of the samples I took.
Specs and performance
Onto its other specs, this is also equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G Chipset, 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage that is all being powered by a 4,500 mAh battery.
A superior chipset to the already great performing Dimensity 900. So expect that this is also a capable performer for day-to-day tasks and will keep us connected with the fastest cellular networks available.
And judging by our initial testing, swift performance, high refresh rate display and great cameras, this is one snappy feeling phone.
I know you’re probably eager to get your hands on the realme 9 Pro+ to #CaptureTheLight so be sure to tune in to the livestream launch for the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 Pro+ on March 15, 2022 on realme’s official Facebook page.
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