Asus announces new dual-screen ZenBook laptops at CES 2021

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.

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

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
Battery 92Wh 70Wh
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.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14

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.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at Channel Daily News. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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