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    ASUS ZenBook Duo Review: Dual-Screen Innovation at the right price

    Dual-screen is a method to enhance one device’s capabilities for consumers, at some cases its a proof of concept that 2 is better than one. Though it really depends on the implementation, most of the time it pushes one’s creativity to the next level.

    Enter the ZenBook Duo series, both ZenBook Duo and ZenBook Pro Duo are dual-screen laptops that are implemented right. Now we dare to say this as the ZenBook Duo has a secondary 12.6″ display called ScreenPad+ at the keyboard area, giving you a secondary screen that can multitask to the next level.

    We previously reviewed the ZenBook Pro Duo (Watch Here), but this time we take a focus on the smaller sized ZenBook Duo. Compared to the bigger Pro Duo, this one has fewer features but focused more on portability. As a professional that is more into multi-tasking and work, the ZenBook Duo fits my personality more and I honestly changed from the MacBook 13 back to the windows with this machine.

    So why it made me switch? Here are the top reasons why

    The ScreenPad+ is so unique

    One look to the ScreenPad+ of the ZenBook Duo you can say that the laptop is unique, the secondary screen is amazing enough to be flexible. Knowing ASUS to be a laptop provider, their first-generation innovations are usually at a disadvantage. But since this is learning from their ScreenPad last year, and ScreenPad 2.0, their first try is definitely well thought of.

    The ScreenPad+ can have multiple modes

    • Two apps at the same time – If you just need to monitor two applications at the same time, it gives you more space to look at.

    • Three apps at the same time – Great if you are controlling music, monitoring an app like a website, and one for social media apps. All while working at the main display.

    • One whole app – The 12.6″ display is great enough for applications to read or watch, so it’s nice to YouTube binge-watching or reading reference notes while working.
    • Connected from the main screen – The display of the main display carries over to the secondary display for a more immersive experience such as reading notes, etc.

    The window management is also fast with a well thought off shortcut when dragging windows, you can choose from the multiple modes of dragging to the secondary screen or maximizing the app into a whole one. Additionally, there is also a physical switch button on top of the touchpad, giving you more flexibility if you need to switch sizes of the apps.

    Design

    Similar to the ZenBook Pro Duo, the Duo is made of metal, but with toned down materials such as the keyboard area and sides of the laptop is now made of plastic. Still the lid, bottom panel is made of metal, making it premium and still light enough at 1.5kg.

    Ports are complete with a MicroSD storage, 2x USB Type A ports, HDMI out and a Type-C port for data transfers. We wished that the Type-C could have charged the laptop for better flexibility like charging using Macbook chargers.

    The diagonal slant at the back gives the ergolift hinge its famous lift, while also providing a sharp champer for carrying the laptop. Giving you an overall better feel and grip when transporting the laptop.

    More power for less

    Using the MacBook Pro was actually a great experience, the MacOS was enough for me to multi-task and do most of my work. Especially Keynote presentations, but unfortunately it was just 10% of my workload, so I didn’t need it most of the time.

    Thus I switched to the ZenBook Duo to boost my productivity as the multiple chrome tabs, outlook, office, and social applications are just enough for the Macbook Pro 13 and still no side applications for my Hungry Geeks video editing.

    MacBook Pro 13 (2018) ZenBook Duo
    Processor Core i5 – 8th Gen Core i7 10th Gen
    RAM 8GB 16GB
    Storage 256GB PCIe 1TB PCIe
    Graphics Intel Iris Graphics NVIDIA MX250
    Special Feature Touchbar ScreenPad+
    Price 118,990 84,995

     

    Plus, the cost to the performance issue is so far as the ZenBook Duo simply outdone the MacBook Pro in the performance division. Technically today, the issue of being a Mac user shouldn’t be an issue anymore, and it’s just being more motivated to work and the machine is just one part of being productive.

    Cinebench 2.0 fairly gives a score of 1525, outperforming most laptops below 60k including entry-level laptops. But then again, the MX250 graphics are just for moderate and light gaming/rendering which is another factor to consider aside from pure CPU performance.

    Graphics-wise the NVIDIA MX250 doesn’t shout performance but more of assisting help to the internal graphics, nevertheless its good enough for 2k graphics editing, 1080p 60fps videos, or even tons of social media tabs.

    Battery Life

    We can easily go 4.5 hours of non-stop usage with the ZenBook Duo, a far better performance than the Pro Duo only lasting less than 2 hours in one charge. The MX250 graphics and optimization of the processor is a great way to do work outside. We’re also happy to say that overall comfort from heat is outstanding.

    Yes, you can still stretch the battery life further, but its not something you expect on a dual-screen laptop. On our watch, this is already long enough considering its a Core i7 processor.

    Disadvantages

    Ergonomics of the keyboard forced down in an exchange for the dual-screen is true, so far we noticed the following disadvantages.

    • Touchpad + Keyboard Layout – The touchpad uses two giant physical buttons instead of the single glass clicking as most laptops today. Seems ASUS feels that the smaller touchpad isn’t enough for the clicks to feel tactile, also the Numpad display is removed. Alongside that, the shift button is too small in our preference, also besides the up arrow key that makes it confusing.

    • Type-C is limited – The USB Type-C port cannot charge the laptop nor use a USB hub to do display out. Making it kinda useless, but only for data transferring.
    • ScreenPad brightness – The ScreenPad+ can be brighter as compared to the main display, we just feel the angle of the laptop when opened is just enough for visual preference on an upright position. But once you slouch back, you’ll have a hard time looking at the ScreenPad+.

    • No stylus out of the box – While the Pro Duo offers a stylus, the Duo does not out of the box. Though it is compatible, for the stylus we just wished that ASUS also offered the stylus in the more expensive Core i7 variant as well.

    Conclusion

    The ZenBook Duo is a great laptop for light gaming professionals, content creators, or an office professional looking for a laptop that can propel their multi-tasking capabilities. It’s light enough, but still offers a lot of features yet to be explored by anyone for starting at 75k.

    • Core i5 / 512GB SSD – Php74,995
    • Core i7 / 1TB SDD – Php84,995
    • 16GB RAM / MX250 Graphics

    The year is not yet over but in our watch and experience. The ZenBook Duo simply takes the cake as the Most Innovative Laptop of 2019. Kudos to ASUS in bringing in a laptop that can revitalize the premium laptop segment, it may be a gimmick at first but it’s a true innovation.

    If you get the ZenBook Duo now, you will also get a bundle of Fujifilm Instax mini Liplay worth PHP 9,999, an ASUS Nereus bag worth PHP 2,995, as well as a bonus package of ASUS 30th  Anniversary premium items worth PHP 6,000, for a grand total value of PHP 18,994.

    Official SHARE 2019 Microsite and promo mechanics:

    http://bit.ly/ASUSxSHARE2019_Website http://bit.ly/ASUSxSHARE2019_PromoMechanics