Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 Complete Review & Specification 2021
The first appearance of an Asus laptop with dual display dates back to May 2019, on the occasion of Computex in Taipei. I’m obviously talking about the ZenBook Pro Duo and the ZenBook Duo (14 inches) , two products that immediately aroused a lot of interest but above all a lot of curiosity.
The first tests were not exactly exciting, we immediately understood the great potential in terms of multitasking but like every “before” it was soon understood that it would take time to arrive at a truly optimized and fully functional solution for the purpose for which has been thought of.
Already with the first update, which now dates back to a year ago, there have been signs of improvement, the software that runs on the secondary screen has been made more intuitive, responsive and flexible, the chromatic continuity and resolution between the two panels and energy consumption has been optimized thanks to the elimination of the dedicated chip and the use of standard hardware to move the ScreenPad as well.
In this new version becomes Plus. All novelties that can be seen and heard also on the new ZenBook Duo UX482, which I’ve been trying for a couple of weeks.
The distinctive feature of this product is undoubtedly the double display which, as anticipated, has evolved over time and is now more functional both in terms of software and ergonomics. Compared to the previous models we have in fact a new hinge system that when the display is opened make the second panel tilt slightly upwards, thus making it much more visible to the user sitting in front.
This operation also slightly raises the secondary display, opening a chink inside which the air expelled from the fans finds further vent. All this in favor of the effectiveness of the cooling system and consequently the performance of the notebook.
From the software point of view, however, the interface that characterizes the interaction with the ScreenPad Plus has been thoroughly revised and is now more intuitive and reactive in performing the various operations.
We have a sort of taskbar that brings together all the main tools and through which we can access the settings, the dedicated applications and the screen that allows us to set a series of layouts that can then be recalled quickly to immediately have the workspace ready and usable. .
In addition to this optimization, the first fruits of collaboration with companies that develop software for content creators are also beginning to arrive. The most famous is certainly Adobe, whose Creative Cloud suite is certainly the most popular collection of programs for creators. After a couple of years of waiting, the Control Panel arrives on this new series of dual-screen notebooks. We are talking about a kind of virtual deck that automatically appears on the ScreePad every time we launch a supported app.
Within this tool we find a series of buttons and wheels that allow us to have quick access to a whole series of specific functions related to the program open on the main screen. With Photoshop, for example, we find dials on the ScreenPad that allow us to zoom the image or increase or decrease opacity, but also a series of buttons that rotate it, activate or deactivate the tools and vary the size of the brushes. .
If you are wondering if this Control Panel only works with Adobe applications for the moment the answer is yes , we will see if once the base is developed this same approach will be used to create useful tools for other programs. Surely it remains an important signal from Asus that demonstrates that it still firmly believes in this double screen and has not abandoned it to itself, on the contrary.
In reference to the second display, if I really have to blame Asus something, the real flaw is given by the chromatic uniformity and brightness still not perfect compared to the main screen. Compared to the first versions, the improvement is clear but in some situations this difference, especially in the power of the backlight, is annoying.
A SLIMMING TREATMENT
From an aesthetic point of view we are faced with a product that is absolutely consistent with those that are the stylistic canons of Asus and in line with its predecessors. Sharp edges, edges finished in contrast, lots of character and some distinctive details such as the finish of the lid that recalls the Zen design to which the company has been referring for years.
I must admit that the feeling we have once we get our hands on this ZenBook Duo is of absolute solidity, both for the materials used and for the goodness of the assembly. An absolutely not obvious goal if we consider that, compared to the previous model, this UX482 is 3 mm thinner and 50 grams lighter ; trust that they all feel.
The hinges, as already mentioned, have been modified to allow the lifting of the second display when we lift the lid. Despite this modification, the movement appears absolutely linear and we have no reason to doubt the resistance of the mechanism. ZenBook Duo doesn’t open with one hand, or at least not completely, but I honestly don’t find that a fault.
As with the models that preceded it, the most sacrificed element due to this design is certainly the keyboard. The position of the second display forces Asus to position it more advanced, at the edge of the body towards the user.
It is certainly not the most comfortable layout, even if the limited thickness of this 14-inch model makes it less uncomfortable than the version with a 15.6-inch display. The feedback is still good and the key size is sufficient but if typing is one of the main tasks of your work, my advice is to throw yourself into a more classic solution, unless you usually use an external keyboard.
Again as a matter of space, the touchpad is also a lot sacrificed. Literally wedged along the right side of the keyboard, it is quite small in size and is characterized by the presence of two physical selection keys that further decrease the space available for navigation.
A solution, that of physical keys, which was also adopted to be able to use a thinner component that did not steal too much space from the battery.
Finally, under the body, at the ends of the keyboard, there are two speakers of discredit dimensions . The latter have been developed in collaboration with Harman Kardon and guarantee a very good quality and a more than adequate volume. We are not yet at the levels of a MacBook Pro, the absolute reference in this field, but let’s say that the path taken is already excellent.
I close with a few words about the display. We are talking about a 14-inch diagonal IPS panel with FullHD resolution . Both the main monitor and the ScreenPad Plus have a very effective anti-glare matte finish but with an extremely fine grain that does not noticeably affect the definition.
An absolutely pleasant display to observe in all situations and with a maximum brightness more than enough to be viewed without too many problems even in very bright environments.
We are talking about 360cd / sqm and a contrast of about 1300: 1 which are combined with an enviable chromatic fidelity. Delta E’s are less than 3 in both grayscale and color. As we all know by now, 3 is the value below which it is not possible to notice any differences in tonality compared to what is considered the reference. Finally we have a coverage of the sRGB standard equal to 99% and very close to 65% for the Adobe RGB one.
And here we are talking about hardware and performance. This year’s ZenBook Duo 14 is Intel EVO certified and therefore features 11th generation Intel processors. In our specific case we are talking about an Intel Core i7 1165G7 , technically an Ultra-Low-Power solution but in this case developed to be able to make the most of the power thanks to a significantly higher TDP than the standard .
This chip, equipped with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics , is then joined by 32 GB of LPDDR4X RAM at 4266 MHz and a 1 TB NVMe PCIe SSD with read and write speeds above 3000 Mbps.
Opening the notebook we immediately notice how the RAM is soldered and therefore not upgradeable , while the SSD is possibly available for an upgrade. It is also clear what should be the housing for the discrete GPU (NVIDIA MX450), absent in our case.
At the same time it is easy to observe the generous heat-pipe which carries heat from the SoC to the two fans directly connected to the radiator. The fans receive the air from the side vents and expel it from the rear of the chassis and from the gap created by lifting the secondary display, for a flow that allows you to maintain acceptable temperatures in any situation.
Thanks to this dissipation system, the CPU works with a basic TDP of 28W, which can still go down when we set the energy saving or the silent mode, but can also offer peaks that can reach 45W. Definitely a big leap from the default 13W. The result is performance in line with expectations and absolutely suitable to meet the needs of the public to which this notebook refers, that is mainly that of content creators .
Obviously you don’t think you are dealing with a product that will allow you to manage special effects of who knows what kindor particularly complex 3D animations, otherwise the more expensive machines would make no sense and we could trash the desktops, but still of course this is not the case.
ASUS ZENBOOK DUO 14 (UX482) DATASHEET:
Display: 14 inch, IPS, FullHD, Touch / ScreenPad 12.6 inch, IPS, 1920×550 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i7 1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 32 GB LPDDR4X 4266 MHz
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Connectivity: Dual Band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports: USB Type A 3.2 Gen1, 2x USB C Thunderbolt 4.0, HDMI 1.4, Audio Jack, MicroSD
Battery: 70 Wh
Dimensions: 32.4 x 22.2 x 1.7 cm
Weight: 1.6 Kg
IT COST A LOT, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
And here we are to sum up, obviously starting from what is often the sore point: the price. ZenBook Duo UX482, in the configuration we tested, is offered at a list price of 1,799 euros. This is undoubtedly an important figure but which I cannot define as exaggerated, on the contrary. Considering the development and engineering costs of such a solution, the price is by no means enormous.
Don’t get me wrong, 1,800 euros are a lot in an absolute sense, and no one doubts it, but if we compare this figure to what is the competition, we are absolutely not on an out-of-scale value.
So who do I recommend this product to? And what could be the alternatives? The dual screen solution certainly winks at multitasking and therefore this ZenBook could be perfect for anyone who works with many windows open at the same time and always wants to have everything under control. The ScreenPad update brings important news to even for content creators who can also count on good computing power here.
Among the alternatives I could mention the various Acer ConceptD, MSI Prestige and MacBook Pro 13, but the reality is that, if you believe you can take advantage of the second screen, this ZenBook Duo remains unique.