No matter whether or not you will have $3,000 to spend on a laptop computer, it’s a must to respect Asus for the one it’s give you.
The Asus Zenbook Professional Duo 15 OLED UX582 has two touchscreens, together with a 4K OLED show within the regular spot and a squatter OLED display screen simply above the keyboard. It’s additionally a beastly machine, with an Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, and 32GB of RAM.
You may dismiss the Zenbook Professional Duo as a gimmick, however Asus has been doing the dual-screen laptop computer dance since 2019. The UX582 refines each the design and second-screen software program of the unique mannequin. Asus is clearly dedicated to the idea, and whereas it’s not for everybody, it does present actual utility for content material creators who’ve just a few grand to burn.
Our top-of-the-line Asus Zenbook Professional Duo 15 OLED UX582 evaluate unit consists of the next tech specs:
- 15.6-inch 3840×2160 OLED show
- Secondary 14-inch 3840×1100 OLED matte show
- Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (laptop computer)
- 32GB DDR4 RAM
- 1 TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD
- 720p webcam
- Asus pen with 4,096 stress ranges
- Ergonomic stand
- Left aspect: HDMI 2.1, headphone jack
- Proper aspect: USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 3
- Weight: 5.16 kilos (1.52-pound energy brick)
- Dimensions: 14.17 x 9.81 x 0.96 inches
Configuration choices are scarce on this laptop computer. Adorama sells a $2,700 model with an Intel Core i7-10870H processor, and supposedly there’s a model with 16GB of RAM, however we haven’t discovered that one obtainable for buy.
You’ll be able to nonetheless discover the older UX581, with a Ninth-generation Core-i9 CPU and RTX 2060 GPU (right here’s a refurbished mannequin for $2,019), however you then’d miss out on the improved design, by which the second display screen tilts up at an angle as a substitute of mendacity flat.
Whereas the Zenbook Professional Duo is not at all svelte, its 5.16-pound body is lighter than you may count on given all the things inside. It is available in a greenish-blue shade, with an aluminum lid whose swirling sample extends outward from the off-center Asus brand. Once you carry the lid, a pair of hinges prop up the rear of the second display screen so it’s simpler to see and contact.
Asus is clearly happy with its work right here. The design of the Professional Duo’s cardboard field mimics that of the laptop computer itself, opening like a clamshell and lifting the laptop computer out of its container. The outsized energy brick is available in a elaborate field of its personal.
The Professional Duo additionally ships with a bunch of equipment, together with a palm relaxation that slides as much as the laptop computer’s backside edge, an ergonomic stand that you could stick on to the laptop computer’s bottom, and a slim backpack. I had no issues packing all the things into the bag, together with an exterior mouse, mechanical keyboard, and PlayStation 4 controller.
As for the shows themselves, the primary display screen is a 440-nit panel that covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, based on Asus. It’s one of many extra vibrant screens you’ll discover on a laptop computer proper now, and you may comfortably use it indoors at nowhere close to most brightness. The secondary LCD display screen has a matte end, which is smart while you notice it must keep away from reflecting overhead lights into your eyes.
Placing the screens to make use of
From the attitude of Home windows 10, the Asus Professional Duo’s decrease display screen—or ScreenPad Plus, as Asus calls it—is only a second monitor like some other. You may give it a taskbar, regulate the show scaling, and drag home windows backwards and forwards at will.
That alone would make the Professional Duo extra fascinating than your common laptop computer. However the Professional Duo is the uncommon occasion by which loaded vendor software program is a welcome addition. By utilizing Asus’ ScreenPad Plus software program, you’ll be able to open up a bunch of recent use instances that you simply received’t get with a second monitor alone. Some examples:
- Arrange a panel of contact controls in sure Adobe apps, akin to Photoshop
- Use presets to rearrange apps in a tiled format throughout the 2 screens
- Use the second display screen as a big trackpad
- Pop open a quantity pad that occupies the appropriate half of the decrease display screen
- Rapidly flick home windows between the 2 screens
All of this does contain a studying curve. Asus’ numerous icons and menus aren’t at all times intuitive, and I needed to search on-line to determine find out how to load Asus’ Adobe-optimized management panels. I additionally discovered the second display screen a bit exhausting to learn with out growing its stage of show scaling.
However after just a few days, I received the grasp of utilizing Asus’ drag-and-drop shortcuts to maneuver home windows round, and I arrange just a few app presets for productiveness. (My favourite instance: net browser on the primary display screen, Typora throughout the decrease two-thirds, and Plexamp within the bottom-right third.)
I solely want Asus had taken the plain step of letting you employ the second display screen as a Wacom-style drawing floor for the primary display screen. Whereas you need to use the stylus immediately on both show, the bigger display screen sits at an ungainly angle for drawing, and the smaller one is simply too cramped. With the ability to mirror your pen strokes from the smaller display screen to the bigger one would would make the Asus Professional Duo way more interesting to artists.
Keyboard and trackpad
The Asus Professional Duo’s uncommon design does create some compromises on the keyboard and trackpad entrance, however it additionally creates some new alternatives.
I had no qualms with the standard of the particular keyboard, which presents quiet typing with satisfying tactile suggestions, however it places your fingers in an uncomfortable place until you employ the included wrist wrest.
The trackpad, in the meantime, is a lot clean, however taller than it’s broad, making it a mismatch for the widescreen show. And since it sits subsequent to the keyboard, lefties will hate it. On the upside, the trackpad can remodel right into a quantity pad by long-pressing a button in its top-right nook, additional underscoring the concept that Asus actually expects you to plug in an exterior mouse.
Audio, webcam, and safety
Regardless of the worth, Asus actually skimped on digital camera and security measures. The webcam is identical somewhat-fuzzy 720p digital camera you’ll discover on less expensive laptops. Whilst you can disable it with a keyboard shortcut, it lacks that bodily shutter that another high-end notebooks provide. The Zenbook Professional Duo does assist face recognition for signing in, however it lacks a fingerprint reader, which I discover way more dependable typically.
On the upside, the Harman Kardon-branded audio system are impressively loud. Whereas they don’t provide a lot bass for music, high-end readability is nice for videoconferences and shredding by foes in your favourite first-person shooter. Microphone high quality is great as effectively, producing wealthy vocals to your subsequent audio name or Twitch stream.
A part of the Asus Zenbook Professional Duo’s attract comes from its desktop-like tech specs, basically providing you with a conveyable PC workstation. Nonetheless, our benchmarks present that it doesn’t fairly sustain with different high-end gaming PCs, maybe owing to the peculiarities of the dual-screen design.
HandBrake, as an illustration, the ZenBook Professional Duo encoded our check video file in 24 minutes and 53 seconds, simply barely beating out the Core i7-10870H in Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G and inserting effectively behind Asus’ ROG Zephyrus Duo, which has the identical Intel Core i9-10980HK. Whereas all of those laptops get the job achieved shortly, the Professional Duo does barely underperform.
The identical is true in Cinebench, which checks quick bursts of efficiency somewhat than the sustained a great deal of HandBrake. Whereas single-thread scores have been wonderful, the Professional Duo was once more behind the ROG Zephyrus Duo in multi-threaded efficiency regardless of having the identical processor.
Gaming is a combined bag as effectively. On paper, Nvidia’s RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 are related, however we noticed laptops with the latter edge out the previous within the ZenBook Professional Duo. That was the case, as an illustration, in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s benchmark software, the place the ROG Zephyrus Duo once more took the higher hand.
3DMark’s Hearth Strike 1.1 benchmark confirmed related outcomes, although you’ll be able to at the least see a transparent benefit for the RTX 3070 over the RTX 1650, which continues to ship in lots of lower-priced workhorse laptops right now.
The outcomes have been extra favorable in 3DMark’s Hearth Strike Excessive benchmark, a extra taxing check that renders at 2560×1440 decision, versus 1080p for plain previous Hearth Strike. Right here the ZenBook Professional Duo did handle to outperform the ROG Zephyrus Duo’s RTX 2080 GPU.
In follow, you’ll need to keep on with 1080p usually, and also you’ll don’t have any issues cranking up graphics high quality in flip. 4K gaming is doable on this laptop computer, however solely with hits to graphics high quality and framerate. In Dying Stranding and No Man’s Sky, as an illustration, 4K decision was potential solely at round 30 frames per second.
Battery life, in the meantime, was as nice shock given all the things the Professional Duo has occurring. 4K OLED screens are usually battery hogs. This laptop computer has two of them, and its tech specs don’t lend themselves to longevity. Even so, the Professional Duo held its personal in opposition to different workhorse laptops, lasting for six hours and 25 minutes in our looping video rundown check. We stored the second display screen on at its default 50-percent brightness for this check, however we performed video solely on the first display screen at our commonplace check brightness of 250-260 nits.
Duo or desktop?
Benchmarks apart, the Asus ZenBook Professional Duo is difficult to check with different PCs. Its closest competitors could also be a multi-monitor desktop, or a laptop computer with an connected journey monitor. The Professional Duo is extra transportable and versatile than both of these choices, particularly with the software program instruments Asus has thrown on high.
For a sure area of interest of artists, media creators, and players, all which may add as much as one thing particular, even when it’s unattainable for the remainder of us.