The Asus Pro Duo's unique design makes certain tradeoffs in terms of keyboard and trackpad, but it also opens up new possibilities. The physical keyboard is of good quality, with silent typing and nice tactile feedback, although it does place your hands in an awkward position unless you use the provided wrist band.
A set of hinges push up the back of the second screen when you remove the lid, making it easier to see and touch. According to Asus, the main screen is a 440-nit panel that covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut. It has one of the brightest screens on a laptop right now, and you can use it comfortably indoors at less than maximum brightness.
The Asus Pro Duo's lower screen—or ScreenPad Plus, as Asus calls it—is treated like any other second monitor by Windows 10. You can add a taskbar, change the display scale, and move windows around freely. The Pro Duo would be more fascinating than your usual laptop just because of it.
The Pro Duo, on the other hand, is one of the few instances where bundled vendor software is a welcome addition. You can open up a lot of new use cases with Asus' ScreenPad Plus software that you wouldn't get with just a second monitor. Asus cut corners on the camera and security features, despite the low pricing.
The webcam is the same 720p camera that you'll find on far less expensive computers. While you can turn it off with a keyboard shortcut, it lacks the physical shutter found on some other high-end laptops. Face recognition is supported for sign-in on the Zenbook Pro Duo, but it lacks a fingerprint reader, which I find to be far more reliable in general.
The Harman Kardon-branded speakers, on the other hand, are incredibly loud. The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo's attractiveness stems from its desktop-like technical specifications, which effectively turn it into a portable PC workstation. Despite this, our benchmarks show that it falls short of other high-end gaming PCs, possibly due to the dual-screen design's quirks.
In HandBrake, for example, the ZenBook Pro Duo decoded our test video file in 24 minutes and 53 seconds, narrowly beating out Gigabyte's Aorus 17G's Core i7-10870H and placing considerably behind Asus' ROG Zephyrus Duo, which has the same Intel Core i9-10980HK.
While all of these laptops are capable of getting the work done swiftly, the Pro Duo falls somewhat short.