Asus launches laptops with second ‘full-width’ touchscreen for professionals

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 27 2019 08:14 PM

Taiwanese tech giant Asus launched the Zenbook Pro Duo which features a second touchscreen. Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

TAIPEI - Taiwan's Asus on Monday unveiled its new flagship line of laptops that feature a “full width” secondary touchscreen.

A year after launching its line of Zenbooks featuring the ScreenPad--a trackpad that also functions as a secondary screen, Asus doubled down on its bet and put a larger touchscreen on the keyboard area of the notebook. 

Unlike the first generation ScreenPad introduced last year, the ScreenPad Plus is more than just a touchpad that moonlights as a second screen. The added display real estate allows a user to do more.

A technician demonstrated how a user who is processing photos may put the image editing app on the main screen, and put the window with the photos to be edited on the secondary screen. 

Asus 2019 Zenbook Pro Duo laptop features a second touchscreen called the ScreenPad Plus. Handout photo

Musicians who are composing a score may also use the secondary screen as a piano keyboard to record a tune. 

Sound engineers canuse it as a mixing board, while video editors can put their timelines on it while keeping the preview window on the main screen.

The ScreenPad Plus on the Asus new Zenbook Duo can be used as a virtual piano keyboard by music professionals. Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Gamers can also use the second screen for maps, inventories and streaming windows. 

The Screenpad Plus is available on Asus’ top-of-the-line ZenBook Pro Duo and the Zenbook Duo laptops. 

The flagship Zenbook Duo Pro features a 15.6-inch 4K OLED display with HDR capabilities, and a 14-inch ScreenPad Plus with a 3840 x 1100 resolution. Both displays are touchscreens that can also be used with a stylus. 

The second screen can be used to hold the timeline window on video editing apps. Handout photo

The Pro is powered by an Intel Core i9 processor, and can be configured with up to 32GB RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It also features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card that would come in handy for some of the more demanding games. 

The Zenbook Duo comes in a smaller form factor, featuring a 14-inch full HD display with a 12.6-inch HD ScreenPad Plus. It uses a Core i7 processor, and can be configured with similar memory and storage options. It also uses NVIDIA GeForce MX250 discrete graphics. 

Asus more budget-friendly laptop line will also feature the new touchscreen trackpads dubbed as ScreenPad 2.0

A day before Computex, Asus also announced that it’s other Zenbook models, and its more budget-friendly Vivobook laptops, will also feature an updated version of it ScreenPad touchpads. 

The new Screenpads dubbed version 2.0 have a wider 5.65 inch, 2160 x 1080 screen compared to those on last year’s models, which had a 5.5-inch full HD display. 

Asus said it leads in the Asia Pacific region in sales of both consumer and gaming laptops. Andrew Chan, ASUS Asia Pacific Senior Manager, Systems Marketing said the company was aiming to grab an even bigger share of the mobile computing market in the region within the next 3 years.

The company aims to grow its share in the consumer market to 40 percent from 30 percent and in the gaming segment to 50 percent from 40 percent.

The Taiwanese tech firm is one of the world’s top 5 vendors of PCs, behind Apple and ahead of fellow Taiwanese vendor Acer. Lenovo, HP and Dell take up the first 3 spots in that order, according to Gartner.

Industry trackers IDC and Gartner said PC shipments in the first quarter fell compared to the same period in 2018. Gartner saw a decline of 4.6 percent while IDC saw a smaller decline of 3 percent. 

This decline is slower compared to global smartphone shipments which fell 6.6 percent in the first quarter, the sixth consecutive quarter of decline, according to IDC.