Sunday, September 24, 2023

ASUS ZenBook Duo (2021) review: Better dual-screen laptop for less

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While this seems like a quick branding opportunity, the Zenbook Duo lived up to that Evo badge in my testing. Our review unit included an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with just 8GB of RAM, but it still felt crisp as I juggled multiple apps at once. To be honest, I would only really recommend the Duo with 16GB of RAM to really maximize your multitasking potential. But I was still able to run dozens of browser tabs, Evernote, Slack, Spotify, and YouTube on both screens without any issues.

Intel’s Xe graphics have proven to be worthy as well, scoring nearly 4,000 points higher than last year’s model in 3DMark Night Raid. I haven’t had the chance to play much on the Duo, but this score alone makes it clear that he will be able to play a low impact title like Overwatch. NVIDIA’s MX450 should offer more GPU power, but I haven’t been able to test it yet. The raw computing power of ZenBook Duo is more important than games. Its significantly improved PCMark 10 and Geekbench scores make it clear that the Intel Tiger Lake hardware is a major upgrade. It also lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes in our battery test, which is close to many subnotebooks, although five hours shorter than the XPS 13.

For the most part, I found the ScreenPad Plus a lot more useful than last year, simply because I could see it better. But it’s still a bit too short for many applications. Technically, you can run three small windows side by side, but I found this too small to be useful. Instead, I usually had a web browser or a productivity app like Evernote on the main screen, while two other apps were below. Most of the time, it was a combination of YouTube and Spotify on the ScreenPad Plus for easy media control (and a great way to sneak into my favorite YouTube channels while working).


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