ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 Hands-On
Last March 9, ASUS ROG invited us to take a sneak peek at their upcoming Intel-based laptops for 2020. ASUS updated laptops from their Zephyrus, Strix SCAR, and Strix G line to feature the latest Intel and NVIDIA internals, several improvements to portability, and a new liquid metal TIM for better heat dissipation.
Last year, our top laptop recommendation, assuming you have an unlimited budget, was the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo. Not only did it feature top of the line specs, but they also repurposed their ScreenPad Plus to be a working secondary display. This time around, ASUS is bringing its dual-screen functionality to its gaming line with the Zephyrus Duo 15. Not only does it feature updated internals from Intel and Nvidia, but also several design changes that offer better portability, ergonomics, and heat dissipation. Check it out here!
On top sits a relatively muted lid, considering its part of ASUS’ ROG line. The Zephyrus Duo comes in a gunmetal colorway with a smooth matte finish.
Opening the lie reveals the 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display that runs on 300Hz. While the lower resolution may be less than ideal for creative professionals, the display is still color accurate, covering 100% of the sRGB gamut and PANTONE validated.
The main feature of the Zephyrus Duo is its secondary ScreenPad Plus display.
Instead of being flush with the laptop’s chassis, ASUS has implemented its ergo lift design to the display giving users a better viewing angle.
Of course, the addition of the large ScreenPad Plus means that the keyboard is pushed towards the bottom. In ROG fashion, it now supports RGB backlighting, gamer-styled key face, taller keycaps, and larger arrow keys. From what I remember, the keyboard on the Duo feels a lot better than 2019’s Zephyrus S but worse than the original Zenbook Duo.
The secondary ScreenPad (that acts as the touchpad) has also been updated to include physical left and right mouse buttons. We find this unnecessary since the original Zenbook Pro Duo already had nice, tactile buttons, and it only made the tiny touchpad even smaller.
On the plus side, the Zephyrus Duo comes with a lot of ports – eliminating the need for a dongle.
On the left, there’s a charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and dedicated 3.5mm mic input.
On the right, there are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port that supports DisplayPort 1.4 and 65W PD charging.
At the back, there’s an ethernet port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, and a full-sized HDMI port with HDMI 2.0b support.
The Zephyrus Duo is indeed a powerful workstation. It features Intel’s 10th generation chips, up to an i9-10980HK, and up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super. Multitasking is a breeze thanks to its 16GB of 3200MHz RAM. If that’s not enough, there’s an additional RAM slot that supports 32GB of RAM, for a total of 48GB. On paper, loading times should be close to nonexistent thanks to its M.2 SSDs in RAID 0.
While ASUS has not yet revealed the price of the Zephyrus Duo, they did confirm that it will be coming to the Philippines.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 specs:
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS main display
G-SYNC, 300Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB coverage, PANTONE Validated
14.09-inch UHD (3840 x 1100) 60Hz, 72% NTSC coverage, touch, ScreenPad Plus
Windows 10 Home, Pro
Intel Core i7-10875H, i9-10980HK
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2080 Super
16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, up to 48GB RAM Support
2 x 512GB, 1TB M.2 SSD, RAID 0 support
2 x speakers w/ ESS & Hi-Res Audio certification
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A
1 x HDMI 2.0b
2 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x RJ45 port
90Whr battery w/ 65W USB-C PD charging support
36 x 26.8 x 2.1 cm