Imagine taking an Apple MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and then stretching that Touch Bar down to take up almost half of the space that the keyboard would normally occupy.
This is roughly what Asus’ new ZenBook Pro Duo looks like, and while we’re not entirely sure about the usefulness of the concept, we Asus have to acknowledge the sheer bravery it takes to bring such a product to market.
The concept is similar to HP’s Omen X 2S laptopwhich also has a smaller screen below the normal screen and above the keyboard. But while the second screen from HP measures a meager 6 inches, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo has an ultra-wide 4K touchscreen with 14 inches diagonal, on which several apps can easily be placed next to each other.
And in addition to the ScreenPad Plus, as Asus calls its second screen, the laptop actually has a third screen in the form of a trackpad that doubles as a number pad.
The ZenBook Pro Duo certainly takes some getting used to. The keyboard looks a bit cluttered and the trackpad is on the right (instead of directly below) the keyboard. But if screen real estate is your real concern, it could all be worth it. Imagine if you could have a chat window open while playing a game in full screen, or taking notes on the secondary screen (yes, it supports pens and one is included) while watching a full screen video.
With so many screens, one might wonder why Asus didn’t go all-in and just put the entire lower half of the laptop into a giant screen à la. has transformed Lenovo yoga book. But after trying the virtual keyboard on this device, I’d say that a real physical keyboard is still preferable for any amount of serious work or gaming.
The rest of the specifications of the ZenBook Pro Duo are pretty good too. The main screen is a 15-inch 4K OLED panel, and the laptop can be configured with up to an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics chip. It also has a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack, as well as two large cooling vents, one on each side.
Asus also announced the Zenbook Duo, a smaller version of the dual-screen laptop with a 14-inch main screen and a 12.6-inch secondary screen and specs that include an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics chip exhaust.
Prices for the ZenBook Pro Duo and ZenBook Duo have not yet been announced, but Asus says both will be available in the third quarter of 2019.
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