Taiwanese electronics company Asus has a track record of releasing innovative and top of the range devices, but it might just have out done itself with its recently announced dual-screen laptops. Unveiled at Computex, the ZenBook Pro Duo and ZenBook Duo feature two in-built 4K screens, with the aim to help users create more intuitively.
Building on 2018's ZenBook Pro 15, which came with a touchscreen trackpad, the ZenBook Pro Duo features an impressive 4K main screen and an accompanying touch-sensitive 4K 'Screen Pad Plus' located directly underneath. An LED backed touchpad completes this device's unique setup. We've yet to see the device in action, but if early reports are anything to go by, the ZenBook is headed for a spot in our best laptops for graphic design round up.
Super Screen Pad Plus
If you're trying to figure out how the Screen Pad Plus works, think of a supersized MacBook Pro Touch Bar. The secondary display is the same width of the laptop's 15.6-inch 4K main screen, and can still be classed as 4K itself thanks to its 3840 x 1100 resolution. In comparison, the main screen packs more of a punch thanks to its 3840 x 2160 pixel display.
So what can you use the Screen Pad Plus for? According to the promotional video and press previews, it looks like it's ready for a whole number of tasks. Digital artists can use it with a stylus for an intuitive drawing experience that looks set to make the best Photoshop brushes pop.
Meanwhile gamers can view info and stream simultaneously. It also functions as an extended workspace, a multi-app launcher, or as a storage space for content creator galleries.
The secondary screen also shakes up web browsing. Users can either view websites on the main display and line up other sites in the Screen Pad Plus, or they can sync them so pages appear descend all the way down to the keyboard.
Speaking of the keyboard, the additional screen doesn't put the squeeze on it as it comes in a regular size. In terms of power, the 2.5kg laptop boasts a 9th generation Intel Core i9 CPU, a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, Wi-Fi 6 capability, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD worth of storage. On top of this, it also comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port, a pair of USB-A ports, a full-sized HDMI port and let's not forget the headphone jack.
Fans of Asus will be all too familiar with its range of innovative laptops, including the Asus Chromebook Flip, which we chose as one of the best 2-in-1 laptops available right now. But with the ZenBook Pro Duo, Asus is pushing the limits of the laptop even further.
Currently there's no pricing information, but we've a feeling the ZenBook Pro Duo might be quite pricey. Good news is there's a smaller version too, the 14-inch ZenBookPro Duo, which will almost certainly be cheaper than it's bigger sibling. This slimmed down model comes with a 12.6-inch ScreenPad Plus, an Intel Core i7 CPU and GeForce MX250 GPU.
At the time of writing Asus haven't mentioned any concrete release dates for these devices, but it's expected to announce a Q3 shipping date in the coming weeks so stay tuned for further updates.