Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review

Asus Zenbook Duo 14: Specs

Price: $999 (starting), $1,299 (examined)
CPU: eleventh Gen Intel Core i5, i7
Display: 13.4‑inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
Battery: 10:37 | 14:11 (ScreenPad Plus off)
Memory: 8GB to 32GB
Storage: 512GB to 1TB
Dimensions: 12.Eight x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.Five pounds

Just as rumors say Apple will kill the Touch Bar, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 (UX482) continues to innovate the second-screen experience and display what will have been. Yes, instead of the sliver of an OLED touchscreen that Apple supplies, Asus' Duo laptops proceed to give you a huge slab of a second display. 

And Asus is certainly onto something: its ScreenPad Plus gives you area to position the apps you might be now not the usage of at the present time (however want to see in a second's realize). In other phrases: if you're short on display house, however don't want a large secondary track, the ScreenPad Plus is also the answer you did not know you needed. And it is the type of innovation that earns it a spot on our best laptops record.  In truth, it's so excellent that it received a advice for best possible laptop breakthrough in our Tom's Guide Awards 2021.

And this year's type has notable enhancements. For starters, the ScreenPad raises up to be nearer to the primary screen, to check out and get some continuity. And now it has got a Control Center application that will help you set up this extra display, a welcome boost.

But while the ScreenPad Plus takes away the wrist-rest area, this is nonetheless a mighty advantageous pc — certainly, it is one of the most best Windows laptops on the market at this time. Its performance and endurance stands toe to toe with the most productive PC pc round, making it probably the most best laptops for engineering students, and while its display screen might not be the brightest, it's nonetheless a great window for your content material. So, for everyone curious concerning the ScreenPad Plus and how it could alternate their recreation up, this Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review should solution your entire questions.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Price and availability

We examined the ZenBook Duo 14 with a Core i7-1165G7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD. It's available at B&H Photo and Asus.com.  The entry-level $999 ZenBook Duo 14 (which Asus says is "coming soon") has a Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

The ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) had a free up date January 14, 2021.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Design

On the outdoor, the ZenBook Duo 14 appears to be like stylish. Asus gave the pc a Celestial Blue hue, with a concentric circles pattern etched on best, along with the shiny silver Asus logo. 

Open it up, and your brain would possibly destroy in confusion, as took place when I confirmed it to my parents. Its 14-inch 1080p panel has an entire moment display screen beneath it: which Asus calls the ScreenPad Plus. It's just as wide as the main screen, however it's measuring 12.6 inches because it isn't as tall. 

As you open the ZenBook Duo 14's lid, hinges inside the ScreenPad Plus raise it through 7 levels. It's a pleasant contact that allows the top of the smaller display screen to get nearer to the ground of the second one display screen. Those 7 levels do not make it seem like one large continuous panel, but it's a helpful trade to make the ScreenPad Plus more uncomplicated to look. It also increases heat circulate.

The ZenBook Duo 14 is a novel and neat design that Asus is continuing to reinforce, but this is one of the least lap-friendly laptops I've ever used. By taking away the wrist-rest area, which is removed on account of the ScreenPad Plus, your fingers fall off the entrance of the keyboard when it is time to type. 

On a table, this is much less of an issue -- do you might have a wrist relaxation pad round? I discovered the Logitech MX Keys' rest to be suitable. But while you put the ZenBook Duo 14 on your lap, your forearms have mainly little room to move, as they're sitting tight between your abdomen and the entrance edge of the ZenBook Duo. 

At 0.7 inches thick and three.Five pounds, the ZenBook Duo 14 is thicker and heavier than the newest Dell XPS 13 (0.Five inches, 2.9 kilos) and Macbook Air with M1 (0.6 inches, 2.Eight kilos). 

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Ports

The ZenBook Duo 14's thickness lets in it extra ports than many standard laptops. On the left, in addition to the twin ThunderBolt 4 USB-C ports (one of which you'll use for charging), you'll be able to in finding an HDMI out port. 

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On the proper, Asus placed a three.5mm headphone jack and a microSD reader, together with a USB-A port. You'd need an adapter to get HDMI and USB-A ports at the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13, and we're uninterested in wearing round adapters. 

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Displays

As I watched a WandaVision trailer on the ZenBook Duo 14's 1080p, I spotted the display's excellent colour output whilst wishing it were brighter. Wanda's hair reproduced in the accurate and vibrant color orange as she emerged from beneath a comforter whose threads regarded clear and crisp. And while I could tell that I used to be used to brighter panels, the ZenBook Duo 14's display still impresses with its colour accuracy (it is PANTONE certification is a good badge of honor).

As for the ScreenPad Plus, smartly, it doesn't look as great to my eye, however a few of my footage glance great on it as a secondary display. The reds and blues in a work of Bernie Sanders boulevard artwork popped, whilst a large number of the remainder of the picture regarded dull.

The ScreenPad Plus' 7 levels of elevation are very best for individuals who place their laptop immediately on their table. Unfortunately, those who use a stand to raise their pc screen to an ergonomic-friendly eye-level will in finding the ScreenPad Plus fairly tougher to peer. I discovered this out at my very own table, once I attempted to change my MacBook Pro out for the ZenBook Duo 14, and located myself craning my neck to look it from the proper angle. Asus packs in a small folding stand to help you see for all use cases, however that wedge doesn't help up to I'd like. 

According to our colorimeter, the principle show emits 114.7% of the sRGB spectrum, a equivalent rating to the 114.3% from the MacBook Air with M1 and higher than the 97.9% from the XPS 13. The ScreenPad Plus handiest hits 64.5%.

As my eyes could tell, the ZenBook Duo 14 may stand to be brighter, maxing out at 307.Four nits. The MacBook Air (365 nits) and XPS 13 (469 nits) get much brighter, as does 392.3-nit ScreenPad Plus. Still, the ZenBook Duo's anti-glare coating and total display quality helped colors stay strong when seen at 30 degrees to the left and proper, which does not all the time happen on monitors with less than four hundred nits of brightness. 

The ZenBook Duo 14's touchscreens responded to faucets and swipes speedily. Web pages also scrolled smoothly as I navigated Google Docs and longer sites.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Software

For essentially the most section, the ZenBook Duo 14 is a vanilla-standard version of Windows 10. While we wish it did not have bloatware like McAfee Antivirus -- which spams you with pestering messages to subscribe or risk your security -- that's extra of the status quo than anything specifically unexpected. Further, you don't want McAfee: Windows Defender has gotten lovely excellent through the years.

The most necessary piece of software is the ScreenPad Plus Control Center, which unlocks numerous capability for the secondary display screen. Its best widget is a brightness slider, which you'll be able to most likely toy with to optimize battery existence. The following couple of buttons aren't that necessary, with a utility for moving windows between the screens (which is not difficult), a hyperlink to the MyAsus app, a keyboard lock button for when you want to disable your keyboard, and a button to cover the apps in the ScreenPad Plus, so you'll both get started over or see your background. 

The Control Panel's backside two buttons are its maximum necessary. The Launcher (four dots) icon lets you temporarily summon a number-pad and a collection of keyboard shortcuts to the ScreenPad Plus. But do not forget the "NEW +" icons on the bottom of this display screen. Here, you'll be able to make job teams, aka custom preparations of your most steadily used applications and browser tabs. I used it to create a "start of day" set, with Trello up top, and TweetDeck and Slack under, as well as an "after work" set with Discord in the main display, and Spotify and TweetDeck underneath. 

There are even further ScreenPad Plus modes for creativity apps, corresponding to After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic. Users of those apps can get a whole panel of touch-sensitive controls. But even just for my every-day productivity needs, I discovered the ScreenPad Plus precious in its own proper. By contrast, the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar still feels like a gimmick in search of a problem to fix, whilst the ScreenPad Plus is right here for many who want extra display screen house.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Keyboard, touchpad

As unconventional as the ZenBook Duo 14's typing revel in is, its keys are very good for jamming via line after line of textual content. On the 10fastfingers typing test, I click-clacked my method to 75 phrases according to minute (not a ways from my 80 wpm moderate), with an ideal 96% accuracy (possibly a point or two off my average. But whilst I admire the truth that the keys are quiet, this machine needs its own wrist rest. Fortunately, I have one available to avoid wasting myself from a wrist damage from the awkward typing angle -- where your wrists don't have anything to sit on. 

And then there is the awkward 2.6 x 2.1-inch touchpad, which sits to the suitable of the keyboard. Because of its odd and extraordinary place, I most commonly forgot that it existed, opting to faucet the display screen with my arms when vital. My best factor with the touchpad came when my pinky finger accidentally jabbed its left-click button after I wanted to click the Right directional key (which is horizontally adjoining). The touchpad doesn't have a bodily clicking mechanism, and that's something you could have to get used to, however it did not turn out problematic for me.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Audio

The ZenBook Duo 14's Harman/Kardon-branded speakers sound just right, provided you don't turn them up too prime. As I performed a selection of my favourite Spotify playlists (the soundtracks to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Promising Young Woman), I realized that songs carried a little of distortion if I raised the volume beyond 75% — they usually fill a medium-sized room at that level. So, set up your volume proper and you'll be able to pay attention the songs you're keen on appropriately, as I heard Rage Against the Machine's "Guerilla Radio" hard-hitting drums and insane guitar riffs pop out obviously, while the bass of Maya B's "Selenas" rattled accurately. 

And just put out of your mind in regards to the DTS Audio Processing utility that is in-built. Its default Music setting is its best possible for all kinds of entertainment, and the Movies and Games settings don't beef up its audio enough to merit the few faucets it takes to open the app and change them. And for those who turn off that software, you can find out how much heavy lifting it's doing, as sound quality drops off tremendously..

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Performance

Armed with an Intel Evo eleventh Gen Core i7-1165G7 processor and 8GB of RAM, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 is pretty rapid. It didn't blanche at my common 12 tabs and a 1080p split-screen check (which it shouldn't have any issue with), the entire whilst Spotify and Discord stayed snappy and responsive on the ScreenPad Plus show. 

On Geekbench 5.3, the ZenBook Duo 14 posted a rating of 5,330, whilst the MacBook Air (M1, 16GB of RAM) ran circles round it with a ranking of seven,575. On Geekbench 5.0.4 (as we do not have GB 5.3 rankings for all laptops), the Zenbook Duo 14 netted a 5,235, not too a ways off from the 5,254 from the Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM).

The ZenBook Duo 14 fared better than the XPS 13 in different assessments, even though, similar to our report transfer test, which finds the speed at which a computer clones 25GB of files. While the XPS 13 cloned information at 806MBps, the ZenBook Duo 14 moved recordsdata at a clip of 921MBps. 

The ZenBook Duo 14 fared similarly in our Handbrake video conversion test, taking 14 minutes and 55 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. The MacBook Air with M1 completed this check in 9:15 (on the beta model optimized for Apple Silicon), and the XPS 13 took 18 mins and 22 seconds.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Graphics 

The ZenBook Duo 14 also took issues from the XPS 13 through operating Civ VI at 30 frames per second (at 1080p). That's almost two times as rapid as the Sixteen fps charge from the XPS 13. The MacBook Air ran the game at 36 fps, however that is on the decrease 1440x900 resolution (the largest supported through the gadget).

On the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the ZenBook Duo 14 won once more, with a ranking of 4,985 that simply beats the 3,598 from the XPS 13. 

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Battery Life

The ZenBook Duo 14 has beautiful just right battery lifestyles, which is just a little stunning bearing in mind that it has to energy a second screen that's part the dimensions of its main panel. On our computer battery take a look at (internet surfing at 150 nits) the ZenBook Duo 14 lasted 10 hours and 37 minutes, which is not too far off the XPS 13 (11:07). The MacBook Air with M1 (14:41) lasted for much longer, a perk of its ARM-based Apple silicon processor. 

You may just get extra battery life out of the ZenBook Duo 14 if you turn its ScreenPad Plus off -- because it lasted 14:11 when just the main panel was grew to become on. But I don't believe any person making that sacrifice, when the ScreenPad Plus is the whole reason why you'll buy this pc. 

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Webcam

As distinctive as the ZenBook Duo 14 is, it has the most pedestrian 0.9-megapixel webcam. Selfies I shot on the laptop lack element in the way in which that I expect, with stubble looking more smudgy than it should. Those struggling to seem clearer must either purchase one of the crucial best webcams or to find natural mild.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Heat

For probably the most part, the ZenBook Duo 14 remains cool underneath fireplace. After streaming 15 minutes of complete HD video on the notebook, our heat gun captured low readings of eighty degrees Fahrenheit on its touchpad and 81 degrees on its keyboard. 

And while its underside most commonly stayed at Ninety two degrees (nonetheless underneath our 95 stage comfort threshold), one spot near the middle hit Ninety seven levels. The ZenBook Duo 14 didn't get hot sufficient in my day by day testing for me to notice or be an issue, although that can be extra about how uncomfortable it is to kind on in your lap. 

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review: Verdict

The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 continues to redefine what a computer is and what it seems like, for the easier. And we are just a little shocked that the ZenBook Duo is priced at $two hundred not up to a in a similar fashion configured XPS 13 ($1,499), which has similarities in velocity and endurance. If most effective it had slightly extra space for your wrists, and used to be more uncomplicated to make use of to your lap.

For longer battery lifestyles, and faster efficiency, you should take a look at the MacBook Air M1, which prices $50 less when similarly spec'd (with the $1,249 configuration). But for many who want numerous screen in one laptop, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 is surely worth consideration.

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