The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 is a pricey workstation-graded laptop that gets the basics right and delivers the incredible in a vast offering of features and specs that are both imposing and tantalizing in equal measure.
With its 4K OLED main screen display and a secondary 4K IPS panel screen joining forces with powerful processors and 16GB of RAM, this laptop will elevate your creativity and productivity reach to greater heights especially if you’ve always wanted that awesome web design laptop,.
The inadequate battery will pose the biggest problem and its beefy build will pin it down to a desk for most of the time. But this laptop will blow you away with its power-packed performance and dazzling displays for as long as the light stays on.
Design and Appearance
It has a couple of eye-catching details, spot the brushed aluminium lid in its celestial blue-colored visage. From the pervasive finespun seams and the subtle gleams of luminance that appear to radiate from the chrome Asus logo to the mirror-like bevel of the edges, this laptop gets its looks right.
The damper is in the massive heft and size that makes the UX81 such a handful. With a weight of 5.5 pounds and a thickness of nearly 23″, this laptop will bear down wearily on your hands or in a backpack.
This laptop will hold out well in rough terrains and under harsh environmental conditions as it is MIL-STD 810G military standard certified for durability and reliability.
And when the ErgoLift hinge kicks in, it props up the keyboard deck for a better grasp of typing among other things, although the heel of the lid will inadvertently dig into your lap.
Ports and Connection
As this laptop is designed to meet the productivity needs of a variety of professionals, it gets the full complement of ports and connections that is sure to fit the bill.
On the lineup of ports are two USB-A 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and the star of the show – a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port with a whopping data transfer speed of up to 40Gbps.
Whether you are connecting to external display monitors and device peripherals or transferring very large files to and from this laptop, the chamfered edges of this laptop have got you covered.
And if you desire a smooth and snappy internet connection at all times, then the leading-edge Wi-fi 6 with Gigabit (802.11ax) is your best bet at getting the job done.
Keyboard and Input devices
As the ScreenPad slices off a sizable chunk of space from the keyboard deck, Asus makes notable improvisations and takes an unconventional approach with the layout of the input ensemble. The chiclet-style keyboard sited below the ScreenPad stretches almost entirely across the breadth of the deck. The keys are solid and sizable with decent travel and springy feedback, along with a firmness that seems to bounce out against the keystroke.
The topmost row of keys features the function keys and its host of custom-built provisions with keys that can control the fan speeds and provide shortcuts to specialized Asus apps and programs among other things. To the far right of this top row is a key that will switch on or switch off the Numpad (more on that in a bit).
The touchpad is sited at the far right corner near the bottom of the keyboard deck. It sports an inverted rectangular footprint that stretches across five rows of keys in the keyboard.
At the click of a button, the Numpad comes out of the blues to make an appearance on the touchpad. The individual keys are highlighted in a grid of blue backlight that gives it the look of a game of noughts and crosses.
Once you get used to this unusual design, you’ll probably have noticed that this touchpad is satiny-smooth and super-responsive, especially with the windows gesture support to boot.
Then there is a stylus with which you can make vivid impressions on the screens through sketches and writings or by engaging in light graphic editing.
And for lack of sufficient space, this laptop ships with an external detachable wrist rest that may be a bit unwieldy when the laptop is placed on the laps.
As soon as the Harman Kardon branded side-mounted speakers get down to business, it becomes fairly obvious that they do not pack in the punches to strike the right chord with the listening audience.
Songs played with this laptop will be anything but resounding, but they will mostly turn out without distortion at any volume.
The sounds that roll out get a decent fill of bass, although they are a little bit short on volume.
Then there is an integrated mic array that accurately picks up your voice commands for prompt execution by Amazons’ Alexa software. A small light bar is sited at this laptops’ front lip to serve as an indicator for all your interactions with the audio recognition bot.
The ZenBook Pro Duo is in a league of its own when it comes to the quality of the display that it dishes out.
Look no further than the main screen with its rich mix of 4K display on an OLED panel, in addition to a border that sports an ultraslim bezel surround for an impressive 89% screen-to-body ratio.
With this screen, the stage is set for a thoroughly immersive viewing experience, set against a backdrop of brilliant colors and vibrant shades.
The imagery and text are so vivid and crisp that they almost pop out of the screen. And with a cinema-grade, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, the 15.6″ screen is one big palette on which creative professionals can produce visually stimulating content.
And if you look further down, you’ll find the ScreenPad with its 14″ IPS touchscreen on a 4K resolution and a footprint with a 32:9 aspect ratio.
This rectangular 3,840 x 1,100-pixel display is equally generous with colors and brightness levels. And as the ErgoLift hinge props up the keyboard deck, the screen gets an enhanced field of view that will capture your eyes at every turn. On that note, the Zenbook Pro UX550GE is well worthy of a read too.
Whether you are using this laptop for work or play, you’ll be spoilt for choice between two spectacular display options, although your battery will pay the huge price for all of this brilliance.
With the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 discrete graphics card employed in this laptop, your creative horizon will expand to a place of wild imagination. Ideas will pop out of your head and roll out of your fingertips and then find expression in a 15.6″ canvas that is the perfect exhibition.
Professionals in the creative scene and gamers alike will benefit from the Ray tracing feature, alongside a copious fill of shaders and mappers in this card to create and consume contents that are packed to the rafters with sharp graphic details and impressive visuals.
Users of this laptop can edit photos and videos in high resolution and even 4k format, render images in 3D, or create stunning CAD design with a laptop without experiencing any glitch in operation.
Avid gamers will find reasonable value for money with this laptop, what with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and its 6GB of VRAM running the show behind the scenes.
This laptop will create a remarkable gaming scene, and with the Ray tracing feature to boot, the gaming experience will be elevated to dizzying heights of the immersive and ultra-realistic realm.
The latest VR or non-VR games from the AAA repository will run comfortably at decent frame rates and Full HD resolutions without a spate of lags or a blur of screen flickers. Games like the Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher are a staple of the gaming community, and this laptop serves them in a platter and at frame rates that are considered well above the required average.
The battery of this laptop is at the receiving end of the heavy power draw of powerful processors and brilliant screen panels. With two 4k display screens and a massive 8-core processor on the roster, keeping up with the massive power implications will ordinarily be a tall order that this laptop can unfortunately not scale. Disabling the screenPad or lowering the main panel’s display brightness can flatten the rundown curve up to the six-hour mark. While setting both screens to a display at half strength will ultimately send the battery into a downward spiral, with a three-hour runtime as the best case scenario offering.
The ultimate downer with this laptop is the inevitable resignation that you’ll most likely be on the lookout for a power outlet whenever you step into a room or settle down to serious computing work.
Cooling and Noise Emission
Asus deploys an army of resources to keep the heat and the noise in check, and the result is fairly impressive. The ErgoLift is the first line of defense, it provides a slight uplift that permits the entry of airflow through the litter of bottom-side vents, but there is even more.
Step in the Cool-Air express system which uses two fans and equally splits four heat pipes between the CPU and the GPU. It then throws in a fifth for good measure with a sprawling length that stretches across the chassis.
With the sizable footprint covered by this technology, the UX581 will keep its cool and quiet for the best part of its lifecycle.
And when this laptop starts to feel the heat of its powerful components, you can step up the gas and increase the speed of the fans by setting it to turbo mode at the click of a button.
Luckily for users of this laptop, the fans do not create a scene, they may throw a scare at the thick of the action but it is nothing to worry about.
The ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 is driven by a powerhouse of processor options, the standout being a 10th Generation Intel Core i9 eight-core processor.
A base configuration of this laptop comes equipped with the octa-core i7-9750H processor. Its base clock speed of 2.4GHz will take all your regular computing tasks like web browsing, video playback, and word processing to the cleaners. And when it turbo boosts, this laptop will cut through a host of intensive tasks like video transcoding and data processing without hitting a snag.
Whether you’re compiling codes and crunching data on spreadsheets or applying filters and effects on images, this laptop will urge you to keep on going.
And when you multitask with loads of open chrome tabs from search engines and YouTube live streams, along with running apps from the Microsoft Office Suite, the Pro Duo UX81 will not yield to the pressure.
The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is designed to be the center of attention in your workspace and it lives up to its billing as a workplace efficiency rig for the most part. From its striking and sturdy build to a seeming overkill of two brilliant 4K touchscreens, in addition to an octa-core processor that keeps you productive and entertained in equal measure, this laptop hits the right notes.
The touchpad will need some getting used to and the audio department can do better, but the major spoiler is with the battery.
But if you are on the lookout for a powerful laptop with dual-screen provision as a priority consideration, and you can put up with some extra pounds in cash and carriage, then the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo should be of particular interest to you.
Standing screen display size
Max Screen Resolution
3840 x 2160 Pixels
4.5 GHz core i7
16 GB DDR4
1 TB Flash Memory Solid State
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
Item model number UX581GV-XB74T
Windows 10 Pro
14.1 x 9.7 x 0.9 inches