Hands-on with the ASUS Zenbook Duo – this has sent laptops in an exciting new direction

The ASUS Zenbook Duo with its dual 14-inch OLED displays and detachable Bluetooth keyboard has sent laptops in a completely new direction.

ASUS is thinking outside the square with the Zenbook Duo (UX8406) and the idea of having two displays – instead of just one like a regular laptop – is a game changer.

Under the hood is the Intel Core Ultra 9 processor with Intel’s first integrated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to handle the heavy lifting when it comes to AI processing.

From the moment you turn the ASUS Zenbook Duo on you immediately notice the snappy performance even with both screens running.

Each of the 14-inch OLED screens has a 3K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate so it looks sharp and bright.

Design-wise the ASUS Zenbook Duo, which is running Windows 11 Home, doesn’t look any different than a regular laptop when it’s closed.

It is 1.99cm thick and weighs in at 1.65kg (with the keyboard attached) and 1.35kg (without the keyboard).

Now what makes the ASUS Zenbook Duo so versatile are the different modes that you can use depending on your task and how much room you’ve got to move.

LAPTOP MODE

Naturally you have laptop mode which means using the Zenbook Duo like a typical laptop.

In this mode you have a 14-inch display and a physical keyboard and can be used when there’s not much space like when you’re on a plane or public transport or anywhere else space is tight.

The keyboard is removable and links to the laptop via Bluetooth. While the keyboard is magnetically attached to the Zenbook Duo its internal battery is being charged.

If you decided to remove the keyboard in this mode, the lower 14-inch OLED screen comes to life.

By pressing six digits to the screen (three with each hand), a virtual half keyboard appears, and you can still use the main screen along with the top half of the bottom screen like the previous models of the Zenbook Duo, so you open your emails above the keyboard while you’re on a video call in the top screen.

It’s also possible to choose to have full virtual keyboard that takes up the whole lower screen.

DUAL SCREEN MODE

If you want to make use of the entire space of two screens you can do that in Dual Screen Mode and combine the screen real estate into one space.

When you combine the two 16:10 displays you have a 19.8-inch display area – and that offers a lot of room to move.

The quality of the screens are impressive, and they have been Dolby Vision certified so your content, websites and apps will look amazing.

And on the audio side, the built-in speakers are also Dolby Atmos certified so you have a deluxe entertainment device as well.

DESKTOP MODE

This is by far our favourite way to use the ASUS Zenbook Duo in desktop mode so we can have two screens at our fingertips to improve our efficiency, spread out your work, enjoy your content and multitask.

There is a kickstand on the back of the laptop to position the display either with two landscape displays or over another way with two portrait screens.

And the keyboard can stand alone and connect via Bluetooth so you can really power through your work like you’re using a desktop computer.

This can make a huge difference to users as they manage their workflow or create content.

SHARING MODE

Sharing Mode is another extremely useful mode when you want to show others documents or make a presentation.

Now rather than huddling around a small laptop display, you can make use of the 180-degree hinge and lay out both displays flat on a table.

If the people you’re chatting with are sitting opposite you it possible to replicate the screen on your side so they can see on their side it is the right way up.

And when you’re done everything folds back to the size and shape of a regular closed laptop.

CONNECTIVITY

On the connectivity side there are two USB-C/Lightning ports and a regular USB port on one side and a full size HDMI port on the other side alongside a headphone/mic port.

There are also plenty of vents on three sides of the displays so things will stay nice and cool no matter how hard you work the ASUS Zenbook Duo.

The Bluetooth keyboard also has its own USB-C charging port if you need to top it up, but it draws power from the laptop’s battery every time it is attached.

PRICING

The ASUS Zenbook Duo 2024 (UX8406) is available now and is priced at $3,999.

When you consider what you get this is actually a reasonable price.

There are some foldable laptops in the market, including the recent HP Spectre, and they offer similar functionality like desktop mode.

But because it is a foldable display you’re going to be paying a premium at up $9,000.

ASUS achieves the same thing with a 180-degree hinge and at less than half the price.

The ASUS Zenbook Duo is one of the most impressive laptops we’ve seen.

It offers so much versatility and quality it can cover your needs anywhere whether it’s for work or play.

* This post was supported by ASUS

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