Last week, I had a rare chance to spend a few days with the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo Laptop. Well, if you know Asus really well, you will know that the company is no stranger to laptop innovation and the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo offers just that.

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I first need to mention that Asus has been banking on its innovation prowess to capture and grow its Kenyan market share.  In fact, when the company first introduced the ZenBook laptop models in Kenya early this year, Benjamin Yeh, ASUS E.EMEA General Manager PC & Gaming, noted that Kenya is one of the promising and key markets for ASUS in Africa.  

‘’At ASUS, we strongly believe that our passion for new technologies fits perfectly with Africa’s young and ambitious population’s expectations.’’ he said. 

Well, ASUS now controls 20% of the PC market in Kenya and hopes to grow this by introducing highly innovative products and expanded presence in the market.  The ZenBook Pro Duo is one of these products and there is so much I could say about this laptop.

As I mentioned, I got a few days to spend with the laptop so this article is just about my quick thoughts. 

Image: Asus

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is about big-screen laptops. This is what the Taiwanese tech giant had in mind with this laptop – an all-screen laptop. The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch 4K OLED touch display (3,840 x 2,160) resolution and another 14-inch-wide display located just above the keyboard which Asus is calling the screen-pad. If you’re a digital artist then you will love this. The displays are sharp and bright, the colors are fantastic and this makes watching videos incredible. 

Why do you need a second display? one might ask. Well, the screen-pad on the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo lets you run mini apps or host additional controls for your desktop apps. I forgot to mention that Asus has named the bigger display a screen-pad plus. 

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo wrist rest. Photo:Asus

One of my favorite features to use on the ZenBook Pro Duo for the few days I interacted with the laptop was the keyboard, very comfortable. The base section is however very thick raising the keyboard quite high from the desk. This should not however make you worried Asus included a wrist rest in the package. 

Asus Zenbook Pro Keyboard and touchpad

The touch pad is very responsive and is located on the right hand side of the keyboard, so you won’t really struggle using it especially if you’re a right-handed person like me.

Asus Zenbook Pro Stylus

The ZenBook Pro Duo also comes with a stylus you can use with the touch screen. You will however need to carry it separately because there’s no housing for it on the laptop’s chassis. 

The right side houses the Thunderbolt USB-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB 3.1 port and a round-pin power jack while on the left side is where you have an HDMI port and a second USB 3.1 port. What this basically means is that you can use all those ports for display outputs. 

At 15.6-inch, the ZenBook Pro Duo is also quite heavy weighing 2.5kg and is also 24mm thick. Some of us who like carrying lighter laptops might have a problem with this. 

The overall design and build quality is pretty good if you ask me, although there are a few compromises.

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo also comes with Intel Core i9 processor, one of Intel’s most powerful mobile chips, discrete Nvidia graphics, 32GB of RAM and a massive 1TB of internal storage. There is just so much you can do with these specs. This is some serious computing power.  These internals are actually what makes this laptop so thick. The laptop has been designed for some serious work and that’s why I said it can handle almost everything. 

When it comes to the battery life, something which most of us always look out for, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo might disappoint you a little bit.  Asus says the battery should be able to last you for 7 to 8 hours. Well, I spend most of my time writing, and browsing through web apps and sometimes listening to music and watching some YouTube videos, that’s my normal productivity workload -did this with full battery on the ZenBook Pro Duo and the laptop lasted me for only 4 hours and 50 minutes with the screen brightness at 50%. This expected considering that you have two screens and huge internal power.  Remember I was just using the bigger screen so what this means is that the hours would have dropped if I had usedboth screens at full brightness. 

In conclusion you will agree that Asus is taking innovation to a whole new level with the ZenBook Pro Duo. I love the idea of two screens and  the main 4K panel is fantastic. The machine is powerful, meaning it can run any application and work so no need to worry about that. The two screens and the huge computing power however affects the battery life. The other disappointing thing is that there’s no SD card reader slot for a laptop focused on creative work. Considering the size of the laptop, I am sure Asus could have found space for it. 

Remember there are two models of the ZenBook Pro, the Core i9 model we have been highlighting and a Core i7 processor that is available. We will be updating this post on the pricing and availability. 

The laptop is available pro Ksh. 310,000 and you can grab one at Text Book Service Centre.

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