The Zenbook Pro Duo is a high-end laptop from Asus that features two screens and a numeric keyboard on the trackpad. In addition to the main 15.6-inch display, the premium laptop comes with another 14-inch display just above the keyboard, both with 4K resolution. The processor available in the latest version launched is a tenth-generation Core i9 from Intel, accompanied by the RTX 2060 video card from Nvidia.
Coming out for $2,578 on Amazon, the product may scare off those who do not want to spend so much, but it promises high performance for editing work and should run almost any current game. It is worth noting that a new version was announced at CES 2021 with 11th generation chips and the new RTX 30. See below the pros and cons of the model and see if it is a good option for you.
1. High-end hardware
There is no doubt that the Zenbook Pro Duo has cutting-edge hardware. To start with, its processor is Intel’s Core i9, a 2.4 GHz octa-core that can reach 5.3 GHz in turbo mode. With a 14-nanometer manufacturing process, the chip has a 16 MB cache and has support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 technology, ensuring high-speed cable and wireless connections.
Its most “basic” configuration comes with 1 TB NVME M2 PCIe SSD and 32 GB of RAM. The graphics card, in turn, is the RTX 2060, from Nvidia, which has Ray Tracing and DLSS technologies integrated.
Displays with 4K resolution, Bluetooth 5, USB 3.2 ports, are other highlights. The Harman Kardon signature speakers also catch the eye, as do its microphones, which allow you to trigger the Cortana and Alexa assistants to control functions via voice commands.
2. Two Screens
The Zenbook Pro Duo’s big highlight is the ScreenPad Plus, an additional 14-inch screen that works in tandem with the main 15.6-inch OLED display. Both are touch-sensitive.
The extra screen is designed to be used with an Asus Pen stylus, which promises to be ideal for users of Adobe software like Photoshop and Illustrator. The feature, besides being visually striking, provides a much larger workspace, which is especially useful for professionals in the areas of editing and creation.
Besides the already mentioned 4K resolution, the OLED panel present in both displays should deliver vivid colors and intense blacks. Both feature HDR and have a 178° viewing angle. The main display works with the DCI-P3 color standard, promising to reproduce 100% of the color variations.
3. Good for different kinds of use
The Zenbook Pro Duo is designed for professionals, but its robust specifications promise to work well for gaming. The two screens bring advantages in viewing more complex graphics. It can also be used for those who want to multitask like surfing the internet while playing a casual game.
The body is not particularly light at 2.5 kg, but it is important to consider that the product offers two reasonably sized screens. Thus, the laptop ends up being a good main computer for those who need plenty of performance, regardless of what task they are going to perform.
1. High price
The Zenbook Pro Duo is an expensive laptop. The most “affordable” version, with 1 TB SSD, currently costs $2,578, which is the price charged both by Asus’ store and by the major national retailers.
There is no direct competitor that delivers the same profile of two screens and advanced hardware, but it is possible to find good performance for editing jobs in Apple’s Macbook Pro 16″, for example. The Apple laptop can be purchased with a ninth-generation Core i9 processor from Intel, 1 TB of SSD, 16 GB of RAM, and AMD’s Radeon Pro 5500M video card, for $2,184, which is very close to the price offered by Asus.
Another alternative, more focused on games, is the Area 51m, from Alienware, Dell’s gamer brand, which brings Core i9 tenth generation Intel, RTX 2080 video card, Nvidia, 1TB SSD, 32 GB RAM, and is available for $3,999.98.
2. Keyboard and trackpad can confuse
Another differential of the Pro Duo is the Asus NumberPad, an LED-lit numeric keyboard integrated into the touchpad. The feature, which can be disabled by the user, offers a dedicated numeric panel.
The idea is great in theory, but in practice, it can lead to problems. With the trackpad repositioned to the right of the keyboard, day-to-day use is a bit compromised. Furthermore, the use of the cursor when the numeric keypad is activated may confuse the user, mainly due to the presence of so many illuminated elements in a single notebook.
3. Newer model worth waiting for
At CES 2021, Asus announced the next version of the Zenbook Pro Duo, which includes improvements such as Intel’s 11th generation chips and Nvidia’s RTX 3070 GPU.