Innovative Gadgets

The primary dual-screen laptop computer price shopping for


Virtually each main PC maker has dabbled with the thought of a dual-screen laptop computer in some unspecified time in the future. Approach again in 2011, sporting not one however two 14-inch shows. Then at CES 2017, Razer confirmed off which bumped the panel depend to a few earlier than demoing one thing a bit much less extravagant a 12 months later in . Quick ahead to 2020, when Dell dazzled us with the . Even Apple gave the class a go on the outdated , solely to reverse course and .

In the meantime, Lenovo has a whole household of units relationship again to the unique and culminating most lately within the , with the latter coming extraordinarily near turning the promise of dual-screen laptops into an precise interesting selection. However now after a number of generations of its personal units, ASUS has put every thing along with the It’s a brilliant modern machine with two screens that’s barely bigger than a equally sized clamshell. There’s additionally a removable keyboard and a built-in kickstand for max adaptability. And beginning at $1,500, the Zenbook Duo doesn’t command an enormous premium for one thing with a ton of additional utility. So whereas it’s been fairly a journey to get right here, ASUS has lastly made a dual-screen laptop computer that proves as soon as and for all that two screens actually are higher than one.

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Beginning at $1,500 and with dimensions that aren’t a lot greater than a conventional clamshell, ASUS’ Zenbook Duo is the primary dual-screen laptop computer you’d truly wish to purchase.

Professionals

  • Glossy design
  • Beautiful screens
  • Constructed-in kickstand
  • Good port choice
  • Stable battery life
Cons

  • Barely pricier than a conventional clamshell
  • Home windows 11 nonetheless is not optimized for dual-screen laptops

$1,500 at ASUS

Design

Probably the most spectacular issues concerning the Zenbook Duo is that it doesn’t seem like some type of Frankendeivce. It’s only a regular-looking 14-inch laptop computer. Even after you open it, issues nonetheless look regular with a bodily keyboard and touchpad, to not point out a wholesome choice of ports across the exterior (two Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Kind-A and a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack). A small a part of me needs ASUS had discovered room for some type of SD card reader, however I perceive if there simply wasn’t area.

It’s solely after you take away the keyboard that issues get fascinating as a result of as quickly as you do, the Duo’s second show springs to life. From right here, you’ve a ton of choices. Tapping three fingers on the decrease panel summons a floating touchpad. Alternatively, eight fingers makes a digital keyboard seem, which you’ll be able to observe with a swipe as much as reveal a conventional keyboard/trackpad combo. However the cool factor is that as a result of these are all digital stand-ins, it is simple to swap in a brand new structure (like for different languages), transfer the touchpad off to the aspect or name up a numpad if you could do some information entry. There’s simply a lot extra flexibility when half of a laptop computer’s inside isn’t taken up by a inflexible set of bodily keys.

ASUS built a very handy kickstand into the bottom of the Zenbook Duo.ASUS built a very handy kickstand into the bottom of the Zenbook Duo.

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

However issues hold getting higher, as a result of on the underside of the Duo is a flap that folds out right into a kickstand. This lets you prop the system up and use each screens as correct shows, form of like a conveyable dual-monitor setup however all in a single self-contained system. And since the removable keyboard connects wirelessly over Bluetooth, you’ll be able to place it in entrance (or wherever you need) similar to a desktop. The one small disadvantage to this design is that when you rotate the Duo’s shows into portrait orientation aspect by aspect, the design of the kickstand means there’s no solution to alter how far it tilts. This closely favors the stacked setup with one show above, which is ok as a result of I feel that association is extra helpful in most conditions.

One other nice shock is that for a tool with two screens, the Zenbook Duo isn’t a lot greater or heavier than a typical clamshell. It weighs 3.6 kilos and measures 0.78 inches thick versus the two.82 kilos and 0.59 inches for the standard Zenbook 14 OLED. And when in comparison with one thing like a Dell XPS 14 (3.7 kilos and 0.71 inches thick), each methods are virtually the identical dimension.

Moving apps from one screen to another is as simple as dragging and dropping or using ASUS' handy snapping menus. Moving apps from one screen to another is as simple as dragging and dropping or using ASUS' handy snapping menus.

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

My one gripe is that ASUS’ darkish grey paint job shade doesn’t assist the Duo stand out. It’s virtually like somebody who wears subdued colours to keep away from drawing consideration. However this design is unbelievable and I want ASUS would give this laptop computer (and the engineers who designed it) the flowers it deserves.

Shows and software program

The centerpiece of the Duo is its pair of 14-inch shows, that are an absolute delight. Not solely do the matching OLED panels provide robust brightness (round 500 nits), in addition they pump out wealthy and correct colours (one hundred pc of DCI-P3). However the actual magic is while you use each panels collectively.

In tight spaces, the Zenbook Duo can function just like a traditional clamshell laptop. In tight spaces, the Zenbook Duo can function just like a traditional clamshell laptop.

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Shifting apps from one show to a different is so simple as dragging and dropping or utilizing the helpful menus that seem on the high of the show. As well as, there’s a floating button within the backside left for ASUS’ ScreenXpert software program, which gives shortcuts for adjusting brightness (individually or as a pair), disabling particular panels or pulling up helpful widgets for issues like a management panel, a handwriting recognition instrument, information and climate and extra. If the aim was to get as a lot worth out of the Duo’s two shows, I feel ASUS’ software program does a fairly good job.

The draw back to all that is that regardless of ASUS’ finest efforts, Home windows 11 and lots of apps nonetheless aren’t absolutely optimized for methods like this. For instance, after I performed a spherical of Teamfight Techniques and needed to drag up some recreation stats on the decrease show, I bumped into a problem the place the digital touchpad stopped working. It was solely after I set the sport to borderless window mode, closed the sport and relaunched every thing that it began working once more. Granted, conditions like this had been uncommon, however it’s vital to do not forget that while you’re utilizing a cutting-edge machine, there could also be some bugs or awkward interactions.

Efficiency

The Zenbook Duo features a excellent selection of ports for its size including two Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Type-A. 3.5mm audio and a full-size HDMI 2.1 jackThe Zenbook Duo features a excellent selection of ports for its size including two Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Type-A. 3.5mm audio and a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Zenbook Duo comes with an Intel Core Extremely 7 155H processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. Whilst you can improve it with double the reminiscence and a quicker Extremely 9 chip, I discovered the bottom configuration to be loads quick. On checks like Geekbench 6 and PCMark 10, the Zenbook Duo turned in outcomes that had been an identical to these from equally outfitted clamshells, together with . That is nice as a result of it means there’s not a ton of overhead because of the addition of a second display and even when setup in desktop mode, dragging apps from one show to a different felt snappy and responsive. The apparent disadvantage is that in contrast to some 14-inch methods such because the XPS 14, there’s no room for a discrete GPU, which makes the Zenbook Duo higher suited to basic productiveness than extra demanding duties like video modifying.

Battery life

You may suppose a system with two screens can be a battery hog, however the Zenbook Duo fared higher than anticipated. With only one display on, it lasted 13 hours and 12 minutes on our video rundown take a look at, which is just about equal to (truly a contact longer than) the Zenbook 14 OLED (12:43). And with each screens going, the Duo’s time solely dropped to 10:17, which continues to be greater than sufficient to outlive a whole workday.

Wrap-up

The most impressive thing about the Zenbook Duo is that it offers two screens without adding a ton of extra bulk or cost. The most impressive thing about the Zenbook Duo is that it offers two screens without adding a ton of extra bulk or cost.

Picture by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

OK, so the Zenbook Duo delivers on the guarantees of dual-screen laptops. However one query I get so much is who’re units like this truly for? The obvious software is for individuals who carry a conveyable monitor round whereas touring. However extra typically, this factor is aimed toward anybody who appreciates a number of screens and desires a system that may recreate that have in a extra travel-friendly approach, which is one thing the Zenbook Duo does with aplomb. The very best half although is that it doesn’t make main sacrifices to take action, as a result of because of its removable keyboard, it could actually operate similar to another clamshell when area is tight (like on an airplane).

When you’ve room to unfold out, it transforms into a conveyable workstation with loads of display area for a mission up high and bonus actual property for Slack, e mail, video calls or anything you may want down beneath. It is received ample ports so that you don’t want to hold a dongle round and because of its beautiful OLED screens, your work (or play) all the time appears nice. The Zenbook Duo can do every thing a conventional laptop computer can and extra. Sure, the software program expertise could possibly be a bit extra polished, although that’s not totally on ASUS. We nonetheless want a brand new model of Home windows to offer higher OS assist for dual-screen machines. However contemplating all of the struggles and a number of generations it took to get right here, the Zenbook Duo is a fabulous torchbearer for a brand new class of transportable PCs.



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