ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 Review: Come for the dual screen, stay for the performance

Written by Louis

January 2, 2023

Filed under “Things that make you go ‘SHEESH!'”

Multiple screens has been the next big challenge in the evolution of laptops. Innovations that increase screen real estate while keeping portability are showcased in the last few years however this usually involves modular secondary display add-ons. Enter the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo, ASUS’ take on the dual screen challenge. In contrast to the extra side monitor attachment, the Zephyrus Duo keeps things small as the focus is to expand the workspace by moving software tools to a wide touchscreen display giving users like creators another area of control for stuff such as digital knobs and sliders. On this review we’ll take a look at the Zephyrus Duo, specifically the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, a fully decked out ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16.

Now first, the specs

Note: Listed below are the actual specifications of our review device.

Model ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 GX650RX-LO163WS
Operating System Windows 11
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB GDDR6
RAM 64GB (32GB x2) DDR5 4800Mhz
Storage 4TB PCie 4.0 NVMe m.2 SSD

  • 2TB x2 in Raid 0 configuration
Display Main Display

  • 16 Inch, ROG Nebula HDR Display
  • QHD+ 16:10 (2560 x 1600, WQXGA), 165hz Refresh Rate 3ms response time
    • FreeSync Premium
    • Pantone Validated
    • Dolby Vision HDR Support

Secondary Display

  • 14 inch Touchscreen ScreenPad Plus
  • 3840 x 1100(4K) IPS-level Panel Support Stylus
Ports
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C with both DisplayPort and Power Delivery capabilities
  • 1 x HDMI 2.1 port
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Input
  • Backlit Chiclet Keyboard Per-Key RGB
  • ASUS Armory Crate Hotkey
  • Touchpad/Number pad Combo
Camera 720P HD IR Camera
Audio 6-speaker(dual-force woofer) system with Smart Amplifier Technology
Dimensions
  • Width: 35.5 cm
  • Depth: 2.05 cm
  • Height: 26.6 cm
  • Weight: 2.60 kg

 

Benchmark Scores

This thing is decked out what more can you ask for? All jokes aside the Zephyrus Duo 16 nets some pretty great scores in the suit of benchmarking software that we used. While they are not record highs, the numbers give a peek into the Zephyrus Duo 16’s performance as a workstation workhorse. The increased screen real-estate can mean that more software or Chrome windows, yes windows not just tabs, will be open at any given time so making sure that the CPU and the Memory configurations keep up is a must. Just take note that actual performance may vary as benchmarks like these are done using synthetic loads. Still from an experience point of view the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is a very capable and portable workstation that really gets the job done, plus it’s fun to play around with the dual touch screen!

Gaming Performance

The AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti combo is what gaming dreams are made of. Add the huge amount of RAM and high-speed storage to play with and you’re geared up to experience the best that PC gaming has to offer. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 handles high quality presets just fine, and even 4K gaming, although you are losing precious FPS at that point. The display is vivid making gaming worlds more vibrant than ever, although there is still limited integration for games to extend to the secondary display which means that most of the time it will just function as a standard secondary screen. So far, only Dying Light 2 has software integration to the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 which delivers a unique twist to the gaming experience as you can quickly track other game options while keeping your main screen free from some of the menu clutter.

Anyway, here’s how it performs in your standard 1080p gaming sessions

And here’s how it looks like for 4K gaming

Also, quick note, these tests were done before the deployment of The Witcher 3’s new HD update.

Let’s talk dual screen and others.

One of the major selling point of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is its dual screen feature. The laptop mixes portability with increased screen real estate allowing for more windows open, programs to run, extending your workstation while being on the go. ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16’s dual screen feature seem to be geared towards creators as it has easy integration with Adobe apps like Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere, and its touch-screen feature also offers flexibility in various use-case scenarios.

The feature does take a while to get used to though especially on a workstation scenario, and while the secondary screen has touch capabilities the feature is not available on the main display which means dragging stuff around can feel a bit awkward. Proper implementation of the screen extension feature is also limited to only a number of software, at least the ones that we tested, and the layout is not always what one would expect. Additionally, while same in width, both screens have different resolutions (obviously) and the max resolutions does not even match in terms of width, kind of a weird choice but one can always tweak it to match preferences. Still it would’ve been nice if both max resolutions match in terms of width so one can easily take advantage of the screen extension feature without changing much of the display settings and yes both screens have to have matching widths for a program to extend to both screens.

ASUS Zephyrus 16 Duo's secondary screen with Dying Light 2 integration.

It looks cool on Dying Light 2 though

 

Another small gripe that we have with our ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 review model is the lack of USB-A ports, for real. This might be subject to individual preference though as we still opt to use external mechanical keyboards and mice despite using a laptop. That being said the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16’s laptop and touchpad are compressed to make way for the secondary screen while keeping portability. Traditional laptop users would find this a little challenging to get used to.

Final notes and verdict 

With a price tag of PHP 319,995 the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is an investment that one should consider carefully. At the time of writing this review, dual screen laptops are still a niche, and it can be hard justifying the cost just for this feature alone. Regardless, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is still big in terms of performance, and as the dual-screen trend catches on and more and more programs look to integrate this feature, users are future-proofed, and get to enjoy new innovations not just in workstation real-estate but also for gaming.

And with that we give the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 our glorious gold award.

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