The ASUS company has been developing an unusual line of laptops for several years, the latest addition of which was the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) model, which has not one, but two screens at once. The main one is 14.5 inches and the secondary one is 12.7 inches. The main idea of such a device is to give the user more space for work and creativity but to keep a relatively compact body. To what extent the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED copes with this, I will tell you in this review.
Specifications of Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED
|Main display||OLED, 14.5”, resolution 2880×1800 pixels, aspect ratio 16:10, frequency 120 Hz|
|Extra screen||ScreenPad Plus 12.7″, IPS, 2880×864 dots, frequency 120 Hz|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900H|
|RAM||32 GB LPDDR5|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4 GB|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 4 connectors (with DisplayPort and Power Delivery), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1 TMDS, microSD slot, 3.5 mm audio jack|
|Wireless modules||Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||Full HD camera|
|Audio||Harman Kardon speaker system|
|Keyboard||Island type keys with backlight and 1.4 mm travel|
|Battery and charging||76 Wh, 180 W PSU|
|Sizes||32.35×22.47×1.79 ~ 1.96 cm|
|Estimated price||129,999 UAH|
Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED belongs to premium ASUS laptops, so the equipment includes more than that of ordinary models.
In addition to the 180 W power supply, the user also receives a nice fabric cover with eco-leather inserts, as well as the ASUS Pen 2.0.
Design and materials
When closed, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is difficult to distinguish from ordinary ASUS laptops. You get an all-metal body, a screen cover with the manufacturer’s traditional concentric circles diverging from its logo.
The last one, by the way, has already been updated and reminds me of the Starfleet logo from the Star Trek series and movies. In general, it looks fresher and slightly dilutes the rather strict design of the case.
A real wow effect awaits the user when they open the laptop because he sees not one, but two screens at once. The main one has a diagonal of 14.5 inches, and immediately below it rises the 12.7-inch ScreenPad Plus – an additional touch display with a matte coating.
Such an interesting design has led to the fact that the keyboard is moved closer to the user, and the touchpad is located on the right side, so the design is not universal, it will not quite suit left-handed people. Although ScreenPad Plus can be switched to touchpad mode and this partially solves the problem.
I will immediately note that despite the relatively compact body (32.35×22.47×1.79 ~ 1.96 cm) and the weight of 1.75 kg, the design of the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED to a greater extent encourages working at a desk, rather than moving the laptop around the room, putting it on your lap. This is related to the location of the keyboard, so it is not that it is completely impossible to work with it in this mode, you get used to everything over time, but it is still more convenient at the desk.
Overall, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED has a very futuristic look, I recently started watching the fantastic Amazon series Peripheral and in one of the episodes the main character used a version of this model. Considering the fact that the events in the series develop in the future, the laptop fit perfectly into this environment.
In the opinion that the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is still a more “desktop” device, the location of the ports also suggests, some of them are placed on the back of the case – this is a standard connector for the ASUS charger and HDMI 2.1 TMDS, in addition, you can find a microSD Express 7.1 card reader right here.
Ports that the user will probably use more often are located on the side faces. On the left you’ll find a 3.5mm combo audio jack, while on the right you’ll find two Thunderbolt 4 with support for video output and power, as well as one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A.
In general, this number of ports is enough to connect the necessary peripherals, and their location can be called successful, because the power cable does not interfere, and you can connect the monitor via HDMI, hiding the wire behind the laptop case .
Displays and pens
The main 14.5-inch display in the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED, as you can guess from the name, has an OLED panel. It received an aspect ratio of 16:10, which is convenient for working with the web and documents, a high resolution of 2880×1800 points (2.8K), a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a response time of 0.2 ms, a maximum brightness of 550 cd/m², HDR support and coverage 100% DCI-P3 color space. In addition, the display has PANTONE Validated certification and a separate color sensor that allows you to adjust the image to the ambient light.
Overall, this is one of the best screens I’ve seen in a laptop, with rich color reproduction, deep blacks and wide viewing angles. If you are worried about the durability of the OLED matrix, then, firstly, modern screens of this type have become much more durable, and secondly, the manufacturer has built into its proprietary utility MyASUS several options that allow you to protect pixels from constantly displaying static elements of the Windows interface. The software imperceptibly to the user periodically shifts the pixels, makes the taskbar more transparent, and turns on a special screen saver when the user is away from the computer to drive the pixels.
We have dealt with the main screen, let’s move on to the additional one. This is a 12.7-inch ScreenPad Plus with an IPS matrix, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a resolution of 2880×864 pixels, and a brightness of 500 cd/m². Unlike previous versions of Zenbook Pro 14 Duo, in the updated model, the ScreenPad Plus mechanism has been redesigned and the additional display rises higher when the main screen cover is opened, making it more convenient to work with. In addition, the ScreenPad Plus has a matte finish that copes well even with direct bright light. I worked all the time with the laptop at the desk with the overhead lamp on, shining directly on the additional screen, and it did not interfere with using it in any way.
It is worth adding that both displays are touch-sensitive and support the ASUS Pen 2.0 stylus that comes with the laptop. The pen is automatically recognized by Windows 11 and has 4096 degrees of sensitivity, as well as interchangeable tips that simulate different degrees of hardness (2H, H, HB, B), just like real pencils for drawing.
ASUS Pen 2.0 has a built-in battery and a USB Type-C port for charging. It takes 30 minutes to fully charge the pen’s battery, but it lasts for over 140 hours of use.
How to use a second screen?
Basically ScreenPad Plus is designed to show additional information. My most frequent scenario is to open the specs of a device like this laptop when I’m writing a review of it. For those working in Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, After Effects and Premier Pro, ASUS has created an entire dedicated ProArt Creator Hub panel that contains sliders and a variety ofno keys to which you can assign actions in these programs. In this way, ScreenPad Plus turns from an additional screen into an additional control panel.
It is a pity that such a function is not yet universal and works only with Adobe programs. I would really like to be able to use ProArt Creator Hub with other applications, such as Affinity Photo, which I use to edit photos for reviews.
In general, ScreenPad Plus has quite a lot of operating modes, you can place separate application windows in it, you can combine both displays into one, use only one of them, and also quickly switch between them thanks to a separate function key located directly above the touchpad.
At the end of this section, it is worth noting that the concept of a laptop with two screens as in the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is not only suitable for those users who work with illustrations, graphics or videos. Of course, first of all, this is a tool for professionals, who buy it not because of its futuristic appearance. However, in general, such models can be useful for those who do not have space to use a laptop with a monitor, in such a situation ScreenPad Plus really saves a lot.
Platform and speed
Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED uses the Intel platform, in the test version it was a CPU Intel Core i9-12900H with a frequency of 2.5 GHz (5 GHz maximum), 6 P-cores and 8 E-cores, as well as 24 MB cache.
In addition, I got the maximum configuration with 32 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a 2 TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 drive made by Samsung.
Graphic processing in this configuration is handled by a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GDDR6 4 GB graphics card, in addition, there is built-in Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which the laptop switches to when running on battery power.< /p>
As you can expect from a model with such characteristics, Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED provides high performance both in everyday tasks and when working with photos, graphics, or videos. This is confirmed both by real use and synthetic tests. In PCMark 10, the laptop scores more than 6800 points, not much less than, for example, the gaming Zephyrus G14.
This is, of course, when working from the mains, if working from a battery, the performance of the system largely depends on the power setting.
In Standard mode, the laptop tries to balance between performance and power consumption, so it cuts performance almost in half. Switching to Performance Mode will increase the speed of the system, but will sacrifice battery life. So here you have to choose carefully.
In addition, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED received a fast drive that provides a reading speed of 6985 MB/s and a writing speed of 5111 MB/s.
Discrete graphics card GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4 GB allows you to comfortably work with photo processing, illustrations or video editing, and is even suitable for a break for games in Full HD with medium or high graphics settings, depending on how new the game is. However, in general, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is not a gaming laptop, and the additional screen is not used in any way.
Other platform features include Bluetooth 5.2 module and the latest Wi-Fi 6E, which gives a certain margin of speed for wireless networks.
Heating and stable operation
The notebook has an active cooling system with two IceBlade fans, each with 97 relief blades. The very design of the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED gave ASUS the opportunity to implement a better cooling system, because the ScreenPad Plus rises to create additional holes for the removal of hot air.
The AIDA64 system stability test showed that throttling appears only in the first two minutes of full system load, when the fans spin up it disappears. The average temperature of the processor does not exceed 76 degrees Celsius. And this is during the normal operation of the cooling system.
If you switch to the Performance mode, which increases the speed of the coolers, the processor temperature will be even lower – 73.4 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the noise from the operation of the fans becomes clearly audible, but not so much as to cause discomfort.
The cooling system of the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED almost does not turn on in the usual mode of operation with the browser, e-mail and messengers.
Security and unlocking
The laptop allows you to ensure data security thanks to the Windows Hello facial recognition system, which works on the basis of a built-in camera and an infrared sensor. As in other ASUS models, unlocking works very quickly and allows you to enter Windows without a password.
Keyboard and touchpad
The laptop received an island-type keyboard, which is moved closer to the front edge of the case, which is not very convenient to use if you put the device on your lap. However, it is possible to adapt to such use, although it will take a long time. This will be helped by the fact that typing on the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED keyboard is a pleasure. The keys here have a concave shape of 0.2 mm, and a stroke of 1.4 mm, and are pressed with a pleasant quiet click.
At first it seemed to me that the lack of ergonomic keyboard tilt and its location would make typing large texts uncomfortable. But I printed this entire review on it and it was very nice.
But I never got used to the ErgoSense touchpad, maybe if it was the only way to use the cursor in Windows, I would have to adapt faster, but I often connected the wireless mouse to a laptop. At the same time, I can’t say anything bad about the touchpad itself, except for its not very universal location. The touch panel, although small, is very accurate and sensitive, which allows you to comfortably move the cursor and control the interface. Add here a hydrophobic coating, which creates the impression that the finger is sliding on a silky surface. That is, everything is pleasant but very unusual.
The additional ScreenPad Plus screen can also be turned into a giant touchpad and it is even quite comfortable to work with it in this mode. But I didn’t really understand the logic in which if you turn off the touchpad, the ScreenPad Plus also stops responding to touches. It turns out that one does not work without the other. However, it seemed to me that it should be the other way around because if you are right-handed and work with an additional display in touchpad mode, it is very easy to accidentally touch the touchpad itself. I hope this will be fixed in future system updates.
The built-in webcam of the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED has a Full HD resolution, which made it possible to slightly improve the image quality during video calls.
However, a lot of it mainly depends on the lighting, although ASUS tried to improve this software by adding an effect to the webcam that simulates more light in the frame.
In addition to it, you can also blur the background, adjust the gaze, and track body movements.
Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED has a very interesting audio system. First, it’s very loud, it’s probably one of the loudest laptops on the market right now. Secondly, the volume is really fantastic, it seems that the sound is coming from all sides of the case. There would be even more powerful bass here, it would be perfect.
ASUS says it uses a separate intelligent sound amplifier, and it seems to be true. The laptop sounds really cool for such a format. That is, you can not only watch series or movies but also turn on your favorite music.
Of course, the entire audio system is Harman Kardon certified and supports Dolby Atmos technology.
The laptop received a 4-cell lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 76 Wh, which is not a record, but in general it is not bad for such a compact model. At the same time, battery life depends on several factors, one of which is the use of an additional screen. In the PCMark 10 test with ScreenPad Plus on, the brightness of 200 cd/m² and Standard system performance level, the laptop lasted a little more than 5 hours.
Disabling ScreenPad Plus with the same conditions added almost 1.5 hours of operation.
The Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is charged from a 180W power supply via ASUS’ own connector, but it is also possible to use USB Type-C charging thanks to Power Delivery support.
However, such a charger is not included in the package and will have to be purchased separately.