What’s better than one screen? How about two? If you’re one of the many used to the dual-screen lifestyle, PC maker Asus is trying to get into your good graces with its three-in-one Zenbook Duo, a clamshell laptop with two full 14-inch touchscreens and a magnetically attached keyboard. Unfold it, and it becomes two staggered desktop screens, or better yet, stand it up vertically and feel like a real “hackerman” from the early 90s movies watching the matrix code drip down their screens like rain.
So after you’re done saying, “What the hell is that?” over and over, we can get down to the nitty-gritty. It has two laptop screens attached to a hinge, a floating keyboard, and a built-in kickstand. Beyond that, Asus is promising you’re not going to give up much or anything for the sake of that extra screen real estate with a slate of pretty impressive specs capable of running both screens without pause.
The double laptop isn’t being spared on specs. The Duo comes stock either with an Intel Core Ultra chip—pushing up to a Core Ultra 9-185H processor—or an AMD Ryzen 8040 series CPU. Memory-wise, there are options up to a whopping 32 GB of LPDDR5X RAM and a max of 2 TB of internal memory. Choosing an Intel chip means it would support Intel Arc integrated graphics, and, of course, it also has a dedicated NPU for some on-device AI tasks. It’s also packing a hefty 75 Whr battery, with Asus promising a full day of work before needing to plug it back in, though its full lifespan will heavily depend on what kinds of programs you’re running.
It’s not like this design is out of left field, unlike the past Zenbook Duo 14 and 16, which sported a secondary half-screen panel. This time, however, the keyboard is magnetically attached and connects to the main unit via a set of pogo pins on the edges of the lower screen. You won’t have to worry about charging the screens and keyboard independently, but each screen has its own 3K resolution OLED display supporting a 120Hz refresh rate. They’re both certified VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 and promise 550 nits of peak brightness.
You can bring up a virtual keyboard with a device-specific six-finger gesture command if you need it. The device has separate laptop and desktop modes, but it also comes with a unique “sharing mode” that flips one of the screens backward when the Duo is lying flat. This lets two people see the same thing on two ends of a table, or you can let your kid play a game on one screen while you try desperately to work on the other if that’s your jam.
This double-PC feels akin to the many attempts at making foldable laptops. Most recently, HP’s $US5,000 Spectre Fold fell flat due to its obtuse size. Simply put, there’s not much use for a 17-inch tablet or a low-power PC with a kickstand. As strange as it is at first glance, the Zenbook Duo might have an edge on foldable since it doesn’t have to sacrifice anything for the sake of sensitive, fragile screens. What will matter far more than how odd it looks is how well it performs and how long it holds up when running two screens at once, especially with multiple apps going across all 19.8 inches of total screen space.
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