It’s a big day in the mobile-computing world. Intel has unveiled its new H-series chips, Nvidia has announced its RTX Super GPU lineup for mobile devices, and just about every major laptop manufacturer is introducing new laptops incorporating that hardware. But Asus is releasing something unlike anything else that’s hitting shelves today: the Zephyrus Duo 15.
Asus says that this is the first dual-screen laptop branded specifically for gaming. It’s technically correct, although it discounts past dual-screen laptops — like the company’s own Zenbook Pro Duo and Zenbook Duo — that were fairly competent gaming machines, too.
Here’s how the new laptop works. Like Asus’ past dual-screen laptops, there’s one screen (the main 15.6-inch one) which can be either a 4K 60Hz panel or a 1920 X 1080p 300Hz panel. The former is geared toward content creators (Asus says it covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color space); the latter will appeal more to gamers.
Then, there’s a second display built into the upper half of the keyboard deck. This one is a 14.1-inch 60Hz touchscreen with 3840 x 1100 resolution. The screen’s top edge lifts off the deck to prop it up at a 13-degree angle, so both displays should be comfortably in your field of view while you’re using the laptop. (The opening underneath also allows the laptop’s fans to draw air in from above, which will help out with airflow, according to Asus).
It’s easy to see the use cases here: you could have Twitch open on the bottom display while you stream or have Discord open on one screen and your game in another if you’re playing with friends. Personally, I am very excited to keep a list of all the Civ V leaders and their respective bonuses handy on the bottom panel so I can stop having to tab out to look them up.
You could also use the secondary screen for easy access to in-game overlays. Asus says it has partnered with developers to create content with special interfaces and controls suited to the dual-screen setup, and has partnered with Adobe for special content-creation tools as well. It’s apparently working with Techland on optimizing Dying Light 2 and has created apps with Overwolf for League of Legends, Fortnite, and CS:GO. (Of course, I don’t expect we’ll see a ton of these extra programs in the near future, since only a few laptops can make use of them right now).
Regarding configurations, the Duo 15 has a 90Wh battery and charges via a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3. The most expensive model will include the 4K screen, a Core i9-10980HK, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage (RAID), and an RTX 2080 Super. You’ll be able to buy that one June 1st for $3,699.99. There are also two configurations with the 300Hz screen coming June 29th. The $3,499 build also includes a Core i9-10980HK and an RTX 2080 Super, but has 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage (PCIe). And the $2,999 option includes a Core i7-10875H, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage (RAID), and an RTX 2070 Super.
The Duo 15 headlines a full new gaming lineup from Asus that uses Intel’s new H-series chips and Nvidia’s RTX Super GPUs. The company has refreshed some of its gaming models: there’s a new Zephyrus S17, Zephyrus S15, and Zephyrus M15. And it’s made additions to its ROG Strix Scar esports lineup: look out for a new ROG Strix Scar 15 and 17, as well as a new ROG Strix G15 and G17. These will be available in North America throughout Q2 and Q3.