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Computex 2018: Asus ZenBook Pro 15, ZenBook Pro 14 replaces the touchpad with a 5.5-inch secondary screen

Both the ZenBook Pro 15 and ZenBook Pro 14 are designed for content creators, keeping productivity in mind.

asus vivobook pro 15 and 14

Highlights

  • The ScreenPad supports Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps.

  • It is a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS touchscreen.

  • The ZenBook Pro 15 features a 4K UHD touchscreen and a fingerprint sensor.

The MacBook Pro with TouchBar was innovative, with Apple offering a touch-enabled bar in place of the usual function keys. And the TouchBar is dynamic, which brings app shortcuts for quick access and controls. At Computex 2018, Asus announced the new VivoBook Pro 15 and Vivo Book Pro 14 series laptops that come with a second display, that sits right on top of the touchpad.

Called ScreenPad, it combines a high-resolution color display and a touchpad to offer a completely new way to interact with Windows apps and dedicated pre-loaded programs called ScreenPad Apps. The ScreenPad features adaptive functions that are context sensitive, and it is designed to enhance your workflow and productivity. There are a number of ways in which you can use the ScreenPad.

You can use it as a second display to play a YouTube video, or have the music player controls on the touchpad, while you work on the main screen, offering a complex distraction-free experience. Users can customize the screen with personalized wallpapers, and apps such as launcher, calendar, music player, number keys and calculator among others. Asus is also working on a sync app that will offer phone calls, notifications and phone-mirroring features on the touchpad itself.

The list of supported apps include Microsoft Office Suite, which includes PowerPoint, Excel and Word. So, the next time you are making a presentation or writing a document on Word, you can have the shortcuts to cut, copy and paste among others on the touchpad to make working easier.

Asus is also working with developers to create new ScreenPad apps to integrate desktop apps. The ScreenPad can come in handy for content creators, which includes video makers, photographers and 3D designers. And apart from the second screen, the ZenBook also lets you connect three external 4K monitors, two using USB-C Thunderbolt and one using HDMI connectivity. In total, you get five screens to work with – the main laptop screen, the touchpad screen, and three external monitors.

Watch: Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review

The ZenBook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch 4K UHD touchscreen display with color accuracy of Delta E < 2. It is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i9 hexa-core processor, with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD. The notebook also comes with a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication.

The ZenBook 14, on the other hand, comes with a smaller 14-inch full-HD display, and is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i7 quad-core processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB SSD. For authentication, it comes with Windows Hello-enabled IR Camera. The new ZenBook series notebook will be available in the later half of the year. 

I did find the concept interesting, and there are are many possibilities when it comes to usage. However, it remains to be seen how quickly developers can get on board to make their apps compatible with ScreenPad. And while it sounds cool, and you may even end up using the ScreenPad on a daily basis, initially, the long-term usability and practicality is something that is to be seen.

Disclosure – The writer is in Taipei, Taiwan, attending Computex 2018 on Asus’ invite. Asus has sponsored the travel and lodging for the correspondent.

  • Published Date: June 5, 2018 10:35 AM IST