The Asus Zenbook Duos are some of the most intriguing devices on the market, and this 2022 edition promises to be sublime in many ways.
At the moment, it’s spring cleaning for manufacturers and integrators. After Lenovo which opened the ball last week with a first wave of beautiful portable devices, it is Asus which enters the dance today. On the menu: a slew of updated ultrabooks, but also and above all a sumptuous Zenbook that deserves closer attention.
For those who are only remotely familiar with the Asus ecosystem, the term immediately brings to mind the Zenbook Duo, fabulous two-screen laptops that are among the most exciting devices on the market. And this new edition is set to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, with a concept that is now beginning to mature.
A tandem of screens that looks good
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, namely the pair of screens that once again equip this Zenbook Pro 14 Duo. At the top of the device, future customers will be able to enjoy a superb 14.5” OLED touch panel in 2.8K resolution, all at 120 Hz and in 16:10 please.
To top it off, this panel boasts top-level colorimetric performance with 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, Pantone certification and the DisplayHDR TrueBlack standard. A simply unprecedented combination on a two-screen device, at least to our knowledge.
And to echo the improvement of this impressive main slab, the secondary screen located at the foot of the first has also been boosted. For starters, the 16:10 aspect ratio and steeper tilt allowed ASUS to increase its size by 10%.
But the most important difference is that Asus seems to have paid particular attention to consistency between the two screens. On previous models, there was a significant gap between the two surfaces; the main screen was much more efficient and better finished than the second. But this difference has now almost entirely disappeared.
It starts with the overall construction of the machine. The new hinge now allows this second screen to be tilted at 12°, compared to 9.5° previously. A modification which could seem anecdotal, but which makes its small effect.
The upper edge of this second screen is thus positioned very close to the bottom edge of the main screen. On the images presented by Asus, this modification seems to have a considerable impact, with a rather impressive impression of continuity between the two screens. This change should also be a good point for the overall ergonomics and practical interest of this 2nd screen.
And it’s not just about physical positioning, but also about intrinsic quality. The second surface, also tactile and compatible with the Asus Pen 2.0 stylus, is now entitled to the same finish as the main screen. It therefore benefits from an anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint treatment. Ditto on the performance side, since it can now deliver 120 frames per second with the same DCI-P3 coverage.
Asus has also redesigned its ScreenXpert 3 software which manages the interaction between the two screens. New tools and a revised interface should allow these two screens to cooperate even more effectively than before.
High-level hardware in a tiny chassis
With this pair of screens that attract all eyes, you could almost forget that it is still a formidable machine. This new model will play in the big leagues despite its small size; it will be possible to equip this Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED with the excellent Intel Core i9-12900H.
Another remarkable point, Asus has also managed to fit a dedicated graphics card (in this case, an RTX 3050 Ti) in this small chassis. Quite impressive considering the space constraints associated with the presence of the 2nd screen. The set will be supported by 32 GB of modern RAM, namely LPDDR5 clocked at 4800 MHz.
This is a remarkable upgrade from the Intel Core i7-1165G7 that powered the 2021 model. Asus claims that this new model will be up to 2.6x faster than the previous one. A figure that seems excessive; but the power gain remains indisputable, with an average of +35% raw performance on the community site UserBenchmark.
Asus also announces GPU performance multiplied by 3, which this time seems justified thanks to the introduction of a dedicated graphics card. Overall, as much to say that this Zenbook Pro 14 Duo will have some under the hood. And to cool all that hardware, the IceCool Plus cooling system has also been improved with new vents on all sides, as well as under the secondary display.
So we end up with a superb machine that seems to do even better than its predecessor at all levels without exception. Quite a tour de force for one of the most exciting machines of the moment… even if this box full will be paid for at a high price, since it will be necessary to pay at least 2099€ to afford it when it comes out in the 3rd quarter next. A high price, but that these two beautiful screens will help to pass.