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Asus ZenBook Pro Duo First Impressions: The future of portable laptops is all about screens and then some

Asus claims that the ZenBook Pro Duo is special since it is likely to be the future of portable ultra light weight notebooks and laptops. But is that the case? Here are our first impressions.

Asus ZenBook Duo Pro (16)

Asus today launched its latest flagship Asus ZenBook Pro Duo laptop at a press event ahead of Computex 2019. With the launch of the product, the company has tried to reinvent the current design of laptops, and ultra portable notebooks in a dramatic manner. The cornerstone of that transformation or rather, the future is the second generation “ScreenPad Plus” screen that is located on top of the keyboard.

Asus claims that the laptop is special because it is likely to be the future of portable ultra light weight notebooks and laptops. In addition to this, the company also showcased several interesting scenarios where the second screen will help creators in multi-tasking, video making, photo edition, graphic artists, writing, productivity and even gaming. We got the chance to experience the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo in an exclusive event a day before the announcement. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

ScreenPad Plus secondary display on Asus ZenBook Pro Duo

First up is obviously the “ScreenPad Plus”, the secondary display that is present on top of the keyboard. Talking about the display, it will provide considerable amount of flexibility to users in a number of use cases. To ensure that working with the secondary display is easier for both the users and well as developers, Asus has opted for a direct, no nonsense secondary display approach where the system detects the ScreenPad Plus display as a secondary display which can be turned off, the primary display can be duplicated there (not that it would make any sense) or switched to while turning off the primary display.

In my limited time of using the ScreenPad Plus, I was quite impressed by the design, the quality of panel and even little nuggets like the secondary display coming with anti-glare coating to prevent glares from the bulbs on the roofs. Not saying that you will find bulbs everywhere but that is the default location of the bulbs in life. Asus has also added its ScreenXpert software to allow a wide variety of useful apps, tools and utilities on the secondary display making it much more useful for users.

As part of the software, Asus has added quick access to brightness, Window or rather Program sets where users can set about three apps side by side on the ScreenPad Plus and switch between five such presents with a tab of a button. Talking from a technical perspective, the primary display has a 15.6-inch OLED panel with 4K resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio while the secondary display comes with a 14-inch LCD IPS panel with 4K resolution. To sweeten the deal for creative professionals, both the displays will come with 100,000:1 contrast ratio, 100 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut coverage and HDR support.

Introducing the general public with enough budget to a dual screen laptop that is practical and giving professionals freedom from an additional display while making things more portable is quite impressive for the company. In fact, if one is crazy enough then they can have this and an additional portable display to have three screens of productivity, multi-taking and whatever else they can dream of.

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo and its Impressive design

Now that we have talked about the highlight of the device, let’s talk about the second important thing, the design. The laptop is well built with sleek edges and premium materials with a CNC finish on the back. The hinge of the device is interesting as it lifts the laptop up slightly from the back to give some angle to the laptop. In addition to that, Asus is also giving a palm rest along with the laptop for extended periods of usage which we didn’t have much time to use. But yeah, it provides a gradual slope for your wrist to rest on while typing.

Top-of-the-line specifications in the ZenBook Pro Duo

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo with model number UX581, the top of the line device sports a 15.6-inch OLED panel with 4K resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. As mentioned above, the secondary display that is located above the keyboard comes with a 14-inch LCD IPS panel with 4K resolution. Inside the laptop we can get up to Intel Core i9-9980HK processor with Nvidia GeForce RTC 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM, up to either 1TB PCIe or two 512GB PCIe SSD for storage, up to 32GB DDR4 RAM with an IR camera with support for Windows Hello.

For connectivity, Asus ZenBook ProDuo has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, a Thunderbolt 3 compatible USB Type C port, two USB Type A ports with USB 3.1 gen 2 protocol, on HDMI port, an audio combo jack and one DC-in port for charging. It also comes with Harman Kardon-certified audio with an array microphone for Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa support. Lastly, it is powered by a 71W four cell battery with a power adaptor with 230W output and 100V-240V AC input at 50Hz or 60Hz.

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo First Impressions

After using the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, it is hard not to get impressed by the overall package that one gets here. The premium build quality, never done before practical dual screen solution and top of the line internals are packaged toghther for people who want the best from their machines. If I have to compare, there is hardly anything that is this compact, portable and impressive in the market than the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo. The company just had to take care of the pricing when they decide on launching the product in a price sensitive market like India even though there are no competing products in this new segment.

Disclaimer: The writer has traveled for Computex 2019 at the invite of Asus. During his time there, Asus is taking care of his travel and stay.

  • Published Date: May 27, 2019 5:19 PM IST