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Asus’ 2021 laptop includes two new dual-screen ZenBooks



Asus has announced two new dual-screen ZenBook Duo laptops as part of the CES 2021 announcements. The 15-inch model will be available in North America in April this year, but you can pre-order the 14-inch for $ 999.99 from January 14 until delivery on January 22. There is also a new VivoBook and a new ExpertBook for people who want easy and portable purchases.

If you are new to the ZenBook Duo line, laptops have a primary screen (the regular one) as well as a secondary screen (ScreenPad Plus) built into the top half of the keyboard deck. It’s not really big enough to do anything on, but you can load distractions (Twitter, Discord, etc.) on it to keep them out of your main workspace. Some applications, including Adobe, also offer ScreenPad-specific interfaces.

The 15.6-inch ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED is an update to the dual-screen ZenBook Pro Duo 15, a 15.6-inch dual-screen laptop with a primary OLED screen. There is also a 14-inch model, a sequel to the regular ZenBook Duo that came out last year. This model is confirmed through Intel’s Evo program, which means that Intel guarantees good performance, battery life and other features.

The two Duos got a special bump: Pro Duo 15 OLED now has Intel’s 10th generation processors (up to a Core i9) and Nvidia’s latest GeForce RTX 3070 mobile GPU. The ZenBook Duo 14 now includes Intel’s 11th generation processors (a Core i7 or a Core i5) with Iris Xe integrated graphics (and you can also add an Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU).

The update I am happiest with is that they both have a new design that tilts the ScreenPad Plus upwards – it is no longer flat on the keyboard deck. This means that you do not have to tap your neck over the keyboard to read the secondary screen, which was inconvenient with the older Duo models.

There is also a new hinge design that Asus says is 30 percent smaller, and a smaller fan size. Asus has also upgraded ScreenPad software (now called Screen Xpert 2) to include new apps that make multitasking easier. With a new Window Flick function, you can, for example, easily “scroll” windows from one screen to another.

A user edits an image using a stylus on the Asus Zenbook Duo 14.

Here is the 14-inch model.
Image: Asus

Outside of ZenBook countries, there is a new VivoBook S14, which is also Evo certified. Asus says it’s the lightest 14-inch VivoBook ever made at just 2.87 pounds. The S14 has also been supported by 11th generation Xe graphics processors. Asus says you get up to 17 hours of battery life.

It’s also a standard VivoBook 14, powered by AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 U-series mobile processors. Both models will arrive in North America in February, with prices to be announced.

The VivoBook S14, open, faces away from the camera next to a bunch of accessories, including a tennis racket, a toolbox and a pair of sunglasses.

Here is the VivoBook S14 in “deep green.”
Image: Asus

Finally, Asus has made some updates to its ExpertBook series, including the amazingly lightweight ExpertBook B9. The full name of the new model is ExpertBook B9 B9450CEA (vPro).

The 1.94-pound laptop, which Asus says is the world’s lightest 14-inch business laptop, now includes Intel’s latest 11th generation vPro processors, which provide a range of security and remote control features, including Intel’s Active Management Technology.

ExpertBook has a number of new features designed to make conference calls easier, including bidirectional AI noise reduction technology, Harman Kardon-certified speakers, and Wi-Fi 6 support.

The new ExpertBook B9 arrives in Q1 2021, with prices to be announced.

Asus ExpertBook B9 top view, with backlit keyboard illuminated.  The touchpad shows an LED numpad.  A pen sits on the left and an external drive on the right.

The new ExpertBook B9 has “military class durability” according to Asus.
Image: Asus


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