In an aim to target creators and pro users, Asus will launch two dual-screen Windows 10 laptops in India in October. The new premium notebooks – ZenBook Pro Duo and ZenBook Duo – have new designs that add a secondary screen over a keyboard. Both notebooks were first introduced at Computex trade show earlier this year.
Speaking to indianexpress.com over a phone call from Taipei, Jonas Chen, Country Product Manager, Consumer Notebook, Asus India, said the idea behind a dual-screen laptop is to solve productivity issues with two screens. He says the company is trying to differentiate the experience with a dual-screen laptop which you normally won’t get on a regular laptop.
Chen says the thought behind creating the ZenBook Pro Duo came when the company launched the ZenBook Pro last year, a laptop featuring a small phone-sized display where the touchpad would usually be. To improve the laptop’s multitasking capabilities, the 5.5-inch ScreenPad acts as a secondary screen for basic things like messaging or apps like music and video.
While Chen admits the first-generation ScreenPad was not perfect, the team persisted with the idea of creating a premium notebook with a secondary display. This time around, the designers wanted to experiment with an even bigger screen. After a number of internal discussions, Asus settled with the existing design of the ZenBook Pro Duo, which has a spacious screen built into the keyboard deck. That display is large enough to be used as a secondary monitor to run multiple apps.
The 14-inch 4K secondary screen on the ZenBook Pro Duo, dubbed the ScreenPad Plus, makes a lot of sense for heavy multitaskers and creative users who need more screen real estate for multiple applications. For instance, a video editor can use the ScreenPad Plus for colour grading while processing edits in their timeline on the main screen. Even regular users can utilise the secondary screen to take notes or watch a video.
The ZenBook Pro Duo is the top-of-the-line notebook and will be targeted at gamers, creators or anyone who wants a high-performance laptop with two screens. It has a regular 15-inch 4K OLED screen and is powered by an Intel Core i9 eight-core CPU and Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU.
There will be a non “pro” version as well, called the ZenBook Duo. The notebook features a 14-inch full HD display with a secondary 12.6-inch ScreenPad Plus, Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. In comparison to the flagship “Pro” version, the ZenBook Duo is smaller and lighter.
Both laptops won’t come cheap when they hit retail shelves, which isn’t much of a surprise given how ambitious the devices are. “Although the market for such laptops is niche, we are at least proving end-users with this kind of solution,” Chen said. However, it is not yet clear whether these dual-screen laptops will appeal to the core audience.
Chen agrees that laptops haven’t changed much from the design point of view. But even though they are much more capable, the basic form factor remains the same. According to Chen, the ZenBook Pro Duo pushes laptop design to a new level, thanks to a second screen. Taiwanese PC major Asus is among the several companies that are working on new-age dual-screen laptops, along with HP and Intel.
For Asus, though, the ZenBook Pro Duo is not a one-off experiment. Chen says the company is internally working on “different variations” of multiple screens, though he did not reveal how the new products will be different from the existing dual-screen laptops in terms of design and functionality.
Chen did not say anything on if Asus was working on a foldable laptop concept. But he seemed open to the idea. “Of course, that is possible. But it is not unveiled yet… we are still working on it. I cannot say the [device] will have multiple screens or not. We are developing all kinds of possibilities… dual-screens, multiple-screens and so on,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines