Asus ZenBook Duo (UX482) review: Decent dual-screen laptop, good performer

Asus ZenBook Duo (UX482) review: The laptop market is seeing huge growth in India since last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic forcing companies to ask staff to work from home. With the sudden rise in laptop sales in the country, the Taiwanese tech giant Asus is aiming to create market space in the laptop segment here for itself. Keeping this in mind, the company has recently announced the launch of two new dual-screen laptops — Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 and ZenBook Duo 14.

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The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 will be available in India at a starting price of Rs. 99,990. The flagship ZenBook Pro Duo 15 will be available at a starting price of Rs. 2,39,990. While the ZenBook Duo 14 will go on sale starting today, the Pro Duo 15 will be available from next month. Asus ZenBook Duo 14 features a 14-inch FullHD primary display and a 12.65-inch secondary display. This machine is powered by the Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. It packs in up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD. The laptop also comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics card with 2GB of RAM. We used Asus ZenBook Duo 14 for more than a week and here’s what I think about this newly launched machine.

The major USP of the Asus ZenBook Duo laptop is, that this machine not only boosts productivity and creativity but also enhances your multimedia experience, especially with gaming and streaming. One can easily fall in love with the design of this dual-screen laptop. This newly launched Asus ZenBook Duo laptop is designed in such a way that even after playing games and watching web series and doing multiple tasks on both screens for long hours, the device kept working smoothly and it was a lag-free experience. The battery life of this machine is good. With the seamless ScreenPad Plus, a secondary touchscreen, this laptop has delivered a solid overall performance.

In terms of design, this laptop has ticked almost all the right boxes. The new ZenBook Duo is a lightweight laptop. It is made of a Magnesium-Aluminum alloy and the build is solid. The laptop measures less than 17mm and weighs merely 1.6kg. The company has also slimmed down the new notebook as it’s 3 mm thinner than the previous generation. This was made possible by the tilting ScreenPad Plus design, which reduces the need for internal cooling airflow. At 1.6kg, the ASUS ZenBook Duo is extremely light and we did not face any issue while carrying it in a bag during travel.

The X-factor of the device is it has a new hinge design with Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) Plus. According to the company, the new hinge design featured in the ZenBook Duo incorporates 3 linked structures and minimizes coaxial movement.

For easy connectivity, ZenBook Duo comes with 4 type-C USB ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, an HDMI 1.4, an audio jack and a microSD card reader. The ports support Power Delivery and DisplayPort, and with their 40 Gbps bandwidth, you can connect an external 8K display or two 4K UHD displays. ZenBook Duo 14 also includes Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 6, enhanced with ASUS WiFi Master Premium technology.

The screen is the major highlight of the laptop. The display alone justifies the price tag. Powered by up to the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, this 14-inch laptop delivers an immersive viewing experience with a four-sided frameless NanoEdge display that’s super-bright and has ultraslim bezels for an expansive 93 per cent screen-to-body ratio. This machine comes with TUV Rheinland certification, making it comfortable to use for long hours especially when you’re working from and sitting on the laptop for more than eight hours.

This new laptop also features a tilting secondary touchscreen called ScreenPad Plus, which automatically tilts up to a 7-degree angle, reducing glare and reflections for improved readability. Personally, I feel that ScreenPad Plus, a potential game-changer for Asus, I personally liked it. Since Windows recognizes the secondary touchscreen as another display, you can easily drop in any program and apps like YouTube, Netflix, Google Chrome or Spotify. The effortless touchscreen experience will allow you to use those apps across displays, making it multitasking.

Also, the secondary display is powered by the new ScreenXpert 2 software. You can boost your productivity with the built-in apps. The new Control Panel app, enables you to change brush size, saturation, adjust layer opacity, and much more. Control Panel is fully customisable and it works with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro and After Effects. The company said that it will release more apps in the near future.

In terms of performance, the keys are sized pretty well and the keyboard is comfortable to use. The touch-pad of the laptop and ScreenPad Plus is faster, easy-to-use and definitely looks cool. From playing games and watching movies on Netflix to daily office work, we didn’t face any issue. The Asus ZenBook Duo machine is really fast and can handle most of your work effortlessly. The audio quality of the device was good. I was using this laptop in a crowded cafe and the audio performance of this machine in a loud place was up to the mark.

Powered by Intel’s newest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor (a quad-core Core i7-1165G7), ZenBook Duo comes with Xe integrated (NVIDIA GeForce MX450) graphics, along with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Thanks to the Asus WiFi Master technology and latest WiFi 6, you will witness amazing networking performance, which includes ultra-fast downloads, smooth streaming, big range, and decent stable network connections.

In terms of battery performance, the machine itself has a 70Whr lithium-polymer battery with up to 17-hours battery life. While reviewing this unit, on moderate use, we received up to seven hours of battery on one single charge even after using both screens for long hours. If we see the negative points of the Asus ZenBook Duo 14, the device did heat up on moderate usage and on heavy usage (watching web series in HD quality for a long hour) the battery drained quickly.

Verdict: Priced at Rs 99,990, the Asus ZenBook Duo has definitely justified its pricing. As the name suggests Duo screen factor will attract many buyers who’re looking for a good working and gaming laptop. This laptop provides a lag-free experience, faster and has very good battery life and the ScreenPad Plus will give you a nice viewing experience. If you have the budget, this Asus ZenBook Duo 14 can be a decent choice.

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