Asus has multiple series of laptops with different use cases, price points, designs, and hardware.
(Sign up to our Technology newsletter, Today’s Cache, for insights on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, business and policy. Click here to subscribe for free.)
The VivoBook series is aimed at the general population, with offerings for home, office, and student use.
Asus markets the ZenBook series of laptops as premium. These are upper mid-range and high-end laptops.
The ExpertBook series falls under the commercial laptop category. These are enterprise-facing laptops with a focus on productivity.
I got my hands on the Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402), which is positioned as a creator series laptop primarily targeted at content creators. Here’s a detailed review of the top end laptop in the series.
One of the best features of this product is its display. The laptop comes with two screens both having pen and touch support. The 14.5 inches 2.8K OLED primary display comes with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a brightness of upto 550 nits. It certainly offers a great immersive viewing experience.
The secondary screen named ScreenPad Plus is placed in the upper half of the keyboard and feels like an extension of the main display. Having two screens can certainly help in multitasking, doing different sets of activities in the separate screens.
One use case of this can be watching the live stream of a cricket match or listening to the live commentary on one screen while editing a photo or document on the other.
The ScreenPad Plus has a 12.7 inches IPS display with a refresh rate of 120Hz.
One of the features I liked about the design is the Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) Ultra mechanism which raises both the screens to a more ergonomic angle offering a convenient viewing experience.
It is the world’s first laptop with this kind of design.
The outer design comes with a Tech Black colour with an anti-fingerprint coating on top.
The laptop weighs 1.7 kgs and is 17.9 mm thick. It is heavier than the 2021 model weighing 1.6 kgs.
The laptop has 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI 2.1 and one USB (Type A) port, and an audio jack. The device supports both Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity.
This has to be the other top feature of this product along with the display. The Dolby Atmos support offers an immersive audio experience with clarity and better surround effects than other laptops of a similar size.
The Zenbook is powered by 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor and comes with 32 GB RAM and 1TB PCle Gen 4*4 performance SSD storage. It has Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti with studio drivers.
The device however, had some heating issues.
The secondary screen and the bottom of the laptop got heated up even during normal usage like watching videos or browsing on the internet.
I found the laptop to get heated up irrespective of the surface on which it was placed whether it is bed, wooden table, floor tile or our lap.
However, the Asus team did not look so concerned about the issue when I reached out to discuss this. They said that it is a high performance laptop and hence generates a lot of heat and this is a way of heat dissipation.
I was not convinced by this explanation as there are other high performance laptops in the market which do not get heated to such an extent like this one.
The device has a 76WHrs battery with support for 180W fast charging. One can also use either of the Thunderbolt 4 ports for charging at up to 100W via Type-C.
While doing light work, one can go to MyASUS, and customise to turn on Whisper mode for best battery life. Users can also make the device more powerful by turning on Performance mode but this drains the battery faster.
The laptop as well as the adaptor got heated everytime it was charged.
The laptop provides different options like facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, Pin and physical security key, as different ways to sign-in.
I found these options convenient and working smoothly while unlocking the system.
The device has a 5MP HD webcam with InfraRed sensor. The Tof sensor helps in presence detection and Adaptive lock that is useful to sign-in through facial recognition.
Although the laptop stands out for its excellent display, superior audio quality and the AAS ultra mechanism, the heating issue poses a big problem.