At this year’s CES, Asus presented an impressive notebook with the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED. It not only scores with a beautiful OLED panel, but also has some practical features on board. For example, the hardware expert relies on an automatic tilting of the second display.
The notebook lives up to its name
It quickly becomes clear how the ZenBook Pro Duo gets its name. Thus, the trademark of the somewhat different notebook is to have two different displays. Next to the main display, there is a second one directly above the keyboard. Asus refers to this as ScreenPad Plus. Particularly practical in the new generation: As soon as you open the notebook, the second display angles itself by 9.5 degrees. This makes it much more comfortable to use than the predecessor. Touch inputs should be easier and reading is certainly easier as well. Another big visual advantage is that the secondary display seems to blend seamlessly with the main screen due to the angle. Asus has thus eradicated the annoying gap that pissed off some users in the predecessor.
Second display offers many possibilities
What users of classic notebooks will find a bit unfamiliar is certainly the second display. However, especially creative users will quickly be happy about the new possibilities it offers. Asus talks about the second screen running the ScreenXpert 2 software.
Thanks to this, you can speed up many processes, especially in the field of image and video editing. For example, functions such as the size of the brush, color saturation or other subtleties can be conveniently adjusted via the additional screen. Especially in applications from the software manufacturer Adobe, this should make for a nice workflow.
When it comes to the display, Asus makes no compromises. A high-contrast and true-color OLED display in razor-sharp 4K resolution is used as the main display here. Asus designed the 15.6-inch display in the classic 16:9 format. The DCI-P3 color space is covered by 100%. Besides OLED, the HDR standard DisplayHDR True Black 500 from VESA is supposed to provide the necessary contrast rates. Not only the second but also the main display supports touch inputs. Conveniently, a stylus can be used for this. Thanks to the recognition of a total of 4,096 different pressure levels, this combination is ideally suited for professional drafters. The second screen is a bit smaller with its 14.09 inches, but still very large. In terms of resolution, the OLED panel comes in no less sharp 3,840 x 1,100 pixels.
The inner workings also seem to be right
Of course, the special design of the devices is the first thing that jumps out at you. However, it is also worth taking a look at the specs of the innards. This is where an Intel Comet Lake-H meets Nvidia Ampere. Asus has provided sufficient ventilation so that the device does not get too hot with the powerful components. The angled secondary display also has a positive effect here. This ensures that the warm air can escape more easily through additional openings in the notebook. Asus has not changed the processor compared to the predecessor. The manufacturer still uses an Intel Comet Lake-H. The reason for this is certainly the lack of new processors from Intel. An alternative would have been to switch to the Ryzen 5000.
Buyers of the special notebook can opt for either a Core i7-10870H or a Core i9-10980HK. In the maximum configuration, the notebook offers 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. While nothing new has happened with the processor, Asus has improved the graphics performance. The manufacturer has equipped the notebook with a GeForce RTX 3070 in the mobile version. This offers an impressive 8 GB of VRAM. However, unlike the processor, RAM and storage, there are no other options.
92 watt-hour battery
Intel Comet Lake-H is not the latest platform from Intel. This is also noticeable in the ports of the upcoming ZenBook Pro Duo. Instead of the latest Thunderbolt 4, the notebook “only” offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, it is doubtful whether this will limit the user experience considering the minor differences. On top of that, Asus has installed one USB-A, two HDMI, and one audio port for headphones and/or microphones. Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 are supposed to provide fast wireless connectivity. The slim case, which measures 359 mm x 249 mm x 21.5 mm, houses a 92 watt-hour battery. However, this size is also necessary in view of the sheer hardware power.
Release still in spring
According to Asus, the ZenBook Pro Duo will be launched in the first quarter of 2021. However, those who decide to buy the very special notebook will have to dig deep into their pockets. The RRP starts at a hefty 3,999 Euros. Those who want a cheaper and more compact model should take a look at the ZenBook Pro Duo 14. It is a bit weaker, but should be sufficient for most users. The device presented by Asus at the same time is also supposed to go on sale in the first quarter at an MSRP starting at 1,699 Euros.