It’s no secret that media consumption is at an all-time excessive throughout a plethora of digital platforms across the globe. Since provide and demand go hand in hand, there’s been a rampant rise of creator-focussed laptops that may churn out high-quality content material on the fly. Now, of all of the laptops geared in direction of creators, ASUS took the street much less travelled and just lately launched the successors to its ZenBook Duo collection from final yr. Dubbed the ZenBook Duo 14 and the ZenBook Professional Duo 15, the laptops ship with not one, however two shows that in principle, ought to assist creators get essentially the most out of their machines. I managed to get my arms on the ZenBook Duo 14 and on this overview, let’s see if that’s the case or not.
Desk of Contents
Design and Shows
On the floor, the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 appears the a part of most modern-day laptops and comes toting an aesthetic, understated design that may mix effectively inside most workspaces. That stated, the corporate hasn’t altered the end on the laptop computer all that a lot from final yr and also you’ll nonetheless discover the model’s attribute etching on the lid that contains a collection of concentric circles. Correspondingly, with the lid closed, it may be difficult to inform one mannequin from the opposite, at the very least from a distance. Fortunately, ASUS hit the nail on the top with the aesthetics of its debutant ZenBook Duo and correspondingly, I’ve no qualms with the corporate recycling the identical chassis this yr too.
Coming to the unit’s dimensions, the ZenBook Duo 14 is noticeably chunkier than most competing fashions and ideas the scales at round 1.6 kilos. Fortunately, the laptop computer is kind of sturdy and regardless of housing two shows and a slurry of mechanical parts, the unit ships with MIL-STD 810H certification, making certain the laptop computer will stand the check of time.
Shifting on, upon opening the lid, the ZenBook Duo 14 will greet you with not one, however two incredible, touch-screen shows. Spec-wise, the laptop computer ships with a 14-inch, Full HD primary show, which works alongside a 12.65-inch panel (positioned above the keyboard) with a decision of 1,920 x 515 pixels. Each the panels cowl 100-percent of the sRGB color gamut and provide a peak brightness of 400 nits, making them lots brilliant for indoor in addition to out of doors utilization. I’d additionally like so as to add that the screens include a matte coating, thereby holding pointless glare and reflections to a minimal. Whereas all that’s good and dandy, in contrast to final yr’s mannequin, the secondary show (dubbed ScreenPad+) on the newer ZenBook Duo 14 articulates barely upwards (as much as seven levels) this time round, making certain customers can eat the content material on the display way more effectively. What’s extra, the articulating display additionally permits the laptop computer to attract in additional air, thereby bettering the unit’s thermals.
So then, why would you want a laptop computer with two shows? Properly, I’m glad you requested. You see, the ZenBook Duo 14’s secondary show isn’t only a run-of-the-mill touchscreen panel and as an alternative, comes loaded with a ton of utilities that may undoubtedly profit content material creators. For one, the sheer dimension of the secondary show permits customers to run an app throughout the 2 screens, thereby significantly rising the viewing space. It’s also possible to select to order the principle show in your necessary apps and deploy different apps on the secondary display. For instance, when reviewing the POCO X3 Professional, I had the handset’s core specs outlined on a Chrome tab on the secondary display, with Microsoft Phrase taking on house on the principle show. Consequently, I didn’t have to leap between apps and was capable of cross-check the specs as I used to be writing the article.
It’s also possible to drag and drop apps from the principle display to the secondary show and vice-versa. There’s additionally a devoted button above the trackpad which switches apps between the principle display and the ScreenPad Plus in a seamless style. And, since we’re with reference to shortcuts, ASUS has additionally bundled a nifty Fast Key utility with the system that permits customers to automate their most-frequented instructions on a single macro. As an example, in case your workflow requires you to repeat recordsdata from one location to a different, then you’ll be able to program the copy and paste instructions on the Fast Key tab, thereby saving you a few steps down the road. Equally, Activity Teams – one more function of the ScreenPad+ – permits customers to group a handful of apps and have all of them open up instantaneously on the contact of a button.
After all, seeing how the ZenBook Duo 14 is geared for creators, ASUS has tied up with Adobe to result in some significant widgets for the ScreenPad+ too. To that be aware, you’ll be able to have the secondary display show intuitive instruments to extend or lower the comb dimension in apps like Photoshop, and so forth. All great things, actually.
Clearly, the ZenBook 14 Duo’s ScreenPad+ is not any gimmick and it’ll undoubtedly elevate a person’s computing expertise. Sadly, as was the case with final yr’s mannequin, the ZenBook Duo 14’s design comes with its fair proportion of compromises too. With the intention to accommodate a secondary display, ASUS needed to reposition the laptop computer’s keyboard deck and trackpad. Consequently, even with the laptop computer’s ErgoLift hinge (which tilts the keyboard deck at an angle), typing on the ZenBook Duo 14 is – for the dearth of a greater phrase – mind-numbing, to say the least. For one, the corporate doesn’t bundle a wrist relaxation with the 14-inch mannequin and even when you purchase one from a third-party retailer, you’ll nonetheless must place the laptop computer on a desk or a flat floor to make use of it always. Ergo, you’ll be able to all however overlook about utilizing the machine from the consolation of your mattress, or a sofa.
I’d like so as to add that the keyboard deck in itself isn’t all that dangerous and the person keys provide passable tactile suggestions too. Nevertheless, from the place I stand, ASUS actually must work on delivering a high quality typing expertise for the ZenBook Duo’s subsequent iteration. What’s extra, the laptop computer’s trackpad has been positioned moderately awkwardly too and I couldn’t acclimate myself to utilizing it throughout my stint with the machine. Be it highlighting textual content, or dragging gadgets from one folder to a different, the trackpad will depart you wanting for extra, each step of the way in which. Furthermore, customers in India will discover it troublesome to maintain mud particulates away from the laptop computer’s articulating hinge too.
I/O, Audio, and Biometrics
Fortunately, the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 ships with a treasure trove of ports and presents two Thunderbolt 4 enabled USB Sort-C ports, an HDMI 1.4 connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card reader, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A port. I used to be additionally fairly glad with the unit’s biometrics and whereas the laptop computer doesn’t ship with a fingerprint reader, it does include assist for Home windows Howdy by way of IR-backed facial recognition, which labored effectively throughout my testing. Audio-wise, the ZenBook Duo 14 ships with a pair of downward-firing audio system tuned by Harman Kardon.
Curiously, because of the laptop computer’s ErgoLift hinge, the sound output from the ZenBook Duo 14 was noticeably richer in comparison with competing merchandise with downward-firing audio system. That stated, the unit’s audio output nonetheless falls shy of the acoustics delivered by, say, MacBook Air or the Dell XPS 13. So, when you’re planning to binge a number of Netflix on the unit, you may wish to take this under consideration.
Efficiency and Battery Life
Spec-wise, my overview unit of the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 ships with Intel’s Core i7-1165G7 processor, which is among the many extra well-liked Tiger Lake choices from the silicon large. The laptop computer comes geared up with 32GB of DDR4 reminiscence too, although consumers choosing the unit in India must make do with 16GB of onboard RAM from the get-go. As for graphics, my overview unit is backed by Intel’s Iris XE graphics however you’ll be able to cop a mannequin with Nvidia’s MX450 GPU if you’d like.
Going by the specs, you’d be smart to imagine that the ZenBook Duo 14 performs admirably and the laptop computer breezed by means of my workflow with none hassles. To present you a greater image, I normally have a slurry of apps open, together with Slack, Phrase, Feedly, and Apple Music, together with over a dozen tabs open in Chrome. Regardless of that, the laptop computer didn’t decelerate to catch its breath within the slightest and I by no means bumped into any cases of lag or stutter while utilizing the unit. I’d additionally like so as to add that the laptop computer felt buttery clean when enhancing creatives for IG on apps like Adobe XD and Spark too and internet wonderful numbers in artificial benchmarking apps like CineBench R23, PCMark10 in addition to Crystal Disk Mark.
Now, the dearth of a devoted GPU entails you’ll be able to’t play video games on the machine with the graphics maxed out. Nevertheless, the laptop computer can internet you 60fps (or extra) in esports titles like Counter-Strike: World Offensive and Fortnite with the visuals dialed means down. As for the battery life, the ZenBook Duo 14’s 70WHrs cell powered by means of a whole workday, which is nice. Usually, I used to be netting near seven hours of use and that’s with the ScreenPad+ enabled and the brightness set to 65 p.c.
The ZenBook Duo 14 begins at Rs 99,990 for the Core i5 mannequin, however the i7 variant with MX450 GPU will set people again by Rs 1,34,990. It goes with out saying that ASUS’ ZenBook Duo lineup contains essentially the most revolutionary laptops launched in recent times and content material creators will undoubtedly profit from the ScreenPad+’ added performance. That being stated, the laptop computer’s design leaves a lot to be desired and the ZenBook Duo 14 isn’t essentially the most ergonomic machine on the market. Consequently, offered you’ll be able to reside with the unit’s awkwardly positioned keyboard and trackpad, the ZenBook Duo 14 won’t disappoint you. Else, there are many power-packed choices within the section with typical designs that may carry out simply pretty much as good, if not higher.
Editor’s ranking: 3.5 / 5
- Distinctive, dual-screen design
- ScreenPad+ presents helpful options
- Improbable battery backup
- Good efficiency
- Fairly beefy for a 14-inch laptop computer
- No wrist relaxation bundled with the laptop computer
- Typing expertise leaves a lot to be desired
- Trackpad is unusable for many eventualities