Video editors, graphic designers and photographers know that working on multiple monitors helps with productivity. Being able to multi-task is essential in the creative space, and using a single monitor is stifling. Asus has come up with their solution to this problem by putting two 4K screens on a laptop.
The ZenBook Pro Duo is ASUS’ innovative take on a productivity machine that boasts two screens that can display multiple programmes concurrently.
On top is a 15.6-inch, touch screen, 4K OLED display with a thin 5mm bezel. The display supports 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space for better colour reproduction and accuracy.
Below the main screen is ASUS’ ScreenPad Plus. The ScreenPad Plus is a secondary, LCD, touch-sensitive, 14-inch, 4K screen with a 178° viewing angle.
ASUS didn’t just throw on another screen and leave it at that. There is software that works alongside Windows to increase productivity.
The software allows up to three apps to run side-by-side at once, complementing whatever is on the main display. The “App Switcher” allows for easy swapping of Windows from the main to the ScreenPad Plus and vice versa. So, reference material or folders with content can exist on the secondary display, freeing the main display for other tasks. In applications like Adobe Premiere or Photoshop, frequently used tools can go on the second screen, leaving editable content on the main 4K display.
The second screen can also function as an extension of the main display, showing a continuous flow of content in a stretched view.
Another cool feature is the “Task Group” function. This feature allows the use of hotkeys to store up to a 5-app layout to be summoned with a single tap. This pre-set function helps get work started quickly by bringing favourite grouped apps to the screens at once.
The QuickKey application allows a user to programme more complex key combinations (like CRTL+SHIFT+Escape) and execute them with a single on-screen button. Both displays also support pen input with the included ASUS Pen stylus.
Instead of having to carry around a second display for more screen real estate, ASUS included another panel into the ZenBook Pro Duo package.
To facilitate the second screen, ASUS shifted the keyboard and trackpad down. The result is that the ZenBook Pro Duo doesn’t have a dedicated number pad. Instead, the trackpad doubles as the number pad and can be switched on and off with a button. Due to the unusual keyboard placement, ASUS included a palm rest to help make typing on the machine a bit more comfortable.
The top tier ZenBook Pro Duo comes with the beastly Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and a Solid-State drive with up to 1TB of storage. The device also comes with the powerful NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 for killer graphics performance. With these specs, content creators and gamers alike will enjoy high frame rates and jitter-free playback in demanding programmes and games. There’s also WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support.
There are two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, an audio jack and HDMI port.
At 5.51 pounds, the device is not light. However, the processing power justifies the weight. The Intel Core i9-9980HK processor runs hot, and it pays to have a thicker body with proper cooling to get rid of all that heat. Also, ASUS designed the hinge mechanism to raise the bottom of the device so cooler air can circulate through the vents.
The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo is truly a game-changing laptop that offers innovative technology that will most likely improve productivity through better multitasking. The included tech and what comes in the box justifies the US$3000 price tag.
Renor is a creator and budding photographer who loves the outdoors. He likes talking about, using and writing about technology.