ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo and ZenBook Duo First Look

Asus has unveiled some really unique laptops at Computex 2019. These new laptops come with dual displays – one is a traditional screen while the other display is placed above the keyboard and can be used to show different windows/programs there or use that as a touch screen for better productivity. Asus is also opening an API for developers who want to develop for the second display on these laptops.

ZenBook Pro Duo

ZenBook Pro Duo Design

Out of both of these Duo laptops, the ZenBook Pro Duo comes with the most bells and whistles. The design of the laptop is quite unique and Asus has yet again used the ErgoLife hinge similar to their Zephyrus line-up. This helps in keeping the laptop cooler by supplying fresh air to the vents in order to cool the internals efficiently.

When it comes to the design, the laptop, when shut off doesn’t seem different from normal notebooks but as soon as you open the screen lid, you will notice that the keyboard has been laid out in a way similar to that of the Zephyrus but the cooling system on top is missing. In the place of the cooling system, you will find a second touch screen display which Asus is calling the ScreenPad Plus.

Asus is also supplying a wrist rest for your palms which the user of the normal will be able to use as a palm rest for their keyboard. The laptop feels well made and solid.

ZenBook Pro Duo Specifications

The ZenBook Pro Duo definitely is a media and creators powerhouse. Asus has managed to add choices between:

  • Intel Core i9-9980HK processor – 2.4GHz octa-core with Turbo Boost (up to 5.0GHz) and 16MB cache
  • Intel Core i7-9750H processor – 2.6GHz hexa-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.5GHz) and 12MB cache

These processors both belong to the 9th Generation of Intel mobile processors but the Core i9 version is quite interesting as it has 8 cores with 16MB cache and it can Turbo Boost up to 5.0 GHz which is very rare in the laptop form factor.

To handle the graphics, you have an NVIDIA RTX 2060 with 6GB of GDDR6 RAM. This is an amazing GPU both for gaming as well as content creation on the mobile.

Coming to the selection of ports, the ZenBook Pro Duo comes with a huge selection of ports:

  • 1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C™ (up to 40Gbps and DisplayPort)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (up to 10Gbps)
  • 1 x Standard HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x Audio combo jack
  • 1 x DC-in for charging

ZenBook Duo

ZenBook Duo Design

When it comes to comparing the ZenBook Duo with the ZenBook Pro Duo, the main difference is mainly the display resolution, panel type and size. While the ZenBook Duo takes a lot of design hints from the Pro Duo, it has differences in the tech internally.

The ZenBook Duo has a 14-inch display along with a lower resolution of 1080p. This device also has the ScreenPad Plus tech but the ScreenPad display is also of the smaller size as corresponding to the size of the main display.

ZenBook Duo Design Specifications

Coming to the main specifications of the ZenBook Duo, the ZenBook Duo will have an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor from the U series of processors – Asus hasn’t updated the exact model to the public yet.

It will also have a dedicated NVIDIA MX250 GPU which is just an overclocked MX150 with a VRAM of 4GB. This should be enough to run apps that require or use hardware acceleration.

ScreenPad Plus

Asus has added not one, but TWO different 4K displays in the ZenBook Pro Duo. The ScreenPad was first found in laptops such as the Asus ZenBook Pro UX580GE but with the release of ScreenPad Plus in the Duo model, Asus has opened up a number of development opportunities for the second screen. Developers can take advantage of the API that Asus has opened up to develop apps and features for the ScreenPad Plus.

B default Asus has added a lot of functionality to the ScreenPad. You can use the ScreenPad Plus extensively if you’re a content creator. The second screen can be used in creative apps as a timeline scrubber or you can place other different windows such as a Netflix window to keep watching something while working.

Expectations from the Duo line-up

When Apple released the TouchBar MacBook Pros, the world didn’t really seem that impressed, while the TouchBar does open up a lot of possibilities for the apps and features it still didn’t get the attention it seeked.

But with the release of ScreenPad Plus and supporting it themselves, Asus has provided a really efficient way to make laptops even smarter by giving multiple screens on it. I am very interested to see how Asus takes this line-up to the market and of course, expect it to be a premium product.

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