We got our hands on the 14 inch Asus Zenbook Duo UX481 – yes, with dual screens – and here are our quick first impressions.
The device isn’t extremely slim but is not bulky either. Its size is pretty practical for a 14 inch laptop. The unique hinge design – what Asus calls Ergolift – provides a pretty comfortable base to type and work from.
The keyboard and trackpad have been pushed below due to the Screenpad Plus (second screen) and the trackpad is a little too small. But the backlit keyboard feels decent. However it would have been better had a rest been included.
The system has a 10th Gen i7 power efficient chip along with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and in our early tests we found it to be zipping through daily tasks.
The full HD monitor feels very high quality. Asus says that it has 100 percent sRGB coverage – which we shall test in our detailed review.
On the left, there’s the power inlet, a HDMI port and a pair of USB 3.1 Type A and Type C ports. On the right you will find a Type A USB port, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a micro sd card slot.
The system comes with an IR sensor based webcam that enables Windows Hello face recognition for unlocking. It seems to work pretty well.
Now coming to the meat of the matter: The Screenpad Plus. The dual screen’s biggest advantage is multi tasking. You can run multiple tabs in the screens and divide your attention a lot more efficiently.
Pull tabs across one monitor to the other with ease and you can even instantly switch the open apps between the two screens with the help of a handy tool that sits in the corner of the Screenpad Plus giving you access to app grouping, tab switching and much more.
As opposed to the Zenbook Pro Duo, the Zenbook Duo only features a touch screen screenpad plus, while the monitor itself is non-touch. This has felt a little tricky but not too bad.
The stylus that comes along with device has felt pretty good and works smoothly with the Screenpad Plus.
While using the Screenpad Plus, it is easy to accidentally touch the touchpad or vice versa – immediately changing the focus of open apps depending on context.
Thankfully, you can switch off or on the screenpad plus as and when necessary. Asus has gone for a matte finish on both screens to prevent reflections, but the screenpad has a noticeably lower brightness and color accuracy.
The battery life is extremely good. We were able to run the laptop for close to 8 and a half hours during normal use on a single charge. No complaints there so far.
What do you guys think of this concept? We’ve been enjoying the laptop so far. Yes, there are minor complaints about the awkward positioning of the keyboard and trackpad but all in all we’re pretty happy. We’ll be posting a full review soon.
Leave a comment under our video review on Youtube and let us know your thoughts!