Is the ASUS ZenBook Duo or ZenBook Pro Duo a better buy?

Best for most

ASUS ZenBook Duo

£1,425 at Amazon UK

Pros

Compact
Secondary display panel
Attractive price
Powerful internals
Included pen

Cons

Not yet available in the US.
Quite chunky
Small trackpad

The ZenBook Duo is a remarkable laptop at an attractive price, not only boasting the latest and greatest internals but also that extra display panel with a pen that genuinely changes how you use an Ultrabook.

Professional grade

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

From $2,500 at Amazon

Pros

4K display
NVIDIA RTX graphics
Powerful internals
Secondary display panel
Included pen

Cons

Quite expensive
No SD card slot
Small trackpad

The ZenBook Pro Duo takes everything good about the smaller version and amps it up. The graphics, CPU, display, all have been juiced up for the Pro model, but so has the price.

In many ways, these laptops are the same, in so much as their overall design and the key feature, that secondary display. The basic experience is the same on both, but the Pro model has a pretty solid uptick in overall horsepower for the more demanding workloads. Most people, though, will find the much cheaper ZenBook Duo as the best option.

ASUS ZenBook Duo vs ASUS ZenBook Duo Pro – tech specs

Category
ASUS ZenBook Duo
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

Display
14-inch, 1080p non-touch12.6-inch ScreenPad Plus touch-enabled
15.6″ OLED 4K (3840 x 2160) 16:9 touchscreen14″ 4K (3840 x 1100) ScreenPad Plus touch-enabled

Processor
Intel Core i7-10510U
Intel Core i7-9750HIntel Core i9-9980HK

Graphics
NVIDIA MX250 2GB
NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB

Memory
16GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
8GB / 16GB / 32GB 2666MHz DDR4

Storage
512GB PCIe SSD
256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD

Security
IR camera for Windows Hello
IR camera for Windows Hello

Connectivity
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Ports
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Audio combo jack, 1 x MicroSD card reader
1 x Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x audio combo jack

Audio
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system

Battery
70Wh
71Wh

Weight
1.5kg (3.3lbs)
2.5kg (5.5lbs)

One design, two laptops

The unique selling point of either of these laptops over the competition is the ScreenPad Plus, and the best bit of all is that both the regular and Pro versions of the ZenBook Duo have it. The size and resolution are different, with the larger Pro model having a 4K resolution touch panel, but features and functionality are mirrored across both.

ASUS has some custom applications to make the best use of it, but essentially it’s an extension of the main display on the laptop, and you’re free to use any app you like on there. Extend what you’re working on or have something else entirely down there, it opens up new possibilities for how you use a laptop and how you build your workflow.

Both have a striking overall design, too, with a raised hinge to aid both comfort and cooling, and an eye-catching blue paint job.

More power for a higher price

The similarities are apparent, so it makes the question of whether the ZenBook Pro Duo is worth it to you. The answer to that question lies mostly within. It’s got a serious uptick in overall performance, married to a 4K OLED display with a full DCI-P3 color gamut. Which makes it a serious laptop for creators and professional applications.

The ZenBook Duo is no slouch with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 and NVIDIA MX250 graphics, but the more potent 9th Gen Core i7 and the beastly RTX 2060 graphics gives the ZenBook Pro Duo a fairly sizeable edge. Photo and video work, in particular, will get a nice boost from both the additional graphics power and that upgraded display.

The ZenBook Pro Duo is also plenty capable enough for gaming and even some VR. It’s not aimed at specifically either of those markets; indeed, you can spend a good chunk less to enjoy both, but if you’re in the market for a true pro-grade laptop for work, it’s undoubtedly capable also of play when you’re done for the day.

The only real disappointments are that there’s no SD card slot of any kind, and the battery is about the same size while powering substantially more hardware. So if longevity away from the charger is essential, then go for the ZenBook Duo instead.

The best for most

For most people, the regular ZenBook Duo will be all the laptop necessary. It’s still powerful, benefits from that second display panel has dedicated graphics and excellent battery life.

It’s quite chunky for a 14-inch laptop, but that’s a small tradeoff to make for all the brilliance on offer. The key feature is the ScreenPad Plus, and it genuinely changes how you’re going to use a laptop.

Currently, it’s not available in the US, but it is slated to go on sale there before the end of Q1 2020.

So much screen

ASUS ZenBook Duo

£1,425 at Amazon UK

This is no gimmick

Once you’ve tried a laptop like this with that additional display, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. The future is here, now.

Beefier choice for professional applications

If you like what you see in the ZenBook Duo, but you just need, well, more, then the Pro Duo is a good choice. It’s everything the smaller one is but juiced up with more powerful graphics and an utterly stunning display that’s perfect for creators to work on.

It’s a decent bit more expensive, though, and the battery takes a hit compared to the regular ZenBook Duo. Still, if you’re in the market for a professional-grade laptop for enterprise, video or photo work or intensive applications, then it’s a solid shout.

Double the fun

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo (UX581)

From $2,500 at Amazon

Multitasker’s dream

The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo (UX581) not only includes a stellar second display, but it’s chocked full of powerful specs as well. Content creators should find this laptop particularly interesting for its multitasking potential.

Is the ASUS ZenBook Duo or ZenBook Pro Duo a better buy?