Asus refreshes ZenBook Duo, adds new ZenScreen to lineup

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Taiwanese firm Asus has been quite busy at CES 2021 this week, using the virtual event to showcase a number of refreshed iterations for its different portfolios for the coming year. We have already seen some of its new offerings on the ROG gaming side of things, and now the other notebook lineups got some love, with Asus debuting new TUF, ExpertBook and ZenBook devices.

It is the latter category that grabbed our attention, with an updated versions of the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 and ZenBook Duo 14 seeing the light of day, as well as a new ZenScreen portable monitor designed with business users in mind.

Starting with the smaller of the two Asus Duo notebooks, the 14″ variant is an Intel Evo-certified offering that features a 16.9mm thin body and combining up to an Intel 11th Gen processor and Iris Xe graphics depending on spec, as well as an Nvidia GeForce MX450 option, although region availability has not been disclosed yet.

Added to this is a FullHD NanoEdge display that touts a 93 percent screen-to-body ratio, with the Duo aspect of the device, the ScreenPad Plus now tilted by 7 degrees in order to improve readability and reduce reflective glare. Asus is also claiming up to 17 hours of battery life on this notebook, which if true, would be impressive given the fact that it has two displays at work.

On to the flagship Pro Duo 15 notebook which boasts a 15.6″ 4K OLED panel now. As for the accompanying ScreenPad Plus, apart from the multitasking functionality, the Taiwanese firm is also billing it as a great tool for creators, as it provides high-precision 4 096 pressure-level stylus support for scribing or drawing. Whether there is enough screen real estate for the latter, remains to be seen. 

Internally, Asus has not shied away, fitting the Pro Duo 15 with a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia GeFore GTX3070, although it remains to be seen if this configuration will be made available locally when the notebook lands on our shores.

You also get up to 32GB DDR4 RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and larger 92Wh battery, but no word on how many hours that yields.

Lastly in the Zen lineup is a portable monitor in the shape of the ZenScreen. It is a 15.6″ FullHD anti-glare panel, and given its dimensions seems like a device designed to pair with the likes of the similarly sized Pro Duo 15. With the data confirming that having to screens to multitask on proving more productive than one, it’s clear that the ZenScreen is designed for professionals who will be working remotely or in a hybrid setup.

Other elements to note are that it can connect to another notebook via either USB Type-C or Type-A 3.0, taking care of both the audio/visual components, as well as the power. In the age of COVID-19, the ZenScreen has also been coated in a antibacterial ionic silver treatment that inhibits growth of bacteria and fungi by preventing adhesion by up to 99.9 percent, says Asus.

Local pricing and availability for all three of these Asus Zen devices are yet to be officially confirmed, but seeing as the new ROG devices announced this week are expected in SA by mid-February, we’re hoping the same will apply here.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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