Gaming tech brand ASUS just announced a dual-screen gaming monster of a laptop, and it's launching pretty soon. The Zephyrus Duo 15 is a dual-screened, ultra-slim gaming laptop and it's a thing of genuine beauty. Offering greater versatility, interactivity, performance, and sheer gaming power, this machine is premium in every respect but also will hit the mark for a range of users. We had a chance to go hands-on with the machine and came away impressed. It's definitely an early contender to be one of the best gaming laptops of 2020.
While we have enjoyed great progress and advancement in gaming laptop design over the past decade, the dual-screen niche has never really broken through. The Zephyrus Pro 15 looks every bit like a success story for multi-display gaming machines, however.
Its main display is a 15.6-inch IPS screen that can either be a super-crisp 4K panel or a brilliantly quick 300Hz 1080p screen (both featuring G-Sync technology). Meanwhile, the ScreenPad Plus is a 14-inch screen with a horizontal-4K resolution and a vertical one - that's 3840 x 1100 in number speak. This is to ensure the panel goes beyond the basic 'second screen' capability and can offer excellent clarity and crispness - given it's also an IPS panel - to whatever app or program is housed there. When the laptop is opened, the second display pleasingly rises to a good viewing angle, revealing a big area for extra airflow intake. It's also a surprisingly solid and robust-feeling machine; it's only 20.9mm thick and weighs in at 2.4kg.
This would be impressive enough, but ASUS is also working with game designers to make use of the panel itself. For example, Dying Light developers Techland are optimizing in-game menus, chats, and controls to best use the Duo 15's second screen. And collaboration with Overwolf means that apps will become available to show real-time stats, and build data in games like League of Legends and Fortnite, heightening the genuine functionality of that second on-board panel.
It might look like something primed for an audio or video editor at first glance, but the Zephyrus Duo 15's second screen is genuinely impressive and will reel a lot of people in - particularly if they crossover into creative work, or are keen to get into streaming. The latter will be excellently supported by the second display with decks, options and menus to hand, built into the same machine rather than having to invest in more and more kit.
The 'newness' doesn't end with the monitors, though. Inside the machine also lies greatness. Your choice of specs, combined with which screen to go for, will determine which of the two variants will be for you. Both versions have 10th-gen Intel processors with an i9-10980HK or i7-10875H up for selection. The Duo 15 also offers premium visuals with either a 2070 Super or 2080 Super card.
Display: Primary display: 15.6-inch, 1080p, IPS, 300Hz, 3ms or 15.6-inch, 4K, IPS, 60Hz; ScreenPad: 14.1-inch, 3840 x 1100p, IPS, 60Hz
Processor: Intel i9-10980HK or Intel i7-10875H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super or 2080 Super
Memory: 16GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (can support a total of 48GB)
Storage: 2 x M.2 NVMe SSD slots for up to 2TB
Ports: 3 x USB-As; 1 x USB-C; 1 x HDMI 2.0b; 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; 2 x audio jack; 1 x RJ45 LAN
Connectivity: Wireless 6 / Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 5.3 pounds (2.4kg)
Beyond the processor and graphics card-shaped headlines, memory and storage come in modifiable capacities. The machine includes a standard of 16GB, but can support double that, of DDR4-3200 Mhz RAM. The Zephyrus Duo 15 is also able to support up to 2TB SSDs through its two M.2 NVMe slots for lightning fast load times.
Elsewhere, there's improved cooling - a welcome addition in such a premium laptop. A shifted-forward keyboard and touchpad is included as well, not to mention some cracking on-board speakers. You'll be well served in terms of ports too, with USBs of all shapes included, and display and audio inputs covering you well for a host of other devices. That approach may sound normal and expected, but the bonus is that you can charge the laptop (for lighter tasks) using the USB-C port.
All in, the Zephyrus Duo 15 is a premium-gaming machine and desktop-replacement whichever way you cut it. That said, it will be ideal for streamers who can utilise the second screen for a stream deck or comment run downs. It's great for creatives who value a single do-it-all machine for work and play too, to say nothing of high-performance gaming fanatics who want the best that one gaming-focused laptop can offer. The 4K monitor, too, will attract players of all stripes and will give the best 4K monitors for gaming a run for their money too.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 will be available from July 2020 in the UK with prices starting from £2,999. In the US, pricing will start at $2,999 and go up to $3,799, with launch touted for around late June (exact dates to be confirmed).