The MacBook Touch Bar Killer

– [Video] Go to the playground to play Pokemon with my friends, and I would spend hours a day writing stories– – So this, my friends, is the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo It's not only one of the coolest dual-screen laptops I've ever seen, this is also a great segue to check out Storybooth

I did a video all with them talking about how I got started on YouTube, so definitely be sure to go check that out Seriously, they did such a cool job with it Hey guys, this is Austin When Apple last refreshed the MacBook Pro, they added the Touch Bar, which is a small OLED screen which does add some extra functionality, but for the most part it hasn't lived up to the promise That of course brings us to today with ASUS and the ZenBook Pro Duo

I gotta say, this does the whole dual-screen laptop concept just a little bit better So up top, you'll find a 156-inch full 4K OLED touchscreen, and this is backed up by a secondary touchscreen above the keyboard Put it together, and this is the first time this actually is a properly useful setup, right? I mean, with the Touch Bar, it was cool, but it only worked for specific apps that had to be specifically customized for, like, a couple of buttons or something, but as far as Windows is concerned, this is just a secondary display that you have connected Everything works just as you would expect it to

ASUS calls this the ScreenPad Plus, but when you go into Windows, all you see is a secondary 3840×1100 display which is right below your main panel Now the cool part about this is that you don't need any kind of specific app development or anything like that Anything that supports dual monitors, you can easily add to the bottom, or importantly, they also have an option where you can take a single window and span across both of the displays So for example, something like this, I can scroll, oh, I can't scroll (clears throat) I'm not in Chrome

I should close that, I didn't close that Thought I did There we go, see? Why is nothing scrolling? Terrible I'm panicking, man, I'm trying to load something Here, there we go

See, I could scroll on the top screen, scroll on the bottom screen, it all works together, or I can just minimize it and take it into a single window I'm good at demos, guys To me, this is really what moves this from being a gimmick to something that's legitimately useful So ASUS has built in some software to better take advantage of it, so there is a key so I can easily switch the apps between my bottom screen and my top screen, even though right now it takes a second to work But the nice part about this is that it is super-seamless, and what I really, really love, I can't emphasize this enough, is that it does not require any developers to do essentially any work

If you support that dual-screen layout, awesome If you don't, whatever You can have one app on the bottom, one app on the top Literally, Windows just doesn't care, and that to me makes it so much more usable The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is that these are two very different-looking screens

So up top you have the full 4K OLED panel It's glossy, it looks awesome On the bottom, we have a matte IPS panel Now they are roughly the same resolution The bottom one's just a half height, so it's not quite as tall, but it's the same sort of look

The main difference is is that because it is matte, I mean, if I kinda adjust it around, you can definitely see some reflections here It would certainly be much worse if it was a glossy panel When you look at them side-by-side, they don't quite match, and nothing can really touch the inky blacks of that OLED All that being said, though, it's a fairly minor nitpick, and I totally understand why they did this, especially considering I don't want to know how much this would be if it had two OLED screens (laughing) instead of one Now we've seen a few OLED laptops show up here and there, and thankfully this year they're actually becoming much more common, but it is absolutely terrific to see not only this level of contrast, but also the level of accuracy, and it gets properly bright, too

Now I know, like, any other laptop, this would be like the main feature, but because this has so many other things going for it, it's something that says, "Look, oh, yeah, "it's got a 4K OLED, don't worry about it "There's, like, eight other things to talk about" The ZenBook does take advantage of ASUS's ErgoLift tech, which essentially means that the keyboard is slightly elevated which gives you a little bit better of a typing position, although I'll talk more about that in a second But importantly, this also gives more room for cooling Since you have a screen right here, it means that not only do you have a couple of large vents on the side, but it has to draw a lot of that air in from the bottom and up through the top

Now there's nothing really wrong with that, but even with that advantage, this is still a little bit of a thicc boi, so if you put it side-by-side with a Razer Blade 15, it's thicker, and especially when you put it beside a 15-inch MacBook, it's almost twice as thick Now that's fine, I mean, obviously, this has packed in a lot of performance, but for that extra screen and that extra performance, you are paying a pretty hefty penalty as far as, well, size envy It's just a big laptop Now while the ErgoLift design is a solid move, the touchpad as well as the keyboard has been shifted down to make room for the secondary display Now, ASUS does gives you a wrist rest, so you can add it

It's not exactly the most portable thing in the world, but the problem here is that just like with the ROG Zephyrus line, it makes it a little bit more uncomfortable Now especially with the touchpad on the right side, it's actually not that harder to get used to, but I never feel quite as confident typing on something like this as opposed to a standard keyboard and touchpad layout The Pro Duo needs a lot of cooling because it is packing some serious components So inside you have either a six-core i7 or an eight-core i9 processor, and that is backed up by up to 32 gigs of RAM, one terabyte SSD as well as a standard RTX 2060 GPU And to top it all off, this is one of the very few laptops, or, well, devices in general that I've tried that does have Wi-Fi 6 built in

Now, yeah, sure, it's not going to be a hardcore gaming PC I mean, for that, you would want something like an RTX 2070 or 2080, but because this is focused more on the content creation side of things, a 2060 should be more than enough, and that is really where you're going to see the extra benefit of that full eight-core i9 processor Now I will mention that ASUS provided this for me as a prototype, so yes, it will be coming out a little bit later this year, but right now they have not finished up all of the performance tuning, so I have run a few benchmarks, but honestly, they're not really going to be indicative of the final product because, well, they don't even have, like, the final fan curves and that kind of stuff sorted, so treat this more like an early look at the performance, and the same thing goes for the battery life, right? So, so far, I've seen reasonable estimates, but again, it's not final yet, and I'm really curious to see what that final number is with stuff like two screens and a Core i9 onboard, so when the ZenBook actually ships later this year, hopefully I'll be able to take a little bit of a closer look, but as of right now, things seem promising They certainly have a little bit of work to do to, you know, actually finish it up to ship to people That's an important part of making a product

So while the Pro Duo is meant for working, you actually can play games with that 2060, and because you have the dual screens, you can do something like this Right now I'm playing Apex as well as streaming it, or rather, recording it using OBS Honestly, one of the only areas I can really complain about is the limited port selection So here we have a pair of USB-A ports, an HDMI as well as a single Thunderbolt 3 Now this kind of makes sense because a lot of the side space is being used up by vents to keep that i9 and 2060 cool, but it is a sacrifice you have to make

This just simply doesn't have a lot of ports If you're okay with a little bit of a thicc boi laptop, then there is a lot to like with the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo Not only does it have that killer OLED, but the secondary display is legitimately useful, and it has the performance to back it up Now this laptop will not be going on sale until a little bit later this year, but I've gotta say I'm impressed with just what ASUS was able to pull together with a package which is so well-thought out, really I mean, it could be a lot worse, but this actually is a legitimately useful product

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