ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL is designed for creative users and those who are looking for a modern laptop with two screens that are not available to competitors.
ASUS is currently one of the pioneers in the production of dual-screen laptops. It all started with the ZenBook Pro UX580, which was the first with a built-in additional ScreenPad screen. Last year, some VivoBook and ZenBook UX434 models also received the second generation of screen panels, which had higher resolution and were more creative. ASUS also went even further and introduced the ZenBook Pro Duo models in 14.1 ″ and 15.6 ″ sizes. These devices are also characterized by the presence of two screens, although the additional panel is not integrated with the touch panel. Instead, the keyboard position was changed, and all the free space above the keyboard was used to create a second screen called ScreenPad Plus, which actually increases the working area from the main matrix. For a 15.6-inch laptop, this is an OLED + LCD connection, while the 14.1-inch model has two LCD screens.
ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL Content
- What is interesting ASUS ZenBook UX481FL
- Design: you can’t confuse it with anyone
- High-quality display, i.e. two displays
- Sufficient performance
- What about the cooling system and the noise?
- Do not be afraid for laptop autonomy
- Should I buy the ASUS ZenBook UX481FL?
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In this review, I’ll just talk about the “younger”, 14-inch, version of the ZenBook Duo UX481FL miracle laptop. But in the beginning the specification of this device.
ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL Specifications
|Display resolution:||1920 × 1080|
|CPU:||Intel Core i7-10510U (1.8 – 4.9 GHz)|
|Number of Cores:||4 cores|
|RAM Type:||DDR3 – 2133 MHz|
|Type of video card:||Discrete|
|Video Card:||nVidia GeForce MX250|
|Video Memory Capacity:||2 GB|
|Video Memory Type:||Gddr5|
|SSD drive:||1 TB|
|Optical drive:||No drive|
|Operating system:||Windows 10 Home|
|Wireless Technology:|| Wi-Fi 802.11ax
|Ports and Connectors:|| 1 × USB 3.0
1 × USB 3.1
1 × USB Type-C
1 × HDMI
Combo audio jack
|Audio and multimedia features:||Built-in speakers and microphone|
|Webcam Resolution:||HD webcam|
|Accumulator battery:|| 4 cells
|Keyboard Language:||English Russian|
|Keyboard Backlight:||there is|
|Dimensions:||323 × 223 × 19.9 mm|
What is interesting ASUS ZenBook UX481FL
Of course, we are dealing with a new device, so we can expect from it the use of components that can easily cope with the most important design programs. As you can see from the table above, the ZenBook Duo is an ultra-mobile device, so it will provide comfortable work not only at the table but also on the go.
ZenBook is unique compared to other devices, as it has two screens. However, we do not see something similar to what we saw in the ZenBook UX580 Pro, which has a relatively small 5.5-inch second matrix. The second panel (IPS) occupies the entire width of the palm rest, located above the keyboard. On the one hand, the main screen has worse parameters than the 15-inch ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL. On the other hand, during use, we did not notice the difference between the main and secondary screens.
The laptop is equipped with the latest 4-core and 8-thread Intel Core i7-10510U processors, belonging to the Intel Comet Lake-U family and included in the tenth generation processors. Inside the ZenBook UX481FL there is a special NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics chip. The card is equipped with 2048 MB of GDDR5 video memory on a 64-bit bus. This gives a bandwidth of 48.1 GB / s.
The hero of our review boasts 16 GB of RAM standard LPDDR3, operating at a frequency of 2133 MHz. It is worth noting that configurations equipped with 8 GB or 16 GB will appear on the market. This volume is quite enough, but it is unfortunate that we can not buy models with 32 GB. I am sure that such a volume of RAM is better suited for the most demanding programs.
Finally, it is worth noting that each laptop model uses a very fast M.2 PCIe SSD drive. It provides significant acceleration of the operating system compared to hard drives or solid state drives supporting the old SATA III interface. Available with 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB drives. So there will be plenty to choose from. In my case, I used a Samsung PM981 M.2 SSD with 1 TB.
In other words, in my hands was a modern, very effective laptop in the maximum configuration, equipped with two touch screens.
Design: you can’t confuse it with anyone
ASUS ZenBook comes in an elegant package that provides basic information about the specifications of the device. The package of new items from ASUS consists of the laptop itself, a 65 W power supply and a power cable. Unfortunately, in my test configuration there was no special stylus for controlling the screen and a cover for the equipment, but in commercial copies there will be the whole kit.
The device is slightly different from the counterparts of the ZenBook series, if you look at the design itself. First of all, on the external cover, the ASUS logo is shifted slightly to the right, as in the ROG Strix / Zephyrus gaming models or the ASUS VivoBook multimedia.
The keyboard is also moved to the front of the device to accommodate an additional 12.6-inch screen above it. Still, the characteristic ErgoLift hinge remains,
which, when the hinged lid is opened, raises the rest of the body by an angle of about 10 °, thereby slightly improving ergonomics. The design itself is very simple, I especially like the look of the top. The laptop looks very durable, but surprisingly light and visually very elegant.
I also have no complaints about workmanship. The case is mainly made of aluminum, although the outer cover is additionally coated with a layer of magnesium, which makes it even more durable. The area of the palm rest is quite rigid, and even with a higher pressure, bending of the material was not observed. The fit of the individual elements of the case is very good, and overall makes an excellent visual impression. Thanks to the use of the ErgoLift type hinge, the maximum angle of inclination of the lid with the screen is not very large and is about 130 °.
As I mentioned, the keyboard in the ZenBook 14 was shifted forward, which is a real sensation among ultrabooks. So far, we have found such a solution in only a few gaming laptops. However, it is necessary to slightly move the laptop away from the edge of the table, otherwise it will be very inconvenient to use it.
Here we are dealing with scissor switches, but the keyboard itself does not have a numeric part. The height of the keys is quite large (the keys themselves seem a little stiff), with a characteristic click and a distinctly noticeable response. Printing on it is very convenient, more convenient than on many other ultrabooks. The only problem is bias. The three-level backlight of the white keyboard is not forgotten either. The solution works well when typing in the evenings.
Thanks to the design of the device, in which the keyboard was thrown onto the front of the laptop, the touchpad shifted to the right.
Therefore, the touchpad is small, and although it is convenient to use, the small surface and unusual location mean that its use will be the last resort if we do not have a mouse.
One of the most important “features” of the new ASUS ZenBook 14 Pro Duo is the use of a second LCD screen called ScreenPad Plus. This is a significant improvement over ScreenPad 2.0 screens, which we can now find on some VivoBook and ZenBook models, where the screen is integrated with a touch panel. But we’ll talk about her a little later.
ZenBook is equipped with two powerful speakers located in front of the device, one on the left and on the right, and allows you to enjoy really good sound quality, including at maximum volume. The sound is clear, sometimes with lower tones. The volume and clarity of the sound is above average. Such an ultrabook can easily cope with a party or watching a movie.
The installed set of communication ports looks pretty good, although I have to admit that for the price you have to pay for a laptop, I would be grateful for adding a full Thunderbolt 3 port. On the left side of the device were the following connectors: power port, full HDMI 2.0, one USB 3.1 type A Gen.2 (10 Gb / s) and USB 3.1 type C Gen.2.
On the right, we can also find one USB 3.1 Type A Gen.1 connector, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a microSD card reader. I have no objection to the location of individual ports – everything seems to be well thought out and well located. It is a pity that they did not implement the full Thunderbolt 3 port.
High-quality display, i.e. two displays
ZenBook 14 is equipped with the N140HCE-EN2 matrix manufactured by Innolux. The panel has a diagonal of 14.1 ″ and a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. The matrix uses IPS technology, due to which the viewing angles are wide. The panel has a fairly acceptable brightness of up to 300 nits.
In this case, sRGB color is excellently reproduced. We are dealing with a high-end IPS matrix. Below we present test results for checking brightness, white temperature, matching sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color palettes. All measurements were carried out using an X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter with appropriate software.
|Brightness level,%||White brightness, cd / m 2||Black brightness cd / m 2||Contrast, x: 1|
And, of course, about the second sensor display. Here we have a full 12.6 ″ IPS LCD panel that runs from one side of the laptop to the other. It integrates well with the main matrix and works as an additional workspace. We can use it in different ways – I won’t be surprised if it will most often be used as an additional area in photo or video editing programs.
We can browse websites, prepare documents, install Spotify / Tidal / YouTube and listen to music without losing space on the main screen. ScreenPad Plus is a much more advanced tool than ScreenPad 2.0, and we can use it much more often, including at work.
ScreenPad can be used as an additional screen to host individual applications. This solution will be useful when we use a laptop for easy photo processing or when we edit movies.
It is a pity that in the case of the 14-inch version we do not get special keyboard support, as in the 15-inch version. Moving the keyboard forward was the result of installing a second LCD screen, and I must admit that such use is not very convenient.
The tested laptop is equipped with a Core i7-10510U from the latest Intel processors of the 10th generation. It is manufactured using 14nm technology and belongs to the family of processors codenamed Comet Lake. The I7-10510U offers 4 compute cores and 8 logical compute threads, respectively.
The base clock frequency of this device is 1.6 GHz with the possibility of increasing to 4.1 GHz in Turbo Boost 2.0 mode.
The TDP processor was installed at a constant level of 15 watts, so it can be successfully called energy-efficient. A plus is also full support for the 10-bit H.265 HEVC codec, which provides compatibility with the Microsoft PlayReady 3 DRM system for playing 4K content.
Responsible for displaying the image is the Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated into the graphics system, which is characterized by a base frequency of 300 MHz with the possibility of increasing in turbo mode to a maximum frequency of 1100 MHz. In addition, the laptop also features an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card with 2 GB of VD GDDR5 memory on a 64-bit bus. The base clock frequency of the GPU is 937 MHz with the possibility of increasing in GPU Boost 3.0 mode to a maximum frequency of 1038 MHz. So, we are dealing with an energy-saving version of the GP108 with a TDP of 10 watts ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL.
The tested Zenbook 14 is equipped with a Samsung SSD with the designation PM981. This is a 1 TB M.2 drive with support for the modern PCIe x4 Gen.3 NVMe interface. This model is very fast, as evidenced by the results obtained in the CrystalDiskMark program. Thanks to the filling, the laptop is very fast, Windows 10 is stable, and downloading games and working in advanced programs is fast, smooth and enjoyable.
As already mentioned, the Asus ZenBook spec indicates the use of a dedicated graphics card. The Nvidia GeForce module may be the best in its class, but its capabilities will certainly prove to be useful. Especially considering its versatility. Decent capabilities of the card were confirmed in diagnostic tests. In 3DMark 11 Performance, he scored an average of 4633 points, and in 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme Graphics – 78252 points.
Featuring an efficient processor layout as well as a robust graphics card, ZenBook lets you launch many interesting games.
What about the cooling system and the noise?
The cooling of the laptop is provided by two fans, headed by 3 thermal units: one from the processor, one from the dedicated graphics and the last from the video memory. Air is supplied from the bottom of the laptop, improved by raising the base of the display and the hole between the display and the back of the base. The heated air outlet is also directed to the display.
The laptop is quiet, only when more power is required, the fans rotate slightly.
touch panel: 32 ° C
left keyboard: 28 ° C
right keyboard: 28 ° C
display above the keyboard: 30 ° C
lower maximum: 31 ° C (rear half)
cooling output: 33 ° C
power adapter: 31 ° C
Under load, the fans constantly work, the movement of the air flow is clearly audible, but this is a tolerable intensity, without side effects such as a whistle, etc. The desktop is most heated on the touch screen above the keyboard, the keyboard itself still feels colder.
Do not be afraid for laptop autonomy
I am sure that most of you, reading the review, first of all thought that using two screens at the same time would significantly limit the laptop’s autonomy. But, believe me, this is not so.
The battery, built into the case, has a capacity of more than 70 Wh * h, which corresponds to the manufacturer’s specifications. Without the slightest effort, I squeezed out of it for 6 hours from a single charge during office work, combined with random photo processing. Working on the Internet, watching movies on YouTube and working in Word, I regularly achieved results at the level of 8-9 hours.
standard editorial measurements at minimum load: 18 h 35 min
WiFi Internet video, 100% LCD brightness: 8 h 32 min
A small plus is a small laptop charger. This is one of the most compact charging units on the market – a size of 75 × 66 × 29 mm and a mass of only 300 g, including both cables.
The device can be connected to the laptop with a standard round connector. Power and battery charging are indicated by one diode on the right side, the next diode next to it indicates on and off, as well as the diode in the power button. The entire charging process from 10% to 100% took me a little less than 1.5 hours.
Should I buy the ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL?
We are dealing with a modern device that should satisfy the needs of many people looking for attractive ultra-mobile laptops. Its biggest advantage is two screens, which can be wonderfully used as part of the creative work. On the advantages side is the choice of components. A powerful processor and dedicated graphics card provide more than decent computing power, which can be used in particularly demanding design programs.
Also, the design, the quality of the case, a decent set of ports, as well as the technical parameters of both matrices can be credited to the advantages. Do not forget about the rather comfortable keyboard.
Of course, there are those who say that this device has an unreasonably high price, and the specifications are not the highest, especially the NVIDIA GeForce MX250. But ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481FL is currently one of the most interesting laptops with a 14-inch screen.The manufacturer has prepared a bold vision for a laptop with two screens that complement each other, and, in addition, Intel Comet Lake-U processors work more stably than in other ultrabooks. So the choice is yours.