New Delhi, June 23, 2020.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 comes sporting a 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixel, 60Hz refresh rate, 16:9 IPS LCD display – and thanks to some thin left, top, and right bezels it really looks the part. You can opt for a 1920 x 1080 pixel, 300Hz refresh rate panel instead, if you value speed over refresh rate (which leaves you with the odd configuration of having the 14.1-inch, 3840 x 1100 pixel secondary screen running at a higher resolution than the laptop’s main display).
There’s no doubt that this is a gaming laptop that can turn heads, thanks to that secondary screen but also because of the understated, sleek grey casing, and those multicoloured chiclet key backlights (with a satisfying 1.4 mm travel distance). As far as connectivity goes, you’ve got 1 x USB-C port (supporting DisplayPort 1.4, Thunderbolt 3 and Power Delivery), 2 x USB-A ports, and 1 x HDMI port. Overall, we’d say it’s a winner in the design department, as Asus ROG laptops often are.
While the looks get top marks though, we’re not sure quite how practical they are. The secondary screen is a nice idea (and hides the cooling system rather well), but even in situations where it can in theory come in handy – to keep a chat window open while gaming, for example – it feels as though it would be a distraction more than anything else. In Windows, it acts just like a second monitor, so you can drag open programs down into it; but you might just be better off buying a second monitor.
The presence of the huge second screen and chassis cooling solution means the keyboard can feel rather cramped (although the keys themselves are a decent size), and the trackpad gets shifted out to the right. The trackpad is usable enough – it’s actually rather good in terms of sensitivity and responsiveness – but it’s small and awkwardly placed, and you’re probably going to want to add a gaming mouse to the mix most of the time.
Asus ROG an eight-core Intel Core i9-10980HK processor plus an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics chip, both overclocked and optimised by Asus – you can buy a slightly less powerful variant as well, but this is the top of the line. Unsurprisingly, it’s a brute in the performance department, handling every game we tried without a hitch – GTA V in 4K at 60 fps was managed without a single stutter that we could see..
In the 3DMark Time Strike benchmark, the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 again produced silky-smooth graphics: it hit 7,708 in the benchmark, slap bang in the middle of the average scores for “gaming laptop” (5,730) and “gaming PC” (9,216) in the 3DMark database. Under heavy load though, this laptop does run rather hot and loud – not so bad that it feels like the laptop is about to break apart, but certainly enough for you to notice it. Most of the heat flows out of the sides and underneath of the laptop with a good pair of headphones you can largely forget about it.