Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) Review: Dual display delight

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) Review: Dual display delight

Working from home (WFH) might no longer be default for now. But it is always a good idea to get a laptop, so that you can easily switch between office and WFH whenever the situation changes.

And it might be a better idea to get a laptop like Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) that features two touchscreen displays for your productivity needs.

SPECS
PRICE: $2,598 (available in Asus Store)
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-1165G7 2.8GHz
GRAPHICS: Intel Iris X (integrated); Nvidia GeForce MX450 (discrete)
DISPLAY: 14-inch (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) main display; 12.65-inch (1,920 x 515 pixels) secondary display
RAM: 16GB
STORAGE: 1TB SSD
BATTERY: 70 watt-hour
WEIGHT: 1.62kg

DESIGN
When closed, the ZenBook Duo 14 looks like any other ZenBook with its blue aluminium frame and concentric circles on the lid emanating from the Asus logo.

The ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) looks like any ZenBook. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Lift the lid up and you find a 14-inch full definition display with a 12.65-inch (1,920 x 515 pixels) secondary display tilting up above the laptop’s keyboard welcoming you.

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482). (Photo: Asus)

I always feel the more screens you have, the more productive you are. So imagine my glee when I saw two displays on one laptop.

FOR
+ Good performance
+ Second display a plus
+ USB-C charging

AGAINST
– Cramped keyboard
– Small touchpad
– No space to rest your wrists when typing

This secondary display is called ScreenPad Plus. Just think of it as a super-sized Touch Bar of Apple’s MacBook Pro but with more features and a real display that can fit two or three apps in its frame.

The ScreenPad Plus comes with its own software sited on its left side as a vertical row of controls. This row of controls lets you change its brightness, lock and unlock the keyboard or open the App Launcher.

You can almost fit three apps side by side on the ScreenPad Plus. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

The App Launcher lets you open apps ideal for the ScreenPad Plus such as number pad, Spotify and even a handwriting app. It is nice to work on your presentation on the main display, while controlling your Spotify music playlist on the second display.

You can put two such apps nicely side by side on the second display. But it is a bit congested to put three apps together, even though it is still achievable. You can also flick one app from the main display down to the ScreenPad Plus and vice versa.

The best part is you can have the entire screen real estate from the main display to the second screen for any app. So when you are browsing the Internet, you can see more of a single page.

You can see more of a website with the dual display. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

On the downside, the second screen causes the keyboard to be really cramped and the touchpad to be really small tugged on the right corner.

I kept making mistakes whether I was typing on the keyboard or trying to move the cursor using the touchpad. There are many instances when my thumb was clicking on the left arrow button, instead of the click button of the touch pad.

The keyboard and touchpad are pretty cramped out by the second display. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Not to mention, there are no space for you to rest your wrists as a result. While this might not be a problem when the laptop is placed on a table, you will find your hands tucked closely to your body when using the laptop on your lap.

That said, you will have no problems connecting any devices to this laptop. It has a HDMI 1.4 port and two USB-C ports (both supporting power delivery charging) on the left side, while the right side has a USB-A port, a microSD card reader and a headphone jack.

The ZenBook Duo 14 has all the ports you need. (Photos: Trevor Tan)

PERFORMANCE
Powered by the latest 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, this laptop is obviously no slouch. It scored 5,295 in the benchmark software PCMark 10 benchmark test. This is comparable to the 2019 ZenBook Pro Duo (5,486) and a gaming laptop like Razer Blade Advanced Model (5,494).

In real life scenarios, the ZenBook Duo 14 does all tasks quickly and responsively. You will have no issues opening multiple tabs on any browser, while you work on your report on Word and presentations on PowerPoint.

But if you want to game with this laptop (which it is not designed for), it is highly not recommended. I tried playing graphics-intensive Cyberpunk 2077 in a rather low resolution of 1,360 x 768 pixels on this laptop. But it could only manage 30 frames per second at best, even when all the graphics settings are turned to low.

BATTERY LIFE
In our video-loop battery test whereby we loop a HD video only on the main display but with both displays at full brightness, we found the laptop to last for 7 hours 45 minutes.

This is considered to be be really good, as the best timing thus far for this battery test is around 9 hours.

Mileage will of course vary depending on your usage. If you are the kind to use the ScreenPad Plus a lot, the battery life will of course be shorter.

VERDICT
At $2,598, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) offers great value for money with a fast processor, dual display and a host of ports. Not to mention, it comes with a laptop sleeve, a stylus and an attachable foldable stand.

RATING
FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 8/10
BATTERY LIFE: 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8/10

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Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow became a tech journalist with over 16 years of consumer tech experience. Maybe he plays too much video games and buys too many new gadgets.