Asus has doubled down on its use of ScreenPad, the 5.5-inch 1,920x1,080 display that is able to function as either a secondary display or as a touchpad, by taking it to other models in its line up, and in the case of the Zenbook Duo, making a new Plus-sized version.
For the ZenBook Pro Duo UX581, Asus has installed a traditional 15.6-inch 3840x2160 OLED display, and coupled it with a 4k-capable 14-inch 3840x1100 display dubbed ScreenPad Plus. On the silicon side, the ZenBook Pro Duo has a 9th Generation Intel Core processor, up to 32GB of memory, and uses an nVidia GeForce RTX 2060 to power its graphics.
Asus said the plus-sized ScreenPad would allow for "productivity-enhancing workflows and easy multitasking".
The company also announced at Computex on Monday evening the ZenBook Duo UX481, which has a 14-inch 1920x1080 display, a 12.6-inch 1920x1080 ScreenPad Plus, and uses Nvidia GeForce MX250 discrete graphics.
The regular ScreenPad is also set to appear in the ZenBook 13, 14, and 15 models, ZenBook Flip 15, and the VivoBook S14 and S15.
Not to miss out on the display craze, Asus also unveiled a prototype called the Prime Utopia that contains a 7-inch OLED touch panel, as well as new placements for PCIe slots and integrated water cooling for heat management.
"The panel can be connected via cable or Wi-Fi, enabling flexible placement directly on the desktop for users to modify BIOS settings, control fan speeds, turn the system on or off, or monitor real-time system stats," Asus said in a statement.
With a pair of 2-inch LiveDash OLED displays, the Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard supports Intel Core X-series chips and contains a built-in 5G chip.
"A second LiveDash display is included in the new Smart Control Console, an external module that connects via USB and comes with a stand that sits neatly on top of typical monitors," Asus said.
"In addition to displaying system information, Smart Control Console offers convenient voice and hand-gesture control."
In March, Kaspersky Labs found that Asus' Live Update software was used for a supply chain attack by a nation state that dropped a backdoored version of the software on up to one million Windows PCs.
The company is currently only three years into a 20 year audit by the United States Federal Trade Commission for failing to secure its consumer routers in 2016.
This slim-bezel ultrabook benefits from a clever screen hinge, a separate number pad and decent battery life, but the screen and keyboard could be better, while the USB 2.0 ports need upgrading.
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX580GD is big and heavy, and battery life isn't great. But the screen is superb, and there's plenty of CPU and GPU power on offer. The ScreenPad could be a winner, but Asus needs to refine the concept.
Without being the greatest laptop ever seen, Asus gets points for trying something new in ScreenPad. Hopefully it sticks with it.
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