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Asus Zenbook Duo (2024) review: Best version yet

Asus Zenbook Duo (2024) review: Best version yet

Asus Zenbook Duo

The Asus Zenbook Duo (UX8406) is the best dual-screen laptop I have tested so far. Admittedly, I had only tested one such notebook previously — last year's Lenovo Yoga Book 9i. But while the Lenovo was indeed innovative, Asus has further improved the design, and tapped its years-long experience with second screens to create a worthy competitor. Yes, the Lenovo still does some things better, but the Asus Zenbook Duo is my current favourite.

Quick specs

  • Dual 14-inch (2,880 x 1,800 pixels) OLED touchscreens, 120Hz
  • Intel Core Ultra 9 Processor 185H with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, audio jack
  • 75 watt-hour battery

While Lenovo's dual-screen laptop was propped up by a cool origami-like folio stand, Asus opted for a conventional kickstand at the bottom of the laptop that flips open to support the device. It's very stable. And you can still use the Zenbook Duo in either portrait or landscape orientation. The laptop hinge opens fully to just a fraction over 180 degrees. It can't go 360 degrees like the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, so it cannot transform into an awkward, hefty tablet. The Asus Zenbook Duo weighs around 1.35kg, which is surprisingly portable for what you get. It's thicker than the average laptop because, sandwiched between its two screens, is a removable keyboard.

Asus Zenbook Duo
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

This keyboard is the key here. When it's placed on top of the secondary display (and secured magnetically), the Asus Zenbook Duo is a clamshell notebook. Remove it to unleash the full potential of the dual screens. By the way, these are lovely OLEDs boasting a peak brightness of 500 nits, and a sharp 2,880 x 1,800-pixel resolution. Unlike its Lenovo rival, the Zenbook Duo's keyboard has a touchpad. Asus' ScreenXpert software, which shows up as a floating icon at the bottom left corner of the main display, is chock-full of features to manage the dual screens. For example, you can pull up a virtual keyboard with a six-finger tap. Or rotate the orientation of one or both screens to share them with someone opposite you. You can also save your favourite apps with ScreenXpert, and reopen these apps exactly the way you left them with a shortcut.

Asus Zenbook Duo
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Asus Zenbook Duo uses Intel's latest Core Ultra 9 processor that has a dedicated chip for AI workloads. It feels fast, and responsive. Its PCMark 10 score (7,324) is similar to the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (7,472). This is no surprise as they both use the same Intel chip. But it's quite an improvement over last year's notebooks like the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED (5,660). And thanks to its Intel Arc graphics, the Asus Zenbook Duo can run less demanding games like Hades smoothly (67fps on average). However, the bottom of the laptop gets toasty in more intensive apps. For example, it failed to complete 3DMark's Time Spy stress test, with performance dipping as the CPU temperature went up (peaked at 80 degrees Celsius).

Given its dual screens, battery life is naturally a concern. But this laptop should last a normal day, thanks to its relatively hefty 75 watt-hour battery. In our usual video playback test — using a single display at maximum brightness — the Asus Zenbook Duo lasted 12hr 14min. I'd expect it to last at least 6 hours when using both screens. At S$2,999, the Asus Zenbook Duo is more expensive than the average laptop. But that's understandable given its dual OLED screens. This price is actually cheaper than the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (S$3,699 at launch), and is still selling now at S$2,999. And given its newer Intel processor, it seems like a no-brainer to pick the Asus over the Lenovo, unless you need the latter's tablet or tent usage modes. But at the time of review, it's out of stock at the Asus Store.

See Also
Samsung Odyssey Ark

Note: Review unit provided by Asus.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Refined, dual-screen experience

Buy it from Asus

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