Update 2/5/2021: Edited to include Singapore pricing and availability
Asus recently announced the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 at CES 2021 to which it received high acclaim as it was named a CES Innovation Award Honouree. It is a great laptop that offers beautiful displays and an edge at rendering high-quality videos, although it does still have some flaws.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 is a revision of Asus’ previous model, the ZenBook Duo 14. Asus took the hinge design of the ROG Zephyrus and added it to the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 while keeping the laptop compact, with the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 weighing in at only 1.6 kilos.
It features two displays – the main display and the ScreenPad Plus, the display on top of the Zenbook Duo 14 UX482’s keyboard and trackpad – that both support touch and stylus inputs.
The ScreenPad Plus props up on a 7° angle that not only gives the screen a far more ergonomic and enjoyable experience compared to the flat display of the older model, it also doubles as a passageway for air to go in to cool the laptop down.
The ScreenPad Plus has a 1920 x 515 resolution and the maximum brightness can now reach around 400 Nits – an improvement on its predecessor.
Asus also took user feedback from the ZenBook Duo 14 into account and developed the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482’s Screen Expert 2 software to address them.
The new Screen Expert 2 software includes a multitasking overview that allows users to view all their open applications at once. They can also drag and drop applications to the ScreenPad Plus and vice versa.
It also has a revised app drawer that is used to pin your favourite apps on the ScreenPad Plus for quick access. Screen Expert 2 also has an improved task group function that users can customise with a number of presets.
However, one of the more impressive parts of the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 is the fully customisable control panel function. It is a fully customisable app that allows you to mix and match the four types of controls (dial, button, slider, and scroll) in the workflow however you like, almost as if you have a physical mixer in front of you.
Unfortunately, only a few Adobe apps like Premiere Pro have the ability to make full use of the control panel. However, Asus is working with developers to make more apps compatible with the control panel.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 has a 14-inch IPS Panel display that can display a full HD resolution at 400 nits brightness. It also has 100% sRGB and is Pantone Validated. The resulting display is beautiful and vibrant.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 comes with a webcam, but while it supports face recognition, its display suffers in low light environments like most webcams. However, the built-in microphone sounds decent.
One of the main flaws of the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 is its keyboard. With the ScreenPad Plus placed on top of the keyboard, the latter is pushed all the way to the edge.
This makes typing with the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482’s keyboard uncomfortable and not advisable if you’re not using it on a desk with enough space for your wrists to sit.
Asus did not provide a wrist rest like what they did with the older model this time around. Instead, they replaced the wrist rest with a laptop rest.
While the effort to make typing easier with the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482’s keyboard is appreciated, the laptop rest probably wouldn’t see much use amongst users.
The trackpad, which is located to the right of the keyboard, is small but performs well.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482’s speaker has seen vast improvements over their predecessor. Thanks to its Harman Kardon speakers, the resulting audio is clear and powerful at max volume.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 has an HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C on its left side, while it has a microSD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone-mic combo jack and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port on its right side.
Now, in terms of specs, the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 we reviewed came along with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 32GB of RAM and 1TB NVMe SSD. Using the Cinebench R20 benchmark, the 28W variant of the 11th-Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 managed to score 2016 for the multi-thread run and 540 for the single-thread, while maintaining a clock speed of 3.4GHz and 4.6GHz respectively.
When running DaVinci Resolve, the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 can render a 10-minute video at 1080p in 20 mins flat, while a 15-minute 4K video can be rendered in almost 40 minutes.
This is slightly faster and better than the Lenovo Ideapad Slim 7 which was equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U processor.
Overheating is not a problem with the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482. The temperature within the laptop hovers at around 60°C on creative workloads, while the temperature rests between 70°C and 80°C when gaming.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 offers a pleasant entry-level gaming experience; it can run Devil May Cry 5 with the graphics set to high at 48 FPS, while it can run Shadow of The Tomb Raider with the graphics set to low at 31 FPS.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 was also awarded the US Military’s seal of approval after it went through the MIL-STD 810H test that includes extended tests for operation in harsh environments that push the laptop to its limits.
Overall, the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 is a solid laptop. The ScreenPad Plus is well implemented and comes with useful software that would definitely benefit most creative users.
The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 (S$2,598) is now available at the Asus Exclusive Store, Asus Online Store and authorised retailers.
Content by Soon Kai Hong, written by John Paul Joaquin