Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: a dual-screen laptop at last well done

Dual-screen laptops have been slow to arrive, and while Asus’ last attempt was more of an experience, the latest ZenBook Duo 14 looks pretty convincing when you know how to use it to the fullest. It’s much nicer to use as a daily driver, something the original dual-screen laptop lacked. The ZenBook Duo 14 ticks a lot of boxes, but it’s not without its flaws. Here are the good and bad aspects of the new ZenBook Duo 14 dual-screen laptop.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 price in India (as reviewed): Rs 129,990

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: what’s new?

The ZenBook Duo 14 is a thoughtful machine that’s different from the laptops I’ve used so far. Still, it sounds familiar. Asus has equipped the laptop with a metal casing, which makes it a high-end laptop. The cover has this beautiful brushed texture with a concentric circles pattern engraved on the top, along with the shiny silver Asus logo. Although the ZenBook Duo 14 does not qualify as ultraportable, it is less heavy and lighter than its predecessor. I was able to open Duo 14 wherever I am and write content or capture an idea. In fact, I could work on the ZenBook Duo even if I didn’t have a suitable table in front of it.

The laptop has enough external connectivity ports, which is rare these days in a mainstream laptop. On the left side we find an HDMI output port and a pair of dual Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, which use the USB Type-C connector. On the right side, Asus has included a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD reader, along with a USB-A port.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: what’s good?

Open the laptop cover and the ZenBook Duo 14 is a whole different laptop thanks to its unique dual screen design. The main screen is a 14-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) FHD display with minimal bezels. The screen becomes very bright and is perfect for multimedia use. The screen also supports an active stylus which you get in the box.

Asus, Asus ZenBook Duo 14, ZenBook Duo laptop, Asus ZenBook dual screen laptop, ZenBook Duo review While the continuity factor is lacking, I still like the way the 12.6in touchscreen rises above the keyboard to approximate the 14in display. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

The magic happens when you include the ScreenPad Plus – or the secondary display that measures 12.6 inches. It has an unusual resolution of 1920 x 515 pixels, thanks to its unique shape. So when you open the Duo 14, the hinges inside the laptop raise the ScreenPad Plus by 7 degrees. While the continuity factor is lacking, I still like the way the 12.6in touchscreen rises above the keyboard to approximate the 14in display. This also contributes to better management of the air flow.

Both screens have a brightness of 400 nits, but I found the 12.6-inch sub-panel to be slightly dull. Although this is absolutely perfect for what it is meant to be; it basically served as a secondary display. The idea of ​​a secondary display makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re working on multiple apps at the same time. I really enjoyed watching YouTube on the secondary screen, while editing the Google document on the primary screen. There are different ways to use the ScreenPad Plus.

Asus, Asus ZenBook Duo 14, ZenBook Duo laptop, Asus ZenBook dual screen laptop, ZenBook Duo review The idea of ​​a secondary display makes a lot of sense, especially when you’re working on multiple apps at the same time. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

Moving a window to the ScreenPad Plus is as easy as dragging down to the secondary display. What I liked about the secondary screen is that it’s great for apps I want to keep accessible at all times like Spotify or TweetDeck. The ScreenPad makes more sense when you use it with creative apps like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro. For example, when you open Adobe Photoshop, you will notice that a touch control appears on the ScreenPad Plus. It’s not perfect, of course. I encountered issues while constantly switching between windows.

The ZenBook Duo is a fast machine. During my weeklong testing he handled everything I threw at him well. More importantly, general day-to-day tasks are also transparent. It has more than enough power to handle an average workday while running a web browser, participating in Zoom calls, listening to Apple Music, streaming Netflix, or chatting with your friends and family on WhatsApp Web. The model I tested has a Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. My review unit uses Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics, which provides a reasonable improvement. compared to integrated graphics on older machines.

As with any laptop, the battery life of the ZenBook Duo depends on what you do with it. It has a long battery life which can keep up with daily tasks. In my testing, the battery life lasted between eight and nine hours, which is good for a laptop with a dual screen.

Asus, Asus ZenBook Duo 14, ZenBook Duo laptop, Asus ZenBook dual screen laptop, ZenBook Duo review The ZenBook Duo is a fast machine. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia / Indian Express)

Another thing I like about the ZenBook Duo is its speakers. The Harmon / Kardon speaker produces a well-balanced sound, good enough to fill my midsize room with sound. They’re great, whether it’s for listening to music, streaming YouTube videos, or watching movies on Netflix.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: what’s wrong?

The dual screen concept works for me, but I struggled to adjust to the keyboard and touchpad. The way the ScreenPad Plus is designed, there’s no room for the keyboard or palm rest. Frankly, the keyboard seems a bit cramped to me. The keyboard is comfortable for typing, although it is still largely usable overall. Then there’s that awkward, vertically shaped touchpad, which is just very weird to use.
The Duo 14 is an impressive machine, but its unimpressive 720p webcam is a disappointment. Although the HD webcam is not as bad as some other laptops in the same price bracket.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14: Should I buy it?

When I first started using the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 a few days ago, I felt like I would have a hard time adjusting to a new form factor. Although I had some difficulties initially, the transaction has gone smoothly so far. The idea of ​​a dual screen actually makes sense, although there were few design compromises that could have been avoided. That said, the ZenBook Duo marks a big change in the hardware and design of a traditional laptop.

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