Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV: Dual-screen notebook - The360 Technology

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  • Monday, December 23, 2019

    Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV: Dual-screen notebook

    Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581GV: Dual-screen notebook

    The Zenbook Pro Duo is a notebook that has a 15-inch main screen and a second 12-inch screen in the area usually reserved for the keyboard. How has Asus managed to fit this dual display, how to use it and especially what can it do for?

    The PC world is not at the party since the arrival of tablets and smartphones that have gradually replaced some uses exclusively reserved for traditional computers. Manufacturers are looking for new formats and after democratizing touch screens and hybrid PCs convertible into tablets, the trend could move towards the second screen.

    This is what Asus firmly believes that has been offering for a while now a "screenpad", a remote screen. In 2018 we discovered for example the ZenBook Pro 15 with a screenpad replacing the touchpad. This time the experience is pushed a little further with the Screenpad Plus, a screen that takes the full width of the base of the PC. The question that comes naturally to mind is: what good is a second screen? This is what we will discover.

    To succeed in casing his second screen, Asus moved the keyboard down and changed its reorganization. Unpacking the visual result is surprising, this positioning giving the impression of "lengthen" the main screen. It comes with an equally impressive impressive and quite heavy loader (817 grams), Asus explaining this overweight by the energy required by both displays and components.

    The device itself weighs also its weight: 2.5 kg. It is therefore clear that the device is not intended for ultra-mobility. It comes with a wrist rest that compensates for the 2.4cm offset between the keyboard and the surface on which it rests. The Zenbook, with its two screens, loads powerful components so bulky. A stylus with two buttons is also provided to use the touch screens.

    No hatch is present under the device for a possible replacement of RAM or hard disk. The model entrusted to us has 16 GB of RAM and a SSD of 512 GB but these values ​​can be doubled on some models. Care should be taken to select the most appropriate model for its needs, as there is no indication in the user manual of a method for adding or replacing these elements.

    Right side the device has two USB ports including a USB-C Thunbderbolt 3 and an audio jack. There is also a ventilation hole large enough to cool the processor and the integrated Nvidia graphics card.

    We find the same hole on the other side of the device with an additional USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, an HDMI output and the input to power the device and recharge its battery.

    The keyboard is positioned in a particular way which does not really pose a problem of adaptation once the wrist rest in place. However the size of the touchpad makes it very impractical to use. Better to provide a traditional mouse and use the keypad by activating the function "numpad" that allows you to enjoy a keypad. Even enabled, the touchpad retains its ability to move the cursor, numeric digits only responding to tapping.

    A second screen well managed by Windows 10

    After a quick tour of the owner, it is of course the operation of the two screens that we want to discover. The 15.6-inch main screen offers a 4K UHD OLED display with a glossy coating but whose use in high light conditions should not interfere with sufficiently powerful lighting. The second screen is a 14-inch IPS with a matte coating, it also benefits from the display 4K 3840 x 1100 pixels.

    The grip of the two screens is quite simple. Windows 10 manages this second screen as it would with a second remote screen plugged into an HDMI jack. However, Asus has made it easier to move the windows from the top screen to the lower one by reserving three virtual spaces on which the windows automatically adjust to the width required when they are removed. But it is also possible to resize them to any size. When moving a window on the top screen, icons appear to allow easy transfer to the second screen without having to move it to the bottom.

    On the other hand a pane allows access to tools such as an application launcher and different settings that affect only this secondary screen. A feature can even create macros, ie pre-recorded scenarios to open its favorite applications by finding the layout that we had chosen to register beforehand.

    Two screens, what uses?

    Adding a second screen is far from being an integrated gadget to impress the gallery and can be used in many types of situations. It can serve as an extension of the main screen for some applications, we think in particular some Office documents as extended Excel files that will extend over the full height of the two screens. This will also be very useful for video editing or photo editing applications such as Photoshop, using the main screen for workspace and sub screen to display tools and history windows etc.

    It can also be used to view multiple windows simultaneously without having to constantly play the mouse or keyboard to switch from one application to another. It is thus possible to watch a video on the main screen while surfing the web or keeping an eye on his mailbox. This also allows for example to read a text while entering its translation or draw using the touch pen with a permanently displayed model.

    The device should logically attract the creative that will have the power to run heavy applications. Some individuals may also be seduced by the multi-tasking possibilities offered by this device which, even if it is not adapted to ultra-mobility due to its weight, will occupy less space than a desktop PC or a laptop to which a second monitor is added.

    Dedicated keyboard shortcuts

    In addition to its particular positioning, the keyboard has also been customized specifically for this device. Many shortcuts are present to facilitate the management of the dual screen. A button allows you to completely disable the screenpad plus, which saves energy when not in use. Another will be used to disable the touchpad, it completes the one available in the launcher of the secondary screen that allows to completely disable the keyboard. This allows you to work with the stylus on the screen without being bothered by the operation of the keys.

    Finally, a button can also reverse the positioning of windows in the screens. With a single support the Zenbook will send the main windows to the secondary screen as can be seen in these screenshots. Note that when the shortcut (Windows + Impécr) is activated, we get a capture of the two screens on the same image.

    A solid configuration

    In addition to its two screens, the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo has a solid configuration. It is equipped with a ninth-generation Intel Core ™ i7 or i9 processor, supported by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. This configuration is supported by 16 to 32 GB of RAM and a 512 GB or 1TB SSD. run greedy applications such as photo or video editing software.

    The device does not have an Ethernet port but is equipped with a Wifi 6 802.11ax chip and Bluetooth 5.0 which has been used here to connect a Logitech MX Master 3 mouse successfully. It does not have a fingerprint reader but an infrared camera that can be used with Windows Hello for unlocking by facial recognition. A keyboard shortcut is used to disable the webcam software.

    At the sound level Asus has used Harman Kardon for the integration of its speakers. These are powerful but their positioning creates a strange effect that is not very pleasant for listening to music. On the other hand they seem well adapted to restore the sound of the movies. It is precisely with Netflix videos that the battery of the Zenbook Pro Duo was put to the test, the camera held only 4:30 with the brightness of the screens set at 50%. We can certainly grapiller extra time by disabling the secondary screen, the machine will obviously be more sober with office applications.

    To conclude, we can say that the addition of a second keyboard in all its width is an interesting idea that Asus has been able to implement intelligently even if this, combined with the solid configuration of the device, has made take a little weight on the PC. Creative professionals, whether they are pros or just passionate, will find the Zenbook Duo Pro an attractive tool for working on the go or in spaces that do not accommodate a desktop PC with multiple screens.

    Those who are interested in this type of dual-screen configuration but who feel the weight, the budget or excessive clutter can turn to his little brother, the Zenbook Duo, which is available in several configurations. It has a 14-inch main screen and a 12.6-inch Screenpad screen that allows it to display a much more acceptable 1.5 kg weight.

    If you are still unsure about the usefulness of a second screen for your tasks, ask yourself if your work would be facilitated by the presence of a second screen. More simply, if you juggle permanently between your browser tabs or applications in the taskbar, it is quite possible that the Zenbook Duo would allow you to be more productive or to gain in working comfort.

    The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo UX581GV in its first configuration is offered at a price of 2500 euros. If you are looking for a computer to carry daily you may be handicapped by its weight and size, especially as the wrist rest is essential in view of its thickness. However it will be well suited for occasional trips, if you need power and a convenient display and quality to work on gourmet applications.

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