Asus has never been shy about experimenting with form factors. We've seen a whole string of series 2-in-1 devices, the iconic Padfone series, the dual-screen Taichi, the desktop-tablet Transformer AIO, and even the truly bonkers 5-in-1 Windows-Android hybrid Transformer Book V. Many of these designs have been fanciful and impractical, and some of them such as last year's Project Precog haven't even made it to market. On the other hand, some experiments have stuck – remember that this is the company that pioneered the netbook. If nothing else, these over-the-top concepts make for very entertaining showstoppers at Asus' elaborate annual Computex keynotes.
The Asus ZenBook Duo UX481FL is one of the most unique and experimental laptops we've seen in years. Its defining feature is the large secondary screen that stretches across the upper half of the bottom deck, matching up with the main screen. It has the same horizontal resolution and dimensions so there are no alignment problems between the two. Asus has developed some interesting software of its own to make multi-screen management easy, and that definitely helps. You can multitask keeping reference material or handy tools visible all the time. Windows 10 treats the ScreenPad Plus as a secondary monitor.
However, there are a few quirks, such as the fact that only the lower screen is touch-enabled. The main drawback is that the keyboard and trackpad have been crammed into very little space, and both of them are uncomfortable as well as lacking in quality. The tradeoff will definitely not be worth it for anyone who needs to get serious work done.
This laptop also features a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU, and plenty of RAM as well as storage, which means that performance is quite snappy. It's also portable at just 1.5kg.
You can buy this laptop if you want something that feels futuristic and will turn heads, but we'd suggest looking elsewhere for now if productivity is your main concern.
|Model||ZenBook Duo UX481|
|Release date||27th May 2019|
|Dimensions (mm)||223.00 x 323.00 x 19.90|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Battery Capacity (WHR)||70|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 10th Gen Core i7-10510U|
|Base Clock Speed||1.8 GHz|
|Burst Clock Speed||4.9 GHz|
|Graphics Processor||Nvidia GeForce MX250|
|Dedicated Graphic Memory||2GB|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Number of USB Ports||3|
|USB Ports||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type A), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type C)|
|Multi Card Slot||1 Micro SD Card Reader|
|Headphone and Mic Combo Jack||Yes|