Asus ZenBook Pro Duo Review
What’s better than a laptop with one ultra high-def display? How about a laptop with two?
That’s the idea behind Asus new Zenbook Pro Duo, an incredible device that boasts a 4K Ultra HD OLED main display, as long as a second 4K display below the seam. It represents a huge innovation in the laptop space, whose form factors haven’t really changed over the last two decades.
But is that second screen a good-looking gimmick? Or has Asus changed the laptop game forever. Let’s find out.
Screen and sound
Let’s get straight to the point: those screens. The main screen is gorgeous, and pushed right to the very edges of the bezel. It’s pin sharp and gorgeous to look at, especially when watching videos or playing games.
But that’s only half the story. The ZenBook’s main draw here is that second 4K LCD screen, that sits above the keyboard. Asus calls it the ScreenPad Plus, which aims to offer the user another level of productivity.
Microsoft treats this as a second screen, so it works natively with Windows 10. It’s a touchscreen, so you can use it in all sorts of novel ways, from reading reviews while watching videos, or stretching audio or video controls when you’re editing. For gamers and streamers, that second screen also works as a preview for your face.
Oh, and you can even use a stylus on it.
Design and build
As you’d expect from a laptop with 100% more screens than you’re used to, the Zenbook Pro Duo is a tad chunky. But that’s helped by what Asus is calling ‘ErgoLift’ which is a little raised platform that pops out the back when you open it up.
It serves two main purposes, lifting the chassis up to allow better cooling. As well as making the keyboard and trackpad easier to use.
As mentioned, this is a big boy and for that reason we reckon Asus didn’t design it to be lugged about on a daily basis. To that end you’re probably going to want to use a mouse with it, as the touchpad is pushed all the way to the bottom right. Oh, and it also comes with Asus dinky little number pad feature, too.
Performance and battery
Under the hood you get either an Intel i7 or i9 procession, along with some bleedin’ edge Nvidia graphics smarts. You also get up to 32 gigabytes of RAM, and up to 1 terabyte of solid state memory.
Yes, this is a laptop for serious creators and gamers, which comes with a downside – and that’s battery life. Still, we think for those looking to pick up a dual-screened laptop, battery will be the least of their worries.
It would be easy to call the Zenbook Duo Pros second screen a gimmick, and that’s because it is a gimmick. But it’s not one that you’d ever stop using.
Once you get used to swiping tabs from one screen to the other, making use of it while gaming or incorporating it into your editing workflow, you’ll be hard-pressed to give it up.
All in all, it’s a well-specced and very interesting laptop, in an industry crying out for innovation. So well done, Asus.