This is the 2018 Zenbook Pro, the Laptop with 2 Screens, and this is a device that gets updated pretty regularly by Asus, like every year. The ZenBook Pro 2018, There’s some kind of iterative change to this thing, Laptop with two Screens, but this year in 2018. They brought something that was well, I think this is the first true innovative laptop technology, that I’ve seen in quite a while so every year. Laptop with 2 Screens
Pricing and availability aren’t yet known, though Asus also showed off a slightly smaller, 14-inch version. It doesn’t have the high-end options of its sibling, as it maxes out with an i7-powered, FHD display laptop with a Max Q GeForce 1050 GPU — though that’ll be far more than most people need. Laptop with 2 Screens
Asus has worked with Microsoft to develop Office integrations for the ScreenPad, so you get access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint shortcuts and adjustments on it. The pad can also function as a neat music and video playback controller, and Asus says it will support Spotify controls with it. The ZenBook Pro’s maker is going to release a ScreenPad developer kit and is maintaining a website where all the compatible apps are listed, the majority of which will be found on the Windows Store. Knowing Asus’ poor track record with developing software and the Windows Store’s dire lack of popularity, I’m not brimming with confidence that this initiative will flourish, but I give Asus credit for trying.
Razer became one of the stars of CES when it showed off Project Linda, a laptop that simultaneously integrated the Razer Phone ($599.99 at Amazon.com) as a touchscreen and trackpad. But that was just a concept.
Well, Asus is stealing Razer’s thunder here — because its new ZenBook Pro line is basically that.
The new ZenBook Pro 2018 with 2 Screens range, unveiled Tuesday at Taipei’s Computex convention, features what the company calls a ScreenPad. Press F6 and the laptop’s touchscreen will transform into a 5.5-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution touchscreen.
It’s kind of like the new MacBook Pro’s ($1,999.99 at Best Buy) touchbar. Except it’s below the keyboard instead of above, it’s square-shaped and you can watch YouTube on it. So, I guess, nothing like the MacBook Pro’s touchpad.
The smaller 14-inch ZenBook Pro has one of Asus’ ErgoLift hinges, the purpose of which is solely to elevate the keyboard for a more natural typing posture. I can’t say how much of a benefit that is in long-term use, though I don’t see Asus sacrificing any other design element for it, so I’m fine with its inclusion. Given my preference for smaller laptops, I did find the 14-inch ZenBook Pro the much more appealing of the two. In terms of specs, it has a lower ceiling than its larger sibling, maxing out with a Core i7 CPU, a GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q, USB-C ports without Thunderbolt 3, and an IR camera for Windows Hello instead of the fingerprint sensor of the Pro 15
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The ScreenPad can run a suite of Asus-created tools, like Music Player, Calculator and NumKey pad. It’ll also launch with Microsoft Office compatibility, with apps like Word and PowerPoint able to work alongside the ScreenPad. Asus said that browser extensions will be available too, like one for Chrome that turns the ScreenPad into a YouTube screen.
While testing the ScreenPad as a music controller, I was wowed by the quality of the speakers on the larger ZenBook Pro. Asus has built an audio system that produces loud, rich sound with none of the tinniness and feebleness of typical laptop speakers. The 2016 MacBook Pro that I use has very good speakers, but the ZenBook Pro is markedly better. The improvement is so obvious that I can be sure of it even after only a brief listen.