The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is undoubtedly a very capable laptop. It has one of the best displays you can get, performance is top-notch, at least for the high-end variant we used, and you’ll have a second screen if you need it.
The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 Duo OLED packs a ton of top-notch features, from a dazzling laptop with an OLED screen to a fast Intel chip. The laptop’s dual-screen design also opens up endless multitasking possibilities, especially if you’re a professional software developer. However, poor battery life and a cramped typing keyboard are big sacrifices for this dual-screen pleasure. The latest Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo features the world’s first 14.5-inch 2.8K 120Hz OLED display.
Like its larger 15-inch variant, it’s a beautifully built laptop with a wow factor for content creators that will grab everyone’s attention wherever you set it up. However, if you want to use both screens and work all day, you’ll want to be near a power outlet. This means that the Zenbook Pro Duo 14 comes with a powerful 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia RTX 3050Ti GPU, two beautiful displays, and powerful speakers. The Pro Duo 14 is also equipped with a smart, excellent, and highly accurate stylus that is very pleasant to use.
However, you have to deal with a cluttered keyboard and a thumb-sized touchpad that will put some off. Overall, it’s a cheeky device that’s perfect for on-the-go content creation that can put this stylus to good use. The main attraction is the combination of a stunning 14.5-inch OLED display, which runs at 120 Hz and provides an incredible 100 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, with a secondary full-width screen. Both panels are equipped with touch input and color support.
The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED dual screens are truly stunning. But do they even make sense? Smartly, a secondary screen appears when you open the Zenbook. This allows for both a better view of the display and room for increased airflow and cooling. A reasonable downside is that it pushes the keyboard to the bottom of the case and the trackpad to the bottom right. The latter is much smaller than we are used to lately.
This also makes the keyboard a bit more compact. It’s still a nice keyboard to use with a very firm bed. But everything takes a little getting used to. Weighing 1.7kg and almost 2cm thick, this laptop is quite robust with two screens and robust specs. It’s reasonably portable, but not really thin and light. The advantage of the weight is the fantastic build quality. This thing looks and feels like a million bucks.
The big question, however, is how useful these dual screens really are. The flatness of the secondary screen limits its usefulness. It’s not very convenient for web browsing or even an email client. Want to easily collaborate with a tool like Slack and maybe Spotify running alongside? That makes sense. Asus software tools also make it easy to arrange windows and share apps between two displays.
Keyboard and touchpad
To make room for the second screen, Asus had to be clever with the keyboard. The whole thing was moved all the way down. This leaves you with nothing to lean on while typing, so you’ll need a palm rest or even a separate keyboard to type more than short emails. The keys themselves are pleasantly flexible and have a good fall.
The half-width Shift key can mess with your muscle memory a bit, and the function keys are messy, but once you get used to the layout, it’s easy to tap while you’re at your desk. Using this laptop on your lap is not particularly comfortable. The touchpad also squeezed into the lower right corner
Bad news for lefties and a good reason for everyone to grab a mouse unless you want to use the second screen as a touchpad. It’s half the width of a typical laptop touchpad, and even with high sensitivity, there’s not much wiggle room.
The ZenBook Pro 14’s 14.5-inch 2880 x 1800-pixel OLED touchscreen is bright, colorful, and crisper than a freshly starched shirt. Whether we were playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider, watching videos, or editing footage, everything was nicely saturated and rendered smoothly, with no lag or visible tearing. The smaller Screen Pad Plus display is also colorful but has an anti-reflective coating that gives it a distinctive look.
The 14-inch Screen Pad has a sharp resolution of 2,880 x 863 pixels. We watched the season finale of Marvel’s Moon Knight on Disney Plus and the color quality and sharpness of the main display were undeniable when we first saw the Egyptian deity Amit in front of the camera. All of Amit’s crocodile scales were beautifully rendered in their green and blue hues, while the deity’s golden armor glistened as the light hit it.
The purple energy blast from Harrow’s staff was electrifying and felt dangerous as it went up against the ever-transforming Moon Knight. The scene where Layla becomes the avatar of the deity Taweret and transforms into the Scarlet Scarab for the first time was breathtaking when she spread her golden wings for the first time.
ZenBook Pro 14 Duo features Harman Kardon-certified speakers that work with Dolby Atmos sound technology to deliver a beautiful, immersive audio experience. However, we fired up Spotify and listened to Doja Cat’s “Need to Know.” As Doja Cat explained what she needed to know and why, the baseline hit so smoothly that we got up and started dancing as the flowing, pulsing rhythms played loud and with excellent depth from the Zenbook’s powerful little speakers.
We can’t imagine how Asus and Harmon Kardon managed to produce booming, clearly discernible bass with excellent highs in such a densely packed device. We then listened to System of Down’s ‘Toxicity’ and the vocals were reproduced clear and powerful while the guitar slammed into the soundstage with great force, which I was absolutely delighted with.
The ZenBook Pro 14 Duo does a really good job of reproducing sound cleanly and without distortion regardless of the volume, which in my case is always set to 100%. Still, the Zenbook reproduced the spacious, powerful guitar vocals and lead singer Serje Tankian’s spacious, powerful vocals with joyous accuracy.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of VRAM on the ZenBook Pro 14 lets you play something when you’re not in creator mode. I wouldn’t say it’s meant for playing triple-A titles, but it can definitely handle older games that are still fun. Check out our page for the best cheap gaming laptops. We tested the GPU using the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI benchmark. Our ZenBook Pro 14 Duo recorded 91 frames per second at 1080p resolution. That’s above the premium laptop average of 47fps in any case.
The XPS 15 achieved 67fps at 1080p, closely followed by the ThinkPad X1 (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060) at 65fps. During our GTA V benchmark, the ZenBook Pro 14 Duo managed 51 frames per second at 1080p, falling short of the premium laptop average of 78 frames per second. The Alienware x 14 returned a score of 70 fps, followed by the top-of-the-line Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Gen 4 at 80 fps.
The specifications of the Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED raise serious expectations. In practice, it cannot completely fulfill them. This is certainly a very powerful laptop, especially for a 14-inch model. But the Intel Core i9-12900H does not perform at its best in this system.
In our tests with the default fan profile, the chip clocked up to 2.9 GHz under heavy load. If you increase the fans to the maximum, this value increases to about 3.2 GHz, but this is accompanied by an unpleasant noise. In comparison, these clocks are at least 10% slower than larger laptops with the same CPU.
In fact, we found that when encoding 4K video, the performance difference compared to the larger 12900H processor laptops is more like 20%. That means you’re still delivering a lot of power. But inevitably not as much as a larger laptop. However, overall system performance is very good thanks to Samsung’s dedicated PCIe Gen 4 SSD and 32GB of RAM.
Battery life is the Achilles heel of the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo. it’s just not good. The system is powered by a discrete GPU and two high-resolution screens, both with high refresh rates, so what can you expect? With both screens set to 100 lux, I was only able to get off the wall for three hours and 10 minutes. This is the worst battery life we’ve seen from any of the Asus Duo laptops, a trend that has caught on with recent Intel Alder Lake laptops. The most you can get out of the laptop is about five hours, but that’s very low consumption.
We managed five hours and 18 minutes in the local video playback test, which is the lightest benchmark we have. Even some more powerful gaming laptops last longer in the same battery tests despite having higher refresh rates and more powerful GPUs. In theory, a 76 watt-hour battery should be enough for a laptop of this size. The Razer Blade and 14-inch MacBook Pro have smaller batteries. However, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo doesn’t offer decent battery life, and that’s a bitter pill to swallow for an otherwise fantastic laptop.
ZenBook Pro 14 Duo aims to enable content creators to edit videos and photos, so it’s important to keep a cool head. Add two OLED screens to the mix and you might be in for a meltdown. And yet the ZenBook Pro stayed pretty cool. During our heat test playing a 15-minute 1080p video, the bottom reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a little warm, but not dangerous. The keyboard reached an angle of 90.5 degrees and the touchpad was a comfortable 86.5 degrees. Key and touchpad temperatures are below our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.
The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED starts at $1,999 and is about the same size in the UK. That’s not exactly a bargain. But all that hardware was never cheap. Our test configuration significantly increases the price due to the high-end Intel processor and 32 GB of RAM. At the moment we are over $2500 or £2500. Of course, no laptop with similar components will be terribly affordable, even with a single screen.
When you consider exceptional screen technology, the price tag isn’t too bad. We just want to point out that if the main attraction is the 14in OLED panel, the previous generation 14in single-screen Asus Zenbook with 11th gen Intel processors and prices starting in the low digits is still available, $1000 or £1000 if you look around. The previous generation Zenbook Duo 14 with a lower resolution IPS screen is also available for a similar price.