ASUS turned more than a few heads at last year’s Computex with their dual screened Zenbook Pro 15. At this year’s incarnation of Asia's biggest tech tradeshow, the company chose to double down. Literally.
Not only did ASUS bring their unique screenpad tech to the rest of the ZenBook line (plus the more affordable VivoBook range), they also announced the new Zenbook Duo and Zenbook Pro Duo.
As eye-catching as they are sure to be expensive, both the Zenbook Duo and Zenbook Pro Duo feature what ASUS are calling ‘ScreenPad Plus’ – a second display that stretches the full horizontal width of the notebook itself.
Of course, both notebook PCs are far more than just a gimmick. Under the hood, the Zenbook Pro Duo is equipped with an Intel Core i9 CPU. In contrast, the more mainstream Zenbook Duo is equipped with an Intel Core i7.
The other big difference between the two models is screen quality. The Pro has a 4K display. The Duo caps out at 1080p and also lacks the same degree of touch sensitivity when it comes to the primary display.
As for details like RAM and storage space, ASUS Australia tell us that local spec configurations for both the Zenbook Duo and Zenbook Pro Duo will be announced at a later date.
A sort of halfway step between last year’s ZenBook Pro 15 and Project Precog, ScreenPad Plus is being pitched as a key feature that makes their the Zenbook Duo (and its Pro-grade counterpart) the laptop of the future for heavy multitaskers.
Anecdotally, it all seems to work as it ought to and it feels like the kind of feature where you're going to be more limited by your imagination than you are any sort of technical constraints. You can drop and drag applications between the two displays, add any Windows 10 app to the ScreenPad Plus as a shortcut, save and load app configurations and even seamless scroll across the two displays.
Whether or not ASUS are right about the Zenbook Pro Do being the laptop of the future (and whether it’s worth getting in on the sooner rather than later) remains to be seen. One thing that’s certain here is that this future won’t come cheap.
Both the ZenBook Pro Duo and the Zenbook Duo won’t arrive in Australia until September 2019. ASUS told us they don’t have official Australian pricing for either quite yet.
Still, a spokesperson from the company did tell us that they’re expecting the regular Zenbook Duo to land with an RRP of between $2500 and $3000. The Pro Duo is expected to be substantially more costly, with an expected price-tag of closer to $4490.
In Australia, the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo and Zenbook Pro will be available from September 2019.