Asus ZenBook Duo review: Why should smartphones have all the fun?
Asus ZenBook Duo review: While the smartphone manufacturers are consistently playing around with the design of phones, laptops remain more or less the same. The latest offering by Asus tries to change that by providing a unique option.
Asus ZenBook Duo review: Why should smartphones have all the fun? This is probably what Asus was thinking when it decided to come up with the ZenBook Book Duo – a dual screen laptop, launched in India on Thursday afternoon, claiming to improve your productivity by offering an additional screen. While the smartphone manufacturers are consistently playing around with the design of phones, laptops remain more or less the same. The latest offering by Asus tries to change that by providing a unique option.
The Asus ZenBook Duo is the more affordable option at Rs 89,990 and the company has also launched Asus ZenBook Pro Duo which will cost you more than Rs 2 lakh. For a relatively new tech like this, the ZenBook Duo has been priced aggressively keeping the price sensitive Indian market in mind.
Despite targeting content creators, video editors and gamers, Asus has given a professional look to the Asus ZenBook Duo. It comes in a Celestial Blue colour options and weights 1.5 kg. The laptop is on the lighter side which makes it easy to carry and handle. Asus has tried to keep the thickness to minimum as well. The laptop features a 14-inch main display with screen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. It maintains an impressive 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio which is rare in laptops.
The second display is being called ScreenPad Plus by Asus. It is basically a touchscreen with a screen resolution of 3,840 x 1,100 pixels. From the outside, Asus ZenBook Duo is just another laptop with a classic finish and enterprise look. But, things change when you open it.
The dual screen setup is likely to impress you at first sight. Both the screens use OLED display unlike the 15-inch Pro model. They are sharp, produce bright colours and feature an anti-reflective matte layer allowing you to use the device in bright sunlight. The good part is that ZenBook Duo houses a full-sized keyboard under the second screen with the touchpad on the right.
The placing of keyboard and the touchpad is slightly unusual and different so it will take sometime before you get used to it. The same goes for the second display. Any user will have to figure out when and how to use it. Otherwise, there will be cases when you might end up increasing your workload instead of reducing it.
The connectivity options on ZenBook include USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, an audio combo jack, microSD card reader and a DC-in. The laptop comes with a proprietary 65W power adapter.
Two things that are missing from this laptop are the Type-C USB charging port and fingerprint scanner. While you can live without the latter, exclusion of Type-C port means that you need to carry the charger with you all the time. Goes without saying, it is super annoying. On the positive side, Asus claims to offer a battery life of up to 22 hours which means that you don’t need to juice ZenBook Duo that frequently.
Coming to the additional display, it allows you to do several things on paper. You can watch a YouTube video on one screen and do your office work on second, play games while streaming them on the additional screen and edit videos while putting the shots on secondary display, among other things. My job involves a lot of writing. And, for that you need to refer to several sources, cross check information and at times, go back to your old work to find some inspiration.
This is where I found the Asus ZenBook Duo very hand. You can open the reference windows in the secondary display and continue to write on the main screen. ScreenPad Plus also allows you to pin multiple tabs so at times, I used open to my inbox or WhatsApp alongside, making life a lot easier.
The touchpad on this device is really smooth and precise. As I mentioned above, the unusual placing might take a while to get used to. Also, there is no palm rest with this laptop like the Pro Duo. The ASUS ZenBook Duo features ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound and speakers tuned by Harmon Kardon. The audio is quite good for daily usage.
The only problem is that like most Asus laptops, speakers are placed under the laptop. This is why the audio is muted at times.
The ZenBook Duo comes with Intel Core i7-10510U or Intel Core i5-10210U processor. It features NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2GB of dedicated video RAM. You can opt for up to 16 GB RAM and 1TB storage. Since we had the laptop for a limited period, couldn’t test it for heavy gaming but didn’t face any issues while completing daily tasks.
Asus ZenBook Duo: Final Verdict
When a new technology is introduced, it takes a while to perfect it. The same goes for a dual screen setup. Asus ASUS ZenBook Duo price in India from Rs 89,990. This is an aggressive price tag keeping in mind the tech used. Still, it is on the higher end.
Asus ZenBook Duo is a brave attempt by the company to offer something new. The device looks amazing and impresses you with its form factor, performance and battery life. At the same time, you can sense that a lot more can be done with this concept going forward. The cramped keyboard will be an issue for many and you will have to spend a lot of time with the device to understand how to get the best out of that second display.