SOME ATTEMPTS TO DO MORE with laptops steadily finally end up languishing at the slicing room flooring as thought gadgets that by no means moderately make it into the true global.
However Asus does issues somewhat otherwise, because it has a tendency to in reality make after which promote its relatively oddball gadgets, And we were given our arms on one such system; the dual-screen ZenBook Professional Duo.
Geared toward skilled creators, therefore the ‘Professional’ little bit of its moniker, this ZenBook on steroids is an engaging tool that we’d like a bit of of time to get our head round. Onwards, curious reader.
The Zenbook Professional Duo appears a bit of like the affection kid of an ordinary 15in ZenBook and Asus’ ROG Zephyrus gaming pc. It has a equivalent keyboard and preliminary aesthetic to the previous however has the atypical keyboard placement of the latter.
However while the Zephyrus has its keyboard moved right down to the ground fringe of decrease chassis for cooling functions, the ZenBook Professional Duo has a secondary show; extra on that later.
As such, cooling for the system is supplied via chunky vents on its aspect to suck in cool air. Which means that regardless of the pc’s 359 x 246 x 24mm dimensions, it has a relatively lacklustre port variety.
A couple of USB 3.1 Kind-A ports be offering on a regular basis connectivity, whilst a Thunderbolt Three USB-C port is available for hooking as much as sleek peripherals equivalent to a few 4K displays or a high-speed garage array.
We would have appreciated to have observed an SD card reader as that might make sense in a creator-led system.
An HDMI 2.zero port gives different show connectivity, whilst a three.5mm combo jack is provide and proper for audio.
Talking of which, the stereo audio gadget – which is Harman Kardon qualified – sounds relatively excellent however are hardly ever a excessive watermark within the pc sonics global.
Going again to the keyboard placement, it is a little atypical to make use of and now not one thing you’ll be able to use for your lap.
It additionally way the touchpad is driven to the precise and occupies an area the place a host pad would typically sit down.
Because the touchpad can also be became a digital quantity pad, that latter loss isn’t any giant deal.
However the quite cramped touchpad is a bit of difficult to make use of and get used to; it really works however you are hardly ever going to be zipping your cursor throughout each presentations at a frantic tempo.
However then Asus most likely expects other folks to make use of this system with an exterior mouse, as it is only actually a pc via identify; you do not need a corpulent system like this venting warmth for your legs for too lengthy.
The ZenBook Professional Duo’s lid has a bit of of a lip on its backside which is helping carry the pc’s go into reverse the bottom not to most effective lend a hand with warmth dissipation but in addition carry the keyboard at a extra comfy typing attitude.
Whilst the keyboard itself is lovely first rate with a excellent 1.4mm of go back and forth and simply sufficient comments to allow some fast contact typing – it is nowhere close to Floor Computer Three excellent – it is bloody tricky to make use of conveniently with out the usage of the bundled palm leisure.
With the palm leisure, the keyboard is way nicer to make use of, however then you’ll be able to wish to elevate it with you, which all provides on most sensible the ZenBook Professional Duo’s 2.5kg weight.
You’ll be able to desire a robust bag to hold it round with its charger and palm leisure, let on my own some other peripherals.
Clad in a fetching greeny-blue ‘Celestial Blue’ end, the ZenBook Professional Duo is not a foul taking a look system.
It may well be a tad angular in spaces for some aesthetic tastes, however then this feels extra like a system that places serve as first now not shape.
As discussed, and given away within the ‘Duo’ a part of the system’s identify, this pc sports activities two presentations. The primary is 15.6in 16:nine 4K OLED show, whilst the second one is a 14in 32:nine 4K LCD; each are touchscreens.
Let’s get started with the primary display as a result of it is a blinder. The whole thing is expectedly sharp due to the 4K solution however then that is to be anticipated. However it is the OLED panel, now not the solution that steals the display.
It supplies luxurious quantities of distinction with colors that actually do pop when in comparison to one of the most absolute best LCD presentations we have now observed on say the Dell XPS laptops and the Floor Computer 3 15. Colors are balanced as smartly, which means this can be a tool that one may use for pro photograph enhancing and color grading in movies.
Nevertheless it additionally has you coated in relation to excitement after paintings, because the OLED panel helps HDR which means ogling appropriate content material at the display is a pleasure, with the broader dynamic vary serving to select main points that may well be misplaced on a lesser LCD panel. Video games additionally glance lovely excellent at the display as smartly, becoming the 16:nine facet ratio smartly.
The one actual factor is how reflective the OLED panel is, with it shining again any vibrant overhead lighting fixtures with gusto. We are no strangers to this in relation to shiny presentations, so it isn’t a big factor.
Issues proceed to provoke in relation to the secondary display.
It is not as vibrant and colourful, however it nonetheless does a excellent process of revealing off content material, whether or not that is a Slack window or perhaps a video you look at whilst bashing out a missive at the primary show.
It has got a matte end and a textured really feel, apparently designed for heavier contact inputs than the primary display. Given you’ll be able to use it as a type of digital notepad with a stylus this is smart; our artwork abilities are 0 so we made do with scrawling hi with our absolute best finger.
Asus has it arrange in a way so as to have 3 home windows within the show panel aspect via aspect, which means it makes a very good software for maintaining a tally of more than one feeds, equivalent to Twitter, quick messages and emails.
It can be used as an extension to the primary show, which is neat however somewhat clunky to make use of in apply. We a lot most well-liked to make use of it as a secondary display. And we suspect individuals who fork out for the ZenBook Professional Duo will do the similar.
We aren’t actually ‘content material creators’ in the way in which tech corporations love to bleat on about, however we consider the secondary show may well be used as a way to pop the timeline of an Adobe Premiere Professional video enhancing workload on, to liberate display house at the primary show for the video home windows within the tool.
Or lets consider tech-savvy musicians the usage of the ground show as a display for impact and equaliser controls whilst the primary show helps to keep audio feed and recordings in complete view.
Once more, we most commonly used it as a display for secondary apps, however extra inventive sorts may get much more mileage out of it.
We had first of all idea the dual-screen setup would really feel somewhat gimmicky, however in use, it really works rather well. Is it essential? Completely now not. Is it great to have? Completely.
Efficiency, garage and battery lifestyles
With regards to energy, our ZenBook Professional Duo overview unit had a variety of grunt. The megastar of the display is the Intel Core i9-9980HK, a high-end cell CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads, operating from a clock velocity of two.4GHz as much as 5GHz.
The CPU is matched with a hefty 32GB of two,666MHz RAM. And for graphics acceleration, it has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of GDDR6 video reminiscence.
Whilst it may be specced with a Core i7-9750H and as low as 8GB of RAM, the spec we had, which weighs in at £3,000, appeared becoming for a hefty dual-screen system.
All this energy way the ZenBook Professional Duo will chunk via maximum issues one can throw at it every day. However its energy is designed for inventive paintings, video rendering, and heavy-duty CAD paintings.
Throwing Geekbench four on the CPU yielded a single-core rating of five,672, whilst it raked in 28,796 within the multi-core check.
We then threw Cinebench R15 into the combination and it were given via that lovely simply scoring 1,593 within the CPU check and reaching a body price of 123.30 within the GPU check.
It is not going to have moderately the similar energy as a desktop-grade workstation, however for a cell system below 17 inches, it is a powerhouse.
Preferably, we would have appreciated to look a extra robust graphics card choice, most likely an RTX 2070 or RTX 2080, as whilst the ZenBook Professional Duo handles video games comfortably at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, it runs out of puff in relation to operating the newest video games on the local 4K solution with the settings cranked up.
However this can be a author pc first, so avid gamers shall be higher served in other places, regardless that with the ability to sport somewhat in between bouts of labor isn’t any dangerous factor.
Garage is available in PCIe SSD layout and is going from 256GB to 1TB; our fashion had the latter and we really feel if you are dealing with so much massive video information and RAW footage for enhancing, then the extra garage the easier. You do get WiFi 6 compatibility, so if you want to transport issues to and from cloud garage you do have the ability of a speedier wi-fi connectivity same old if you are community helps it.
Battery lifestyles is not a lot cop actually, however then the ZenBook Professional Duo is not designed for use clear of an influence supply for lengthy. You might be most effective actually prone to get 3 hours clear of a socket, however then that is the value one can pay for this kind of robust system with twin displays.
Spending £3,000 on a pc may appear loopy, however you do get so much for the cash with the ZenBook Professional Duo.
Even with out the secondary display, you continue to get an OLED show, Core i9 and a strong GPU; take a look at getting one thing equivalent in a MacBook Professional 16 for only 3 grand.
Including the second one display into the combination then makes the ZenBook Professional Duo higher price for cash. Alternatively, you want to have a excellent use for this kind of system to justify the outlay.
This raises the query as to who the ZenBook Professional Duo is for.
Sure, it is centered at creatives however maximum would most likely make do with a MacBook Professional or Dell XPS 15 for paintings at the cross then have a devoted and extra robust desktop workstation for tough duties. The sort of setup would render the ZenBook Professional Duo a tad moot.
We see it extra as a compact and cell desktop substitute for inventive those who do a large number of paintings at other places and do not need house for a devoted desktop at house but nonetheless desire a robust spec and a variety of display house.
For everybody else, the ZenBook Professional Duo could be extra of an indulgence than a vital software.
Alternatively, what the ZenBook Professional Duo gives is extra a glimpse at the way forward for computing and the place laptops may cross. Different corporations had been flirting with dual-screen machines, and gadgets just like the Floor Neo glance quite compelling.
Certain, the Zenbook Professional Duo will not be essentially the most compelling of dual-screen machines, however it presentations there is nonetheless innovation available within the PC global, and for that, we salute it.
Beautiful OLED display, helpful 2d display, robust spec.
Deficient battery lifestyles, pricey, fiddly trackpad.
Tough keyboard placement and we are not certain who wishes this kind of system.