Judging from how the laptop technology is evolving, it seems evident that Dual Screens are the future. We’ve seen products from the likes of HP when they revealed their Omen X 2S. It was really a first of its kind and was aptly called the “First Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop”. But is it the best? Well, Asus just came out with a rival that just might give it a run for its money. It’s called the ZenBook Pro Duo and it’s a beast.
Although the ZenBook Pro Duo isn’t exactly marketed as a gaming laptop, its alone, however, can prove otherwise. In terms of raw performance, it can put any existing dedicated gaming laptop to shame all the while looking much better. Let’s see how the rest of its specs make it a must-have machine.
In terms of general aesthetics, the ZenBook Pro Duo is a beautiful thing to behold. I know beauty is subjective but you have to admit, this is one of the best looking laptops out there. Available in a unique Celestial Blue color and having an all-aluminum build, it also looks and feels premium, to say the least.
At the back, you have the Asus logo off-center, which may annoy some of you and I wouldn’t blame you. Most of us are fond of symmetric logos and don’t appreciate if anything is otherwise. And it’s also not something Asus normally does in its devices so you can’t let it pass on heritage grounds. However, there may be one thing that might justify this design cue. If you look at the ZenBook from a certain angle, the light reflected from the aluminum surface makes a ray pattern around the logo, making it look like its emitting light.
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Open the clamshell and you’re greeted with both the displays in all their glory. However, this is where I do admit that the design looks a bit cluttered. Because of the secondary display, the keyboard has been shifted all the way down, which may make you wonder about the whereabouts of the touchpad. Well, it’s on the right, which is something you’ll have to get used to if you don’t use an external mouse.
The touchpad, however, is made of glass and it can also double as a makeshift, touch-sensitive numerical keypad. In between the secondary display and the keyboard, there is a black bezel which features the name of the laptop written on it. The main display covers most of the upper clamshell. This means that the bezels are slim, which is always a welcome sight.
As if I haven’t stressed enough earlier, the Zenbook Pro is a force to be reckoned with in terms of performance. Let’s start off with the CPU. It comes with 2 options; a “standard” 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H or the unparalleled 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9980HK. The latter of which can clock up to a 5 GHz speed when on TurboBoost. That’s something you don’t even get on dedicated gaming laptops.
Although I admit, gaming laptops should have more than just raw processing power, so let’s talk about the graphics. With the ZenBook Pro Duo, you get, as standard, a dedicated 6 GB GDDR6 NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 GPU. Sure, on most laptops like the Lenovo Leigon Y740, you have the option of getting the same GPU but with slightly more memory. This, however, does not make the ZenBook a slouch as GB is still good enough for most games.
As far as the RAM is concerned, you get 8 GB as a base, which may seem to be a bit disappointing, considering the rest of its specs. However, that can be upgraded to 16 and even 32 GB, for additional cost obviously. The RAM module is DDR4 2666 MHz. The storage situation is similar. As the entry-level choice, you only get 256 GB. Pay it up to get 512 GB and even 1 TB of storage. The storage is PCIe® x2 NVMe SSD for 256 and 512 GB. For the 1 TB variant, you get PCIe® x4 NVMe SSD.
The displays on the ZenBook are probably its most highlighted feature and why wouldn’t they be? The main one measures 15.6″ diagonal. It is a 3840 x 2160 4K OLED touch display. Yes, you read that right. It’s 4K and its OLED. If that impressed you, wait till you hear about the secondary one. It’s called the ScreenPad™ Plus and it is a 14″ 3840 x 1100 4K LCD touch display. The displays can be used together to drop apps from one to another or even multitasking. The technology is seamless and Asus needs to be commended for it.
The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo seems to tick all necessary boxes when it comes to connectivity. You get a Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C™ port, which not only ensures superfast data transfer speeds but also holds the ability to let you connect to an external 4K display in case the 2 provided weren’t enough. Other than that, you get a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, an HDMI-in and a DC-in port. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it will get the job done but it might feel inadequate if you want to connect more accessories.
Price & Verdict
Now you may be anxiously waiting for the price but you’ll be disappointed to know that it’s still unknown. I expect it to be close to $3000, especially for a fully loaded variant. If you get the entry-level model, you may save some cash but you’ll get just an 8 GB RAM with 256 GB of storage, which seems like a disgrace to be in a beast like this.
It’s easy to compare this to most gaming laptops, thanks to its specs. However, I think it doesn’t belong in that category. Sure, it will get the job done but the category in which this will truly feel like home is Content Creation. You have multiple displays which can display multiple screens and frames at the same time. It even has a feature with some programs like Corel Draw where the bottom display will show a pallet to choose colors from while you use them in the top display. In that category, this truly shines and may just be the best in the business.