Wait? A laptop with 2 screens? Like you can use both of them while you game? Hell, yeah! Was what I exclaimed when I first heard of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo, prompting me to decide to try and review the thing.
ASUS have always been known to be at the forefront of innovation in computer hardware. They have released several well-known products that, in a way, directed the course of the industry. On the other hand, they have made several products that stand as a testament to their engineering. One such thing is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550, a gaming laptop that sports a secondary touch-screen, giving you more screen space and more distractions. Is it a good laptop and worth the money? Let’s find out!
*This gaming laptop is counted among our top 5 best ROG laptops for 2020. Do check it out here.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550 Specs
Intel® Core™ i7-10875H Processor 2.3 GHz (16M Cache, up to 5.1 GHz, 8 cores)
NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2070 SUPER™ with Max-Q Design 8GB GDDR6
Windows 10 Home (ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro for business)
|RAM||32GB DDR4 3200MHz SDRAM|
15.6-inch 1080p, 16:9, anti-glare displays, RGB: 132.70%, Adobe: 100%, Pantone Validated, Refresh Rate: 300Hz, IPS-level G-Sync
|Storage||1TB + 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 Performance RAID0 SSD|
1x Headphone out, 1x MIC in
1x HDMI 2.0b
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support displayport / power delivery / G-SYNC / Thunderbolt™ 3
1x RJ45 LAN Port
|Connection||Intel Wi-Fi 6(Gig+)(802.11ax)+Bluetooth 5.1 (Dual band) 2*2
(*BT version may change with OS upgrades.) -RangeBoost
|Power||ø6.0; 240W AC Adaptor; Output: 20V DC, 12A, 240W;
Input: 100~240C AC 50/60Hz universal
|Audio||2 speakers with Smart AMP technology
Sonic Studio III
|Weight||2.48 Kg (5.47 lbs)|
|Dimensions||36.0 x 26.8 x 2.09 ~ 2.09 cm (14.17″ x 10.55″ x 0.82″ ~ 0.82″)|
Has 3 Variants
As per ASUS Philippines, the models of the ROG Zephyrus Duo that are currently available here in the Philippines are as follows:
- GX550LXS-HCO21TS – 15″ 4K IPS, i9-10980HK, RTX 2080S
- GX550LXS-HF130TS – 15″ FHD, 300Hz IPS, i9-10980HK, RTX 2080S
- GX550LWS-HF075TS – 15″ FHD, 300Hz IPS, i7-10875H, RTX 2070S
Prices differ between the three with the GX550LWS-HF075TS (the model in this review) being the most affordable. You can check the other variant’s prices here.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo Review – Up Close
Looks & Design
Ports are pretty standard. It has up-to-date ports and most are easily reachable. Major gripe is the location of the power port. ASUS were able to relocate the power port on some of their ROG gaming laptops. Having it located at the rear frees your table and workspace from that awkward thick dangling cable. Why can’t they do that with this one?
One thing is certain though – the ROG Zephyrus Duo is unbelievably thin!
Better Cooling System
The cooling system is placed directly underneath the touch-screen panel. This advertently allows more airflow into the system, cooling it and allowing it to pump out more performance. It also removes the need to touch the hottest part of the system as the keyboard is located at the lower half of the body. However, the rising panel adds another factor of worry as there is a possibility that things can get stuck underneath it.
Touch Screen, Keyboard, & Touch Pad
For those after bling, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 lacks an RGB system similar to that of mainstream ROG models. There’s no RGB LED surrounding the body of this unit. It only has the keyboard as its bling. However, it supports ASUS products that are compatible with ASUS Aura, ASUS’ RGB feature.
Touch-Screen Second Panel – Fully Customizable
Definitely the selling point of this laptop is the second screen (hence the “Duo”). It can be a good thing to have as you have more space to look at. But if you’re looking to concentrate on things, it can be a bane. Good thing is that you can turn it of if you don’t need it.
The Zephyrus Duo comes with ready to use programs that fit the unconventional ratio and screen-size. Initially, you can use it to view the Armoury Crate to check the status of the device.
You might think of it as a screen that is programmed by ASUS to run only compatible applications. But no, this thing can be used whichever you want. It basically runs like a second screen just under your main one. So you can just drag anything from your desktop, say a video, and have it under your second screen. The ratio might be skewed but you can view it. Also, it is a touch-screen, so you can just tap instead of using the mouse to commandeer it.
Keyboard & Touchpad – Great But At The Same Time…
One thing very noticeable is that the keyboard is located at the lower half of the body. This is to make room for the second screen. While it definitely is not a conventional arrangement, the mousepad doubling as a touchpad looks pretty great. It’s also at an easily reachable place if you’re a right-handed person. And if you’re doing some accounting or are in need of a Numpad, you can set it to be one with a simple tap.
Unfortunately, this setup requires a wrist-rest if you plan on using it for long. There is a model of this laptop that has one. Sadly, what we had here for review did not have the wrist-rest.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo Review – Performance
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||Ultra||63||44||31|
|Borderlands 3||Very High||66||52||22|
|Ghost Recon: Breakpoint||Ultra||82||60||46|
|Rainbow Six: Siege||Ultra||231||169||108|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Highest||95||66||30|
|Star Wars Squadrons||Ultra||182||123||59|
|Watch Dogs Legion||Very High||76||60||50|
For the gaming benchmarks, we’ve revamped it a bit following a slew of releases last November. We added in and removed some Ubisoft games and have also introduced titles like Star Wars Squadrons. Unfortunately, Cyberpunk 2077 never made it during the testing phase. However, we are confident to say that this machine is more than capable of running that game given its already robust hardware.
Again, in order to take advantage of the 300Hz monitor, you may have to lower the graphical settings of most games. For competitive ones, we suggest that you turn it to low or even the lowest settings to enjoy less visual clutter and to maximize performance and refresh rates.
These benchmarks are meant to measure the device’s performance relative to other people’s machine. We plugged in a mix of CPU & GPU-intensive tests and other ones that measure the performance of both at the same time.
The numbers below will be quantified into an easy to read chart once we have compiled results from previous reviews. Please do check them out after some time. Also, you can use these benchmarks as a reference to compare your current system or others online.
3DMark Firestrike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme is designed for multi-GPU systems and future hardware generations. In addition to raising the rendering resolution, additional visual quality improvements increase the rendering load to ensure accurate performance measurements for truly extreme hardware setups.
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for Windows 10 gaming PCs. Time Spy is one of the first DirectX 12 apps to be built the right way from the ground up to fully realize the performance gains that the new API offers.
Cinebench (Release 20)
Cinebench leverages the same powerful 3D engine found in the award-winning animation software Cinema 4D Release 20 to accurately evaluate CPU rendering performance capabilities across various systems and platforms.
Novabench is a free benchmark tool that allows you to see your computer’s overall performance. Its tests CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage speeds, and gives you an aggregate score that you can use for comparison with other similar setups.
PassMark measures CPU, 2D & 3D GPU, Memory, and Disk speeds. Similar to Novabench, it gives you an aggregate score, giving you an idea on how your PC performs and how it ranks when compared to other computers around the world.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo Review – Verdict & Conclusion
Without a doubt, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is a gaming laptop through and through. It has all the bells and the whistles to prove that it can perform. Even with a mobile version processor and Max-Q graphics card, it can still pull its weight when asked to play current video games.
Dual-Screen Hopes & Woes
The second-screen also provides more space, giving you a good view of what you’re doing in the field. Not to mention, the second screen is also customizable and can easily be used to your liking. But it can be a curse too as you can be pretty distracted to do one thing at a time. It also helps that the position of the second-screen is where the device’s cooling system is. You don’t get to directly touch it unlike previous ASUS ROG laptops which are plagued by “too hot to touch” portion just under the screen.
You might have noticed that the keyboard space is a bit cramped given that the second-screen has taken much of the space. To counteract this, a detachable wrist-rest is included in the package. ONLY if you buy the most expensive model here in the Philippines. If you buy the one in this review, you’re out of luck as you have to provide your own wrist-rest to stave off that irritating wrist callus and scratches.
The Price Of 2-Screens
Unfortunately, all the benefits stated above come at a price. You may need to shell out more to get a hold of this product. That said, this device is indeed a luxury item. The price being a wall that may be too steep for most to climb and appreciate. However, having this item is definitely a status symbol. With the price, production is certain to be limited compared to mainstream ones like the ROG Zephyrus G14 and the ROG Strix Scar 15.
With all things considered, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550 dual-screen laptop is a beast. A beast with a golden chain. It performs pretty well as expected of its price tag, and is with no question the best ROG laptop that we have reviewed for 2020. But in terms of practicality, it might be best to look to other ASUS ROG laptops instead.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo Review – Availability & Pricing
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo is available in the Philippines with prices ranging from 219,995 to 254,995. There is currently a promo for it and you can have up to PhP 53,000+ worth of freebies by purchasing within the promo duration.
You can take a look at the current price list and product promos for this laptop and other ROG laptops here.