Asus released the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED and ZenBook Duo 14 at CES 2021, both have a tilting secondary display mounted on top of their keyboards.
The new ZenBook Pro Duos are Asus’ second-generation dual-screen laptops. Asus calls the second display, which stretches across the top of the keyboard, the ScreenPad Plus. The display’s interface can adapt to the application at hand. For example, in Adobe Lightroom, it can show Lighroom’s developer’s panel so the editor can splash the photo onto the main display. It currently works best with Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom and After Effect with more on the way. When the user opens the lid, the ScreenPad Plus lifts up slightly to improve ergonomics. The gap also helps with airflow.
|Device||Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582)||Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482)|
|CPU||8-core Intel Core i7-10870H
8-core Intel Core i9-10980HK
|4-core Intel Core i7-1165G7
4-core Intel Core i5-1135G7
|GPU||Intel UHD graphics and Nvidia RTX 3070 mobile||Intel Iris Xe graphics or Nvidia MX450|
|Display||Main: 15.6-inch, OLED, 3840 x 2160, 100% DCI-P3
ScreenPad Plus: 14.09-inch, UHD, LCD
|Main: 14-inch LCD, 1920 x 1080, 100% sRGB
ScreenPad Plus: 12.6-inch, FHD, LCD
|Memory||Up to 32GB 2933MHz DDR4||Up to 32GB 4266MHz LPDDR4x|
|Storage||Up to 1TB NVMe SSD||Up to 1TB Nvme SSD|
|Ports||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x audio jack||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 1x audio jack, 1x MicroSD card slot|
|Weight||2.4kg (5.29lb)||1.60kg (3.53lbs)|
|OS||Up to Windows 10 Pro||Up to Windows 10 Pro|
|Price||TBD||Starting at US$1,300|
In addition, users can map application shortcuts to the secondary displays, or have handy access to simpler apps like the calculator or media controls. Both displays support the Asus Pen, which comes with the device.
A trade-off for this innovative design is that the keyboard now contends space with the trackpad. Because the keyboard now occupies the wrist rest area, Asus had to displace the keyboard to the right of the keys. Thus, the keys are a little more cramped compared to a regular keyboard, especially on the smaller ZenBook Duo 14. Moreover, without a place for palms, typing on laps may not be as comfortable.
The ZenBook Pro Duo 15 uses up to an Intel Core i9-10980HK processor, likely due to its higher multi-threaded performance compared to Intel’s 11th gen Tiger Lake processors. Other specs include Nvidia’s newly announced RTX 3070 graphics, up to 32 GB of LPDDR4 memory, 1 TB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a 70 Wh battery. One key distinction between the 15-inch and the 14-inch model is the main display technology; while the ZenBook Duo 14 uses an IPS display, the 15-inch model uses an OLED panel.
The more compact ZenBook Duo 14 uses Intel’s 11th-gen quad-core Tiger Lake processors. As with the larger variant, the ZenBook Duo 14 also comes with up to 32 GB of RAM, and 1 TB SSD. Graphics options include the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics or the dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics.
The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 14 is available for pre-order starting Jan. 14 for US$1300. The ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED will arrive in April. Asus has not announced its pricing.