Established three decades ago, Asus is a multinational tech brand known for its portable PCs, computer hardware and smartphones. The company has the premium Zenbook lineup with top-of-the-line features and the Vivobook lineup that follows a youthful design language while offering top-notch performance for everyday use. Asus laptops are known to pack all the important features and offer great value for money thanks to affordable pricing.

The company has recently launched its products in Pakistan with 2 years of official warranty from the brand.

The Asus ZenBook Duo, an update over the ZenBook Duo 14, is the smallest entry in the Duo lineup both in terms of size and power. It falls under Asus’s double-screened range of powerful laptops boasting high performance paired with attention-grabbing exteriors.

This system is even slimmer than the original one and is closer to being ultraportable. At 3.5 pounds, the dual-display build feels elegant in a compact chassis. The performance is in line with the rest of the competition, and most importantly, the device doesn’t come bearing a hefty price tag for a dual-screen laptop.

Unboxing

Despite the 14-inch size, the laptop seems quite small and that is evident from the packaging as well. The small-sized box includes a stylus for the ScreenPad Plus, a foldable stand, leather sleeve to carry the portable device and a 65W USB Type-C power adapter.

Design

In terms of the design, the ZenBook Duo 14 comes with a rather premium feel and a unique look. Given that it comes bearing two screens, the laptop is compact, lightweight and has strong durability as proven by its military-standard certification (US MILSTD 810H) against drops and extreme conditions.

The overall build feels elegant and sturdy in a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis with a lid that comes in what Asus calls “Celestial Blue finish”. This one’s 50 grams lighter than last year’s model, weighing at 1.57kg or 1.62kg (if you buy the one with dedicated graphics).

The space below the lifted body allows air to flow beneath the laptop to provide an improved cooling system and improve the airflow by 49%.

Despite the size, it offers a full-size HDMI 1.4 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro SD card reader along with the standard USB Type-C port.

Display

Zenbook Duo 14 provides the user with an immersive viewing experience, with its four-sided frameless NanoEdge 14″ Full HD anti-glare IPS display that’s super-bright. In our tests, the brightness went as high as 400 nits – on par with what the company claims.

In terms of color accuracy, you get 100% sRGB coverage for professional-grade photo and video editing.

The display has responsive touch controls with ultra-slim 4mm bezels. This means that gaming and streaming video content will all look pretty good on the Asus ZenBook Duo 14.

The secondary display, on the other hand, did not seem as clear as the main display despite the high resolution and excellent pixel density.

Input – Duo Keyboard and Touchpad

Open up the ZenBook Duo 14, and you’ll be greeted by the ScreenPad Plus. The secondary display is designed so that its back half is pushed up and away from the rest of the deck. The ScreenPad is attention-grabbing. It dominates the top half of the deck, with the keyboard pushed down to the bottom half, and the trackpad nudged over to the right-hand side.

The ScreenPad is a 12.65″ stylus supporting touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×515. It operates as a second monitor that sits underneath the laptop’s primary display. It includes the App launcher menu, a window navigator view that gives you visibility to move programs between displays and the ability to open useful control panels on prosumer apps like Premiere Pro.

The secondary screen basically reduces the users’ workload by 50% by helping focus on the main tasks moving the distractions to the secondary screen.

This time around the ScreenPad Plus features several improvements as well, with its new ScreenXpert 2.0 software that makes it more versatile and intuitive to use.

On the other hand, the touchpad is quite small at 2.1×2.6 inches and takes getting used to because of its location. The keyboard is a similar affair and the lower positioning makes it a bit difficult to type for long periods without any wrist support. If you can get used to that, the long key travel and ultra-responsive touchpad can take on even the best in the business.

Performance & Hardware

Under the hood, the ZenBook Dual 14 comes with the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. The device packs 16GB RAM with a 1TB M2 SSD(953GB of which is user available). The chip paired with ample memory means that the Asus ZenBook Duo breezes through basic computing tasks while allowing swift multitasking. Buyers also get to choose between Intel Iris Xe Graphics and Nvidia GeForce MX450 2GB GDDR6.

We tested the performance, with multiple 4K, YouTube videos played side-by-side on both displays along with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier but ZenBook 14 Duo handled everything smoothly. Even under such pressure, touch responsiveness didn’t lag.

ZenBook 14 Duo also includes a 720p webcam with Windows Hello support that uses an IR camera with a facial recognition feature to instantly log you into the system.

Audio

If we talk about the audio system, the ZenBook Duo 14 comes with the Harman Kardon speakers that provide impressive clarity. Despite the small size there’s a decent bit of bass. The unique positioning also helps improve the sound experience and users won’t face any difficulty even when using it under the noisy Pakistani summers (read fans).

Battery & Availability

In terms of the battery life, ZenBook Duo 14 lasted a respectable 10 hours and 37 minutes with both panels turned on. However, if you turn the ScreenPad Plus off then the battery life goes up to 14 hours and 11 minutes.

Asus claims that the 70Wh battery of the ZenBook Duo 14 can last up to 17 hours but this is subject to one’s usage, the tasks being carried out and the screen brightness.

Conclusion

The unique selling point of the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) is the impressive secondary display, the extra viewing area and the software features the ScreenPad Plus comes bearing. The second screen might be baffling initially, but there are certainly some good practical applications for this besides just Spotify. Thanks to a great degree of customization there’s a lot for each type of user.

While the long learning curve might put off some, the battery timing and the screen are certainly strong aspects of the device.