Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 evaluate: a gaming computer that doesn’t need two screens

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More veritably than no longer, whenever you happen to’re reading a evaluate of a twin-show cloak computer, you almost surely handiest care about one feature: the 2 screens. Asus’ old Duo gadgets, the ZenBook Duo and the ZenBook Beneficial Duo, were first charge gadgets, nonetheless the extra show cloak used to be the main attraction and the main justification for his or her top class heed.

Asus’ ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, even supposing, is diversified. It’s the first gaming computer Asus has attempted with the twin-show cloak setup. The applying is finally at a degree where the 2nd show cloak is legitimately priceless. Nevertheless the Duo is moreover a workstation that includes prime-of-the-line chips that could well compete with basically the most efficient portable gaming laptops in the marketplace. Display cloak cloak count aside, it’s a truly suited computer.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 open from above.

Asus says the Duo is geared in the direction of “the gamer, the streamer, and the creator.”

On the opposite hand it’s moreover reasonably expensive for a 15-poke gaming computer — you’re positively paying extra for the twin screens. And while the ScreenPad surely has its uses, Asus hasn’t reasonably discovered how to release its rotund doable but. I’d steal off on procuring this until they devise.

The Duo I examined goes for — brace your self — $Three,699. It comes with Intel’s Core i9-10980HK, 32GB of RAM (DDR4), and 2TB of storage. The dear person of the showcase is Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Mountainous Max-Q, its prime-pause RTX GPU for skinny gaming laptops.

The Zephyrus is determined up equally to diversified Duo gadgets. My unit has a 15.6-poke 4K UHD important designate. It’s good to well perchance perchance also moreover catch a 300Hz FHD panel, which would perchance be the better take hold of whenever you happen to’re procuring this basically to play games. Below that show cloak is the ScreenPad, a 14.1-poke wide, 3840 x 1100 touchscreen panel constructed into the reduction half of of the keyboard deck, which lifts reasonably off the chassis and tilts in the direction of you at a thirteen-degree attitude. Crammed into the front half of of the chassis is an RGB keyboard with a puny touchpad to its correct.

The ScreenPad is simply too little to if truth be told create any work on (even supposing the tilt manner you don’t need to crane your neck to be taught it the diagram in which you create on the ZenBooks). Nevertheless in a productivity atmosphere, it’s a instrument you’d also use the diagram in which you’d use a puny exterior designate.

Swapping a window from one show cloak to the diversified is as easy as clicking and dragging it. Even as you create so, a little menu pops up with alternate suggestions to ship the window to the reverse designate, pin it to the Launcher, or prolong it to catch every screens.

It’s good to well perchance perchance also load the ScreenPad up along with your distractions — Slack, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, etc. — to steal them accessible, nonetheless out of the diagram in which. It’s good to well perchance perchance also withhold reference documents on the bottom even as you work up prime. It’s good to well perchance perchance also take hold of notes downstairs while streaming a lecture upstairs. (The Zephyrus has stylus give a steal to, nonetheless doesn’t ship with a stylus.)

Asus has about a helpful aspects to present reduction to space up all the pieces. In the Launcher menu, a secondary dock that lives on the left aspect of the ScreenPad, you’d also quick access a preference of apps, together with Number Key (a virtual numpad), Handwriting (where you’d also scribble on the ScreenPad, and the textual direct material will showcase up wherever your cursor is), and Like a flash Key (where you’d also faucet varied instructions admire cleave, copy, and paste). It’s good to well perchance perchance also add no topic functions you need. There’s moreover a button that straight swaps the 2 screens’ tabs and automatically resizes them to suit, and a toggle that locks and unlocks the keyboard. And you too can catch “job groups” of apps or tabs, which you’d also then open up later with a single click on.

Asus has if truth be told worked out ScreenPad’s kinks since the times of the ZenBook Beneficial Duo, its first shot at a twin-show cloak OLED desktop replacement. The entire lot worked as advertised. Windows resized accurately and saved the widths they were assigned. Things closed and opened when I needed them to. All told, as we observed with the ZenBook Duo, the ScreenPad works valid dazzling for on a customary basis use.

Nevertheless whether or no longer it’s successfully-profitable to gaming is but another seek recordsdata from.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 half of open from the reduction.

The GPU is paired with 8GB of DDR6 VRAM.

Off the bat: this is an valid gaming computer. It ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p at a median of 87fps. That used to be on the best doubtless settings, with ray tracing on Ultra. That’s no longer basically the most efficient consequence you’ll gape, alternatively it’s handiest reasonably worse than the Razer Blade Beneficial 17, which averaged 95fps. On Civilization VI, a sport where I can gape the twin-show cloak setup being reasonably priceless, the Zephyrus averaged 145fps on the best doubtless settings. Of direction, this mannequin is locked to displaying 60fps, so you won’t be ready to scrutinize those body rates. I’d counsel that serious avid gamers plug for the 300Hz configuration (particularly as a consequence of you’ll gape a critical body charge drop whenever you happen to try to max out these titles in 4K — that’s a colossal seek recordsdata from even of in sort desktops).

It’s easy to scrutinize how a 2nd show cloak is inclined to be a welcome boost to a gaming rig. Even as you play, you’d also withhold Discord chats and poke controls on deck, apply along with a YouTube tutorial, swap between Spotify playlists, adjust settings on the cruise in Asus’ Armoury Crate app, or withhold an peep on clocks in MSI Afterburner. I’m sure you would be pleased ideas of your be pleased. All these techniques create work, nonetheless some are easy more anxiety than they’re worth. It’s far dependent on the game.

The ScreenPad from above.

Overwolf has some apps designed for the Duo, for games together with League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO.

As an illustration, whenever you happen to creep Tomb Raider in rotund-show cloak mode and take hold of a examine to click on on a Discord chat downstairs, it minimizes the game. It’s good to well perchance perchance also fix this thunder by the utilization of windowed mode, nonetheless tinkering with the ScreenPad easy tabs you out. Civ VI used to be friendlier to the ScreenPad; the game stayed open and saved going while I hopped between shows, nonetheless typing in my downstairs Discord chat easy cleave the audio, so I wouldn’t be pleased wanted to create it veritably. For every games, I ended up mostly the utilization of the ScreenPad to steal an peep on Afterburner while I played and set aside the occasional adjustment in Armoury Crate.

So, again, the Duo’s scheme ingredient does be pleased its uses for gaming — particularly with flip-basically basically based mostly titles admire Civ where you’d also valid admire a short damage veritably. Nevertheless you might want to easy tackle your expectations as a consequence of it’s no longer top-notch for the general use cases you’d keep in mind. (And if I’m procuring a computer for gaming, I’d if truth be told take hold of no longer to need to creep something else in windowed mode.)

Asus says it’s working with sport builders to incorporate the 2nd show cloak into some upcoming titles. In Death Light 2, as an instance, it says you’ll be ready to steal your co-op chats, inventory, and mission plug on-line the 2nd show cloak. It can perchance surely be a huge reduction in a sport admire Civ VI whenever you happen to could well relegate some stats and overlays to the ScreenPad and reserve the first designate for gameplay. Those aspects aren’t here but, even supposing, and that mitigates the encourage of the twin-show cloak setup.

In other places, it will easy plug with out saying that the Core i9 and 32GB of RAM can tackle a heavy load of establish of enterprise work (Twitch, Discord, Slack, Spotify, picture enhancing, Zoom calls, and a heap of Chrome tabs) valid dazzling. Of direction, that’s the case with most top class gaming laptops. You don’t need something else terminate to those specs to catch that efficiency. It did thoroughly with ingenious work, finishing an export of a 5-minute, 33-2nd 4K video in two minutes and 56 seconds. That’s sooner than the Dell XPS 17, the Alienware m15 r3, and the MSI GS66 Stealth took to entire the equal job. The Blade Beneficial 17 used to be handiest quite sooner, taking two minutes and forty two seconds.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 touchpad.

Criminal top-notch fortune whenever you happen to’re left-handed!

The one thing to designate is that you just might want to easy count on the Zephyrus Duo to continue to exist a desk — and that’s no longer valid as a consequence of it weighs 5.29 kilos (2.39kg). I averaged around an hour and forty eight minutes of battery existence (The check eager absolutely working in every screens, hopping between a dozen Chrome tabs, Slack, and Spotify, on the Battery Saver profile, with the first show cloak at 200 nits of brightness and the secondary show cloak at 50 %.) That’s no longer basically surprising for a 4K gaming computer working two screens and an RGB keyboard, alternatively it’s easy no longer a huge consequence — the Blade Beneficial 17 obtained two and a half of hours of the equal workload.

Additionally, catch ready for some heat. The Duo uses Asus’ AAS Plus cooling, which contains a 28.5mm vent slack the ScreenPad, 5 heatpipes, four heatsinks, a diversified thermal paste called Liquid Metal, and an anti-mud channel that’s presupposed to dispel debris from the chassis to prevent it from amassing on the fan fins. (Don’t terror, it doesn’t spray mud or something else.) The machine saved the processor from throttling, nonetheless the bottom of the chassis obtained so hot that the computer wasn’t feasible to use on my lap, even when I wasn’t working games.

The ScreenPad from the front.

It’s good to well perchance perchance also hook up an exterior GPU with Thunderbolt Three, or just a few shows with DisplayPort.

And at closing, you’d also neglect the utilization of this touchpad, which is a puny 2.Three x 2.9 affair with discrete clickers (even supposing it will change into a touchscreen NumPad, which is nifty). Since there’s no such thing as a wrist leisure, the keyboard, while vivid, isn’t big pleased to use as a consequence of there’s nowhere to establish your fingers. (The Zephyrus ships with a rubber wrist leisure which is candy, nonetheless doesn’t reduction all that mighty.) I keep in mind anybody who buys this is inclined to be plugging a mouse in straight. Again, none of this is surprising for a 15-poke workstation, nonetheless whenever you happen to’re making an attempt for something that you just’d also veritably chill on the couch with, count the Zephyrus out.

The finest news is that whenever you happen to take hold of to trot in peripherals, you’ve obtained a substantial port preference. There’s a vitality port, a microphone jack, and a headphone jack on the left aspect; two USB-A ports and a USB-C with DisplayPort, Thunderbolt Three, and Vitality Transport Three.Zero on the pinnacle-notch aspect; and but another USB-A, an Ethernet, and an HDMI on the reduction.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 from above, working Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the first show cloak and Twitter on the ScreenPad.

Attempting Twitter while working Tomb Raider.

Overall, the Zephyrus Duo 15 is a suited gaming computer. Nevertheless the 60Hz show cloak on this configuration limits the capabilities of its chips. (And let’s be top-notch: while Asus is inclined to be making an attempt to market this computer to direct material creators, it’s a Zephyrus, and most folk will doubtless be procuring it for games.)

Equipped that you just’d also do away with gadgets admire the Blade Beneficial 17 that bring similar body rates for quite a bit of hundred dollars more affordable, what you’re paying the colossal bucks for is a further bit of storage and the 2nd show cloak.

The ScreenPad does add to the gaming abilities. On the opposite hand it hasn’t revolutionized it (no longer lower than, no longer but). Till titles come out that are literally optimized for this setup, I can’t gape myself the utilization of it big veritably. The Zephyrus Duo is a formidable half of technology. It’s far inclined to be worth $Three,699 in due direction — alternatively it’s no longer there reasonably but.

Images by Monica Chin / The Verge