Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 First Look: Two Too Many Screens

Victoria D. Doty

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is a gaming notebook created for a globe that doesn’t exist any more, and perhaps by no means did. That’s not to say that gaming laptops aren’t crucial in our new and ruined globe, but one particular this ostentatious by some means feels like a relic of a bygone age.

It has two screens. That’s the Duo part. It really is also the total “why does this exist” part. Consider the MacBook Pro’s Contact Bar, but if it was as big as a keyboard. The Duo’s secondary exhibit takes up fifty percent of the lower part of the notebook. Usually, this is in essence the normal Asus ROG Zephyrus chassis we’ve seen on the non-Duo Zephyrus 15. Identical dimensions, same exhibit, same hardware. Which means it’s a fantastic and capable gaming notebook. So why does it will need a 2nd exhibit? It doesn’t.

Two Shows, Both equally Alike in Dignity

This is not the initial dual-display screen notebook from Asus. And on paper, it’s not a undesirable idea for content material creators.

When you’re doing work in Adobe Photoshop or Premiere, a notebook exhibit can really feel cramped. That’s why you see so lots of artistic industry experts hooking up MacBook Professionals to comprehensive-size desktop screens. Additional display screen actual estate is nice to have when you’re juggling so lots of windows. Similarly, a secondary exhibit like the one particular on the Duo could be helpful when you’re carrying out intensive work—like videogame livestreaming.

There is a capture even though. Ok, numerous catches. Initially, and this is the same one particular that tends to make Apple’s Contact Bar a misfire from a design point of view: It is just not intuitive to glance down from your key display screen to test out the enjoyment-sized 2nd display screen that’s at keyboard-peak. It is like typing on a tablet—you have to maintain searching down, not to point out it feels stilted and unpleasant.

The 2nd display screen does sit at an angle, but I saved wanting to swivel it out and just have it beside the key exhibit on the Duo. There is one thing about getting two displays aspect-by-aspect that feels extra intuitive than getting them stacked on top rated of each other.

Game streaming is the mentioned function of this two-headed device, but streaming from a notebook is a pain. If you’re unfamiliar, to stream a match to a provider like Twitch or YouTube you will need to be functioning the match, a webcam (and often a individual microphone), and broadcast both equally your gameplay and the output from your webcam and mic. It is typical for qualified streamers to use two computers for this, but you can do it from a single gaming Personal computer if it has sufficient horsepower (and commonly a 2nd comprehensive-size keep track of).

You can stream game titles from a notebook, technically, but it’s significantly less than perfect. Even the Zephyrus Duo doesn’t crack that certain formula. A 2nd exhibit and top rated-tier hardware strengthen the streaming-from-a-notebook knowledge, but it’s even now a little bit like hoping to do an full day’s operate from your phone. Positive, you can do it. But you are going to really feel cramped and confined.

Mismatched

There are some other odd design decisions in this article that make the Zephyrus Duo, which is set to launch in July, a puzzling device. The 2nd display screen has a larger 4K resolution than the key exhibit (1080p), which tends to make for an uncomfortable person knowledge if you upscale the 2nd display screen to its highest resolution. Windows has trouble with the mismatched resolution and gets puzzled about where by each exhibit is in actual physical relation to the other, so going points from one particular display screen to the other gets tricky if they are not both equally set to 1080p.

The laptop’s chassis has exceptional toughness, aesthetics, and cooling capabilities, but I’m not a admirer of its keyboard format. To accommodate the 2nd display screen, the keyboard is pushed all the way to the bottom edge of the notebook, with the trackpad squished in where by a numpad would be. It is an exclusionist design due to the fact it tends to make the Zephyrus Duo almost difficult to use if you’re left-handed.

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