Move over foldable smartphones, the dual-screen laptop has taken center stage for consumers. While the technology and idea isn’t new, the trend has only recently become popular. Here’s everything you need to know about our top recommended dual-screen laptop: Asus Zen book pro duo.
Asus latest hero laptops take the company’s Screenpad technology and give it a sizable upgrade — literally. While the standard Screenpad fits into a trackpad’s traditional center position, the new Plus variant actually goes directly under the main display.
The Screenpad Plus is essentially a secondary display, allowing you to drag apps to it or even extend applications for more screen real estate. Asus showed off a variety of using it to keep an eye on viewer comments while game streaming or even as a control pad for creating music, just to name two examples. The included stylus also makes the second screen useful for artists and other creative types.
Asus moved the keyboard much closer to the user to accommodate its Screenpad Plus display. As a result the keyboard is more condensed than most laptops but still reasonably comfortable to use. Asus even includes an attachable palm rest to give you a bit more support while typing.
The trackpad is also in a new location, pushed to the right. The trackpad serves a second purpose as a number pad, transforming with the push of a button.
The ZenBook Pro Duo has not one, but two 4K screens. (At least if you’re counting horizontal pixels.) There’s a 15-inch 16:9 OLED panel where you’d normally find the display on a laptop, then a 32:9 IPS “ScreenPad Plus” screen directly above the keyboard that’s the same width and half the height. It’s as if Asus looked at the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and thought “what if that, but with 32 times as many pixels?”
Unlike the Touch Bar, though, the ScreenPad Plus doesn’t take anything away from the ZenBook Pro Duo, except presumably battery life. Asus still included a full-sized keyboard with a function row, including an escape key, and the trackpad is located directly to the right. The design is very reminiscent of Asus’ Zephryus slimline gaming laptops — you even still get the light-up etching that lets you use the trackpad as a numpad. HP tried something similar recently, too, though its second screen was far smaller.
Asus has built some software for the ScreenPad Plus that makes it more of a secondary control panel, but you can also use it as a full-on monitor, or even two if you want to split it into two smaller 16:9 1080p windows. You can also set it to work as an extension of the main screen, so websites rise up from above your keyboard as you scroll down, which is pretty unnerving. Or you could use it to watch Lawrence of Arabia while you jam on Excel spreadsheets.
“ BOTH SCREENS LOOK GOOD, BUT DIFFERENT
The ZenBook Pro Duo has up to an eight-core Intel Core i9 processor with an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. There are four far-field microphones designed for use with Alexa and Cortana, and there’s an Echo-style blue light at the bottom edge that activates with voice commands. It has a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and a full-sized HDMI port.
Performance seemed fine in my brief time using the ZenBook Pro Duo, without any hiccups or hitches even when running an intensive video editing software demo. It’s a fairly hefty laptop at 2.5kg (about 5.5lbs), but that’s to be expected given the gaming laptop-class internals. I would also expect its battery life to fall somewhere close to that particular category of products, though we’ll have to wait and see about that.
While both of the screens looked good, I will say they looked different. Part of that is because of the searing intensity of the primary OLED panel, but the ScreenPad Plus is also coated with a matte finish, and usually looks less bright because of how you naturally view it at an off angle.
Asus is also making a cheaper and smaller 14-inch model called the ZenBook Duo. The design and concept is basically the same, but both screens are full HD rather than 4K, there’s no Core i9 option, and the discrete GPU has been heavily downgraded to an MX250.
Asus hasn’t announced pricing or availability for the ZenBook Pro Duo or the ZenBook Duo, but they’re expected to land in the third quarter of this year.
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
NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060
Video memory: 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
15.6” OLED 4K (3840 x 2160) 16:9 touchscreen
5mm-thin bezel with 89% screen-to-body ratio
178° wide-view technology
8GB / 16GB / 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
256GB PCIe® x2
512GB PCIe® x2
1TB PCIe® x4
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
Keyboard and ScreenPad™ Plus
Full-size backlit with 1.4mm key travel
14” 4K UHD (3840 x 1100) touch display
178˚ wide-view technology
Precision touchpad (PTP) technology supports up to four-finger smart gestures
Integrated LED-backlit numeric keypad on touchpad
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound; smart amplifier for maximum audio performance
Array microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
3.5mm headphone jack
Long-travel voice coils for improved low-frequency response
Certified by Harman Kardon
IR webcam with Windows Hello support
Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ performance (802.11ax)
Battery and Power
71Wh 8-cell rechargeable Li-Polymer battery pack
62Wh 8-cell rechargeable Li-Polymer fast charging battery pack: 50% in 15 minutes
230W power adapter
Plug Type: ø6 (mm)
Output: 19.5V DC, 11.8A, 230W)
(Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)
Weight and Dimensions
2.4cm (0.94 inches)
35.9cm (14.13 inches)
24.6cm (9.68 inches)
2.5kg (5.51 pounds)
Included in the Box
ZenBook Pro Duo (UX581)
Discrete palm rest
ASUS Number Key
ASUS Quick Key
ASUS Battery Health Charging
Source The Verge