It has been a couple of years since Asus launched the 15-inch dual-screen Zephyrus Duo 15 as a part of its Republic Of Avid gamers model. That first mannequin seemed promising, however did have some worrying tough edges – not least of which was the uncomfortable quantity of warmth the laptop computer generated even throughout informal use.
There was a 16-inch replace final 12 months, which switched from an Intel CPU to AMD’s Ryzen processors, and that has been swiftly adopted in 2023 with one other replace that introduces a brand new AMD Ryzen 9 processor and nVidia’s GeForce RTX 4000 sequence GPUs.
It does take a short while to get used to the dual-screen set-up – particularly because it forces you to get used to an unconventional structure for the keyboard and trackpad. Nonetheless, this 2023 version improves on its predecessors in most areas, offering spectacular gaming efficiency and an improved cooling system that by no means as soon as had us reaching for our oven mitts.
Asus Zephyrus Duo 16
The twin-display design and efficiency of the Zephyrus Duo 16 are in a league of their very own, however the excessive worth is little bit of a sticking level. Whereas some will discover the secondary ScreenPad helpful, many might be equally nicely served by a extra inexpensive standard gaming laptop computer and an exterior show.
- Progressive twin-screen design
- 240Hz major show
- Spectacular gaming efficiency
- Huge and heavy
- Poor battery life
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 30 x 355 x 266mm, 2.7kg
- Ports: 1x HDMI, 2x USB-C (3.2), 2x USB-A (3.2), micro-SD, 3.5mm audio in/out
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6E, 2.5G Ethernet
You would not anticipate a high-end gaming laptop computer resembling this to be significantly moveable, however the design of the Zephyrus Duo 16 is fairly spectacular on condition that it squeezes in a 16-inch major show, 14-inch secondary show, 16-core processor and high-end GeForce GPU. It weighs 2.7kg, which is sweet for a 16-inch laptop computer resembling this, and measures 30mm thick alongside the again – tapering to 21mm on the entrance edge – 355mm broad and 266mm deep.
Equally spectacular is the extremely environment friendly cooling system. There are massive vents on the bottom, the again panel, and on the left and proper edges of the laptop computer, and the ScreenPad show tilts upwards while you open the laptop computer, leaving a spot between the ScreenPad and the primary chassis that helps to enhance airflow. Given our expertise with the sooner 15-inch Zephyrus Duo we had been anticipating the worst. Nonetheless, we had been impressed to search out that the bottom of the laptop computer by no means grew to become greater than mildy heat at any time. The buzzing of the followers is noticeable when the graphics workload will get very heavy, nevertheless it’s not loud sufficient to be distracting and it will in all probability be drowned out by the chaos of most hectic motion video games.
The twin-display design does have its drawbacks, although. The place of the ScreenPad signifies that the keyboard is pushed thus far ahead that there isn’t any room for a trackpad in entrance of the keyboard. The trackpad will get pushed over to the right-hand facet of the keyboard – the place the numeric keypad would possibly usually go – and shrinks down to only 55mm broad and 95mm deep. This structure ignores many years of muscle reminiscence that inform our fingers the place the keyboard and trackpad needs to be, and it takes fairly a little bit of getting used to. After all, the probabilities are that you’re going to be utilizing a separate keyboard and mouse for any critical gaming or utilizing productiveness software program, so this in all probability will not be a deal-breaker for most individuals. Even so, this uncommon structure nonetheless makes our mind damage a bit even after a couple of days of working with the Zephyrus.
Different facets of the Zephyrus’ design are extra standard. The again panel homes 2.5Gb Ethernet for high-speed wired networks, one USB-A (3.2) port, and HDMI for connecting an exterior show. There are two USB-C (3.2) ports – one on all sides – whereas the left-hand edge offers one other USB-A (3.2), micro-SD slot, and three.5mm audio in/out. And, for wi-fi connectivity, the Zephyrus helps Bluetooth 5.2 and the newest high-speed Wi-Fi 6E.
- Main show – 16.0-inches, 2560×1600 decision; ScreenPad – 14.0-inches (diagonal), 3840 x 1100 decision
- Webcam: 1080p
- Audio: 4x woofers, 2x tweeters with Dolby Atmos
The dual screens of the Zephyrus Duo 16 are, in fact, the celebrities of the present. The first 16-inch show would not present 4K decision – as you would possibly anticipate at this worth – opting as an alternative for WQXGA decision of 2560×1600 with 16:10 side ratio. Nonetheless, the show additionally boasts 240Hz refresh charge, which offers pristine readability and silky easy animation for video games and video (and the swirling snow storms of Rise Of The Tomb Raider look terrific). It is shiny and vibrant too, with 1100nits brightness and help for the DCI-P3 color commonplace used for skilled video-editing, so it is nicely suited to video and graphics works in addition to off-duty gaming.
The secondary ScreenPad will in all probability be non-essential for most individuals, particularly because it makes a little bit of a multitude of the keyboard and trackpad structure. Nonetheless, streamers who must control their broadcast or chat channels might nicely discover the ScreenPad helpful, and it might additionally present a helpful docking spot for the a number of software palettes utilized in many high-end graphics and video apps. Asus even manages to squeeze in six audio system for the sound system, with 4 woofers and two tweeters that help Dolby Atmos, and produce a way more full-bodied sound than most laptops we have come throughout. There’s additionally a 1080p webcam included as nicely.
Efficiency And Battery
- GeForce RTX 4090 offers spectacular efficiency
- Efficient cooling system
- 4-cell, 90Whr Li-Ion battery
It comes as no shock that the Zephyrus Duo 16 offers spectacular efficiency for gaming and graphics work. The AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor achieves scores in GeekBench 5 of two,125 for single-core efficiency, and 19,500 for multi-core efficiency, which outgun rival high-end gaming laptops resembling Alienware’s X17 R2 (1,700 for single-core, and 12,700 for multi-core). We additionally ran the brand new GeekBench 6, and whereas we do not but have an archive of take a look at outcomes for GeekBench 6, the GeekBench web page locations the Ryzen’s multi-core rating of 15,850 just a bit forward of the thirteenth gen, 24-core Intel i9-13900. The Ryzen processor additionally consists of an built-in Radeon 610M GPU, which can be utilized for much less demanding duties that do not require the laptop computer’s discrete nVidia GeForce RTX 4090.
The RTX 4090 actually will get off to a superb begin, being the primary GPU we have come throughout to hit the 200fps mark with the demanding Unigine Valley 3D benchmark. Gaming efficiency is a bit more tough although, even with a recreation resembling Rise Of The Tomb Raider, which has its personal built-in benchmarking instruments.
Initially, the Zephyrus solely managed to hit round 130fps in Tomb Raider, and it took a while experimenting with the sport’s graphics settings – together with a number of settings for nVidia’s DLSS know-how – earlier than we had been ultimately capable of tweak our method to an excellent 210fps. And, even when related to an exterior show with 4K decision, the RTX 4090 was nonetheless capable of run the sport at a formidable 168fps.
The one disappointment is the Zephyrus’ modest battery life. A high-end gaming laptop computer resembling this is not going to have all-day battery life, however we had been shocked to search out that Asus itself solely quotes a battery life of three.9 hours. To save lots of as a lot energy as attainable, we turned the secondary ScreenPad off, and set the primary display to 50% brightness, after which converted to utilizing the extra power-efficient built-in Radeon GPU. However, even then, we might solely get 3.5 hours of streaming video earlier than the battery ran out. To be truthful, a laptop computer of this dimension and weight goes to spend most of its life indoors, near a mains energy provide, however for those who’re in search of a laptop computer that may deal with gaming on the transfer then you must in all probability look elsewhere.
Value and choices
- Main show – 16.0-inches, 2560×1600 decision; ScreenPad – 14.0-inches (diagonal), 3840 x 1100 decision
- Processor: AMD Ryzen R9 7945HX, 16-core, clock velocity 2.5GHz – 5.4GHz
- Graphics: as much as nVidia GeForce RTX 4090 (16GB VRAM)
- Reminiscence: 32GB DDR5 (64GB max)
- Storage: 2TB PCIe NVMe M2 SSD
Asus’ personal web page lists 4 variations of the brand new Zephyrus Duo 16, though you may’t at the moment purchase the laptop computer immediately from Asus within the US so you may want to go searching on-line to discover a mannequin that fits you. It is also price mentioning that the 2022 mannequin continues to be extensively accessible on-line, with earlier era CPU and GPU choices, so be sure you double-check the specs earlier than breaking out your bank card.
All 4 variations of the Zephyrus Duo 16 for 2023 are primarily based on an AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX processor, which boasts 16 cores with a base clock velocity of two.5GHz, and a most increase possibility of 5.4GHz. You have acquired a alternative of graphics playing cards, although, beginning with an nVidia GeForce RTX 4060 and going as much as the RTX 4090 that we take a look at right here. That worth additionally consists of 32GB reminiscence and 2TB solid-state drive. And, in fact, you get the dual shows, with the primary 16-inch show providing 2560×1600 decision and 240Hz refresh, whereas the touch-sensitive ScreenPad measures 13.5-inches broad and 4.0-inches excessive (14-inches diagonally) and someway manages to squeeze in a full 3840×1100 decision.
As talked about, you may’t purchase direct from Asus within the US, though it signifies that pricing ought to range from $3499.99 – $3999.99 and that it is going to be accessible from retailers resembling Amazon and NewEgg from March ninth 2023. The RTX 4090 mannequin that we overview is at the moment accessible from Asus within the UK, priced at £4799.99, however the inexpensive configurations are solely accessible from third-party retailers.
It is tempting to dismiss the second 14-inch, touch-sensitive display – known as the ‘ScreenPad’ – as a little bit of a gimmick, nevertheless it would not take lengthy to get a really feel for the best way that it’s meant for use. You possibly can hold your major purposes working on the bigger 16-inch display, whereas utilizing the ScreenPad for secondary duties, resembling maintaining a tally of your e mail, or your chat software program throughout video games. The ScreenPad may also be used as a form of dock for software palettes in high-end graphics and design apps, and Asus additionally says that it’s working with video games builders to encourage help for the ScreenPad, maybe having your Stock window all the time seen on the ScreenPad whereas the primary display simply focuses on the motion round you.
The brand new AMD processor and nVidia GPU present spectacular efficiency – which wasn’t all the time the case with the unique 15-inch mannequin. We’re additionally impressed to search out that the improved cooling system works a deal with, and the bottom of the Zephyrus by no means acquired greater than mildly heat throughout our assessments and gaming periods. The modest battery life hasn’t improved a lot, although, and the worth of the twin-screen show and high-end specification places it very a lot on the luxurious finish of the market.
Some specialist customers, resembling streamers and graphics professionals would possibly discover the secondary ScreenPad to be a helpful characteristic if their budgets are huge, however the remainder of us will doubtless want to go for a extra inexpensive exterior show if we want some further display actual property.