It was standing room only last night at a packed ASUS press conference to celebrate 30 years as a technology brand and to celebrate the Taiwanese Company rolled out some seriously clever devices that had the 1,000+ media crowd clapping.
Comdex is the world’s biggest computer hardware event, and the hardware that ASUS delivered included a new ZenBook Pro Duo that has not one, but two 4K screens.
There’s a normal 15-inch 16:9 OLED panel and there’s a 32:9 IPS “ScreenPad Plus” screen directly above the keyboard that’s the same width and half the height and it delivers 32 times as many pixels as Apple’s MacBook.
ZenBook Pro Duo is powered by an eight-core Intel Core i9 processor with a Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU.
There are four far-field microphones designed for use with Alexa and Cortana, and there’s an Echo-style blue light at the bottom edge that activates with voice commands.
It has a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and a full-sized HDMI port.
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The new offerings from ASUS are defiantly premium which is why the new notebook range is quite heavy coming in at 2.5kg, but that’s to be expected given the device has some heavy-duty processing under the bonnet.
Despite the expanded display screen real estate Asus has still managed to include a full-sized keyboard with a function row, including an escape key, and the trackpad is located directly to the right.
The design looks like it’s taken a leaf out of the ASUS Zephryus gaming laptops.
Unlike the Touch Bar, though, the ScreenPad Plus doesn’t take anything away from the ZenBook Pro Duo but I suspect it does use a lot more power as two screens need to process.
Asus has also built some new software for the ScreenPad Plus that makes it more of a secondary control panel.
There is also a smaller 14-inch model called the ZenBook Duo.
The design and concept are basically the same, but both screens are full HD rather than 4K, there’s no Core i9 option, and the discrete GPU has been heavily downgraded to an MX250.
The new devices will be available in the third quarter worldwide and the fourth quarter in Australia.
Also announced is a neat new product called the ZenScreen Touch. This is a 15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen that is designed to be a smartphone smartphones or laptops.
With this device I am still struggling to understand the difference between a large tablet and this device.
The primary use case according to ASUS is for productivity-focused smartphone apps with complex UIs that are easier to operate on a larger canvas.
The ZenScreen Touch has a 7,800mAh battery, comes with a protective case that folds up into a kickstand, and it also has ASUS trademark hole in the corner that lets you prop the screen up with a pencil in a pinch.