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After the CES era, technical reviews can be slow, but this week we were able to check out upgraded devices from ASUS and Nikon. ASUS recently debuted the second version of the ZenBook Duo, which features a redesigned dual screen and software that takes advantage of its unique design. We also spent time with Nikon’s Z7 II, which is the successor to the Z7. This newer shooter has improved some core features such as battery life and autofocus, and it has 4K 60p video and 5-axis stabilization.
Devindra Hardawar was pleased to see the upgrades that ASUS made with the second iteration of its ZenBook Duo laptop. The 2021 model has been given a power boost, a rising, angled second screen and a software overhaul that makes better use of both screens. The new laptop has both a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution main screen, and it also has a 12.6-inch ScreenPad Plus that sits directly above the keyboard. ScreenPad Plus lifts slightly when the laptop is opened, and Devindra found it most useful for running apps like YouTube or Spotify in the background while working on the primary screen.
However, there is a compromise with this feature – the narrow keyboard and trackpad. While Devindra thought the keys had a decent amount of travel and feedback, the keyboard felt uncomfortable to use without wrist rest, and the trackpad felt slid to the right with little room for multitouch movements. But with an 11th-generation Intel Tiger Lake processor, more powerful integrated graphics, up to 32GB of RAM, a better choice of ports and a lower starting price of $ 999, laptops still received a Best of CES award from us.
Similarly, Steve Dent found valuable improvements in the Nikon Z7 II. The successor to the Z7, this camera has better autofocus, 4K 60p video, 5-axis stabilization, longer battery life and good image quality. Steve also liked the sturdy building, saying that the Z7 II is “a tank”, and that he felt comfortable taking it around where he went. At $ 3,000, it’s also at the lower end of the price range for a high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera.
However, the upgraded Z7 II is lacking in a few areas compared to the competition. It does not support internal 10-bit video recording, it has low resolution EVF, medium shooting speed and a screen that only tilts. Steve felt that it could not compete with the Sony A7R IV in resolution, image quality or shooting speeds, nor could it keep up with the Canon EOS R5 in terms of autofocus and video capabilities. But the Z7 II is affordable – it is significantly cheaper than both the other models, and it still produced sharp images, pleasant colors and worked well in a variety of shooting situations.