Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 review: Superb for creators, not so for writers

Topics Asus laptops | Asustek | Asus

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482)

Asus has a wide portfolio of consumer laptops, some with a radical form factor and unique design language. Take for example the recently launched Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482. Aimed at content creators, the laptop is a one-of-its-kind device with two screens – a full-fledged 14-inch fullHD resolution LED backlit touchscreen and a 12.65-inch IPS-level touchscreen of 1080 x 515 pixel resolution. The Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 might not be the only laptop featuring a dual-screen but the implementation of a secondary screen here is practical and useful in more ways than one.

The second screen is connected to the primary screen through Windows Project. It means this one is no gimmick and can be used like any other second screen – you can duplicate the primary screen content on the secondary screen or use both together for an extended view. Besides, it is not necessary to always use both screens as each can be switched off independently. So, the basics are covered right.

As for utility, the second screen adds extra space which comes in handy to fit additional content that would otherwise be hidden behind the primary window or rest minimised on the taskbar. For example, you can open a Microsoft Word file on the second screen and a web browser on the primary one. Asus has done a thorough job to make the second screen as good as the primary one. The second screen supports split-view, just like the primary screen. Therefore, you can fit at least four windows (two on primary and two on secondary) and multitask without using the Alt+Tab key combination frequently.

Complementing the dual-screen set-up is the Asus ScreenXpert software, which gives the second screen some extra power. This software is available in the form of dock, which is like a taskbar but a powerful one. It can be placed on the left, right or bottom side of the second screen, and can auto-hide when not in use. Through this dock, you can adjust the brightness of the second screen, navigate open applications on both screens, enable/disable the physical keyboard, and manage other settings applicable to the second screen. Through this software, the second screen can be used as a trackpad and for handwriting content.

The best use for the ScreenXpert software, however, is for content creators through its Control Panel. It turns the ScreenPad Plus into a customisable control deck, giving you sliders, wheels and buttons for commonly used tasks in the Adobe application suite – Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and Lightroom. This feature scales the utility of the second screen for content creators all the way north.

The package is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Tiger Lake U series processor. The laptop’s utility goes beyond everyday computing, and it can be used to create music, illustrations, videos, etc. However, the lack of discrete graphic card (review unit) shows restraint sometimes, especially if you use it as a primary device for all your content creation work.

That said, the Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 is a solid laptop for content creators, but not without caveats. Speaking of caveats, there are quite a few. The second screen, though lifted at an angle, lays too flat on the surface. Therefore, you need to bend the neck every time to see what is there on the second screen. It causes discomfort to the neck and body and is even dangerous for posture, if the second screen is used extensively. The second screen is accommodated where the keyboard usually fits, pushing the keyboard down, making the whole set-up look crowded – there is no wrist rest area and the trackpad is squeezed to fit on the right side of the keyboard. With literally no headroom and a cramped lower end with no place to rest the wrists while typing, the Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 delivers a horrible writing and editing experience.

Before I conclude, look at the specification of the model reviewed here:

Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482: Specifications
Colour
Celestial Blue
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Processor
Intel Core i7-1165G7
Graphics
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Primary Display 14-inch FHD touch screen, 16:9 aspect ratio, stylus support
Second Display
12.65-inch 1920 x 515 IPS-level, Stylus support
Memory
16GB LPDDR4X on-board (soldered)
Storage 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
I/O Ports
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

2 x Thunderbolt 4

1 x HDMI 1.4

1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Micro SD card reader
Keyboard
Backlit, 1.4mm key travel
Camera
HD camera with IR for Windows Hello
Battery 70WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
Weight
1.57 kg

Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) review: Verdict

Priced at Rs 1,29,990, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) is a solid laptop for content creators but not so good if your work involves working on multiple PCs simultaneously – writing and editing text. That said, the laptop makes a great supplementary unit for portable use. It also makes a good buy for budding content creators with not so heavy daily work flow. For professionals, the laptop’s slightly expensive variant with discrete graphic card makes a better proposition – if not perfect – for everyday use.




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