Asus Zenbook Duo (2024) review: A fun way to boost your productivity

While Asus has tinkered with dual-screen laptops, it’s never launched a device like the Zenbook Duo (2024). (Asus)
While Asus has tinkered with dual-screen laptops, it’s never launched a device like the Zenbook Duo (2024). (Asus)


The new Asus Zenbook Duo dual-screen laptop is a multitasker’s dream but - like any other first-generation product - it’s far from perfect

Laptops have seen their fair share of innovation over the last few years. Let’s take you back to 2011 (I’m not even talking about 2009, when Lenovo built a ThinkPad W700 with a secondary screen, built into the back of the primary display) where we will talk about a brand called Acer.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (now known simply as CES), Acer came out with Iconia 6120. It combined two 14-inch displays while keeping the conventional 14-inch form factor. It had a unique dual-screen layout and multi-touch functionality. Little did we know that Acer had paved the way for the future.

Six years later, on the same show floor, it was Razer’s turn to steal the spotlight with Project Valerie. This time, the screen count was bumped to three. Wildly ambitious, and highly impractical. Dell came with its Concept Ori and Concept Duet prototypes in 2020. Dell’s Concept Duet - two full-size displays and a small, removable keyboard - is very similar to the Asus Zenbook Duo (2024), which I’ll write about in the rest of this review.

Dual-screen laptops are at that inflexion point. Are they just a gimmick, like 3D TVs/displays, or will they hold importance for the future of the laptop industry? It’s 2024 and I can safely say that dual-screen laptops have finally arrived and how. They will herald a significant shift in the laptop industry for one simple reason: as a big productivity booster.

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Imagine this: you’re at a cafe or co-working space attending an important Microsoft Teams call on your laptop. At the same time, your editor sends you back some urgent corrections that need to be made. You have one of two options. First, you can run two windows on your laptop, but then you’d not get the same experience since they’d both be hogging for screen real estate. Second, you can whip out a second device (whether an external display, a tablet, or a smartphone) and use that. This works, but it is a clunky option, and you wouldn’t always be looking directly at the camera (which will be a pain point).

That’s where dual-screen laptops (laptops with two full-screen displays) come into play. I’ve had the chance to test out the brand-new Asus Zenbook Duo. When the Zenbook Duo launched in India, everyone was shocked at the pricing. At a starting price of 1,59,990, the Zenbook Duo offers fantastic value. The top-end variant, which I reviewed, maxes out at 2,39,990. Nonetheless, it’s a good price for a laptop of this stature.

Asus has taken a leaf out of Apple’s playbook. Wait and watch, and then attack. While Asus has tinkered with dual-screen laptops, it’s never launched a device like the Zenbook Duo (2024). This laptop has a robust hinge, a physical (and removable) keyboard, and two gorgeous OLED displays.

Here’s another use case scenario. You’re a journalist with a side hustle of trading the stock market. The two screens come in handy as you can just have the chart up on screen, while you finish your article on the other screen.


The Zenbook Duo, when closed, looks like any other 14-inch laptop, with a good selection of ports. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB 3.2 Type-A, a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack and even a 3.5-mm audio jack. The laptop may be a little chunky, but it isn’t bulky, weighing 3.6 pounds and measuring 0.78 inches thick. For comparison, the brand-new Dell XPS 14 weighs 3.7 pounds and is 0.71 inches thick, with just a single display.

The magic unfolds when you look at the keyboard magnetically attached to the chassis. Pull the keyboard away and the screen real estate is doubled. The two screens are gorgeous, and they can be used in several modes.

If you’ve ever seen/used a Microsoft Surface device then the kickstand will not be new to you. The laptop kickstand here is solid and unnoticeable when closed. It allows the screens to be used as a portable dual-monitor set-up. There’s the stacked setup, with one display above the other, and this is the one I used the most. In this mode, the kickstand can be adjusted for that perfect angle. There’s also the portrait orientation (there are angled corners on the stand that make it sit flat in this mode), which is exactly like that of a book, but the design doesn’t allow for the tilt to be adjusted in this mode.

The kickstand isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than having a separate piece (and then having to remember to lug that around).

Multitasker's dream

A dual-screen laptop is a multitasker's dream, and the Zenbook Duo is the best of the lot so far. Once you’ve picked an orientation, it’s time to decide how to use the displays. You can have one window stretching from corner to corner of both displays. Or, you can have each display have a separate app/window open. You can also get a friend or colleague and collaborate with them by mirroring the display.

Let’s talk about those displays. The 14-inch OLED displays have 500 nits of brightness, rich colours (100% coverage of DCI-P3), 120Hz refresh rate, and 3K resolution (up to 2880x1880). A visual treat.

Asus has worked on its software to further the multitasking game. Moving apps or windows from one display to another is easy. Just drag and drop or use the menu, which appears at the top of each display. There’s also a floating button to open Asus’ ScreenXpert software. Open the software and you’ll see some handy shortcuts (for brightness), widgets, news and weather, etc.

The rest of the laptop offers no compromises. The keyboard connects to the laptop magnetically, is solid, and doesn’t slide around while you’re typing. Key travel is quite good, and there is a good amount of feedback from the keys. The keys themselves are large enough and there is a backlight. The keyboard comes with POGO pins at the bottom (that provide the charging power). There is a separate USB-C port on the keyboard and a Bluetooth toggle. It’s slim and sturdy enough to be used comfortably on your lap. The touchpad is fairly decent as well. It’s large enough for gestures to work well, and the clicks are firm.

Moving apps or windows from one display to another on the Zenbook Duo is easy. Just drag and drop or use the menu, which appears at the top of each display.
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Moving apps or windows from one display to another on the Zenbook Duo is easy. Just drag and drop or use the menu, which appears at the top of each display. (Asus)

Performance wise

The performance was smooth, thanks to an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H chipset. It won’t match up to your desktop, and it is not meant to. It also isn’t meant to outmuscle gaming laptops. It’s got a different target audience. For day-to-day workflow, the Zenbook Duo doesn’t struggle one bit. It enhances productivity and flies through daily tasks.

But yes, just like any product (especially a first-generation product), it is far from perfect. There are four things that I didn’t like about the Zenbook Duo.

First, battery life (on both the laptop and keyboard) is strictly average. With both screens active, I got five and a half hours on a single charge. With only one screen active, I barely got through an eight-hour workday without having the need to reach for the charger. Second, the webcam. Despite being a full-HD resolution camera, it wasn’t as clear as I was expecting it to be, especially when the light behind is harsh. It does come with an IR sensor for Windows Hello. Third, the speakers (tuned by Dolby Atmos) aren’t very good. They do get loud, but there’s a lot of noise and lack of clarity at higher volumes. Fourth, the laptop heats up. It’s even noticeable when the laptop isn’t being pushed to its limits.

Is the Asus Zenbook Duo worth the money?

The answer isn’t a simple ‘yes’. The latest of Asus’ dual-screen experimentations has finally paid off. The laptop is far from perfect but comes with hardly any compromises.

The Zenbook Duo is truly made for multitaskers. The battery life may be a tad underwhelming, and the software system needs a bit more refinement, but the dream of a portable and handy dual-screen laptop is now a full-blown reality.

Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist.

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