ASUS ZenBook Duo review (2021): A better dual-screen notebook for less

ASUS ZenBook Duo review (2021): A better dual-screen notebook for less

Despite seeming like a quick branding opportunity, the Zenbook Duo lived up to that Evo badge in my testing. Our review unit featured an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU with only 8GB of RAM, but it still felt snappy as I juggled multiple apps at once. To be honest, I’d really only 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 across both screens without any trouble.

Intel’s Xe graphics also proved worthy, scoring nearly 4,000 points higher than last year’s model in 3DMark Night Raid. I didn’t have a chance to do much gaming on the Duo, but that score alone makes it clear it’ll 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 that yet. More important than games, though, is the ZenBook Duo’s raw computing power. Its vastly improved PCMark 10 and Geekbench scores make it clear that Intel’s Tiger Lake hardware is a major upgrade. It also lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes in our battery test, which is close to many ultraportables, though five hours less than the XPS 13. 

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

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