This laptop is for those people who demand the best and have the money to spend on the ROG Zephyrus Duo without hesitation.
Gaming laptops are similar to sports cars as they are not necessary, but people who desire them will acquire them regardless of the cost. We got a similar sensation while reviewing the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE. The Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, which starts at 4035$, is aimed not only at hardcore PC gamers but also at content creators and YouTubers. Yes, the dual-screen gaming laptop is crazily costly, thanks to AMD’s new Ryzen 5000 mobile processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs. While some may dismiss it as a niche product, the reality is that luxury gaming notebooks do exist.
In this review, we’ll discuss my experience with the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE and what you get for the price of a year’s salary for a young trainee.
Design and Aesthetics
Despite the fact that this is a ROG-branded laptop (Asus’ range of gaming notebooks and smartphones), the Zephyrus Duo is similar to the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED. However, there are visual differences between the laptops – both of these are aimed at professionals.
Anyway, the Zephyrus Duo features a matte black chassis with tempered edges and a dot matrix pattern on the lid alongside the ROG logo. If you look at Asus’ most recent gaming laptops, you’ll see that the design language has become more subtle in favor of ultra-aggressive aesthetics.
The notebook remains on the heavy side at 2.48 kg. I must remark that today’s gaming notebooks appear and feel significantly lighter. Although the Zephyrus is large, it fits comfortably in a standard business backpack built for laptops 15 inches and larger.
Keeping in mind that this is a desktop-level laptop, the form factor makes a lot of sense. We have no objection to bringing this laptop to launch events in order to file stories from the venue. It retains a professional appearance while retaining a wild edge that will appeal to gamers.
When the laptop is opened, a secondary screen – or the ScreenPad Plus – is visible. The display serves a purpose, and the ScreenPad Plus has been thoughtfully designed. The 14.1-inch wide, 3840 x 1100 pixel touchscreen takes up moreover half of the keyboard deck’s surface area. As a result, when the lid is opened, the secondary display rises to a 13-degree angle toward you.
As we mentioned previously, it is not fixed and has been lifted slightly to allow a better viewing angle. The purpose is to enhance ventilation, yet we notice top-mounted speakers beneath the ScreenPad rather than air grilles. must admit that Asus could have cut the secondary screen’s side bezels. This would have freed up space on the keyboard, which now feels compressed.
On the right, you’ll find two USB-A 3.2 gen 2 connectors and a USB-C 3.2 gen 2 port for external displays and charging. On the right, you’ll find a microSD card reader, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, and an Asus-exclusive power port. Additionally, the laptop features an Ethernet port and a full-sized HDMI port. Additionally, the ROG Zephyrus Duo supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
Display and Keyboard
The primary display is 15.6 inches in size and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels but a smooth refresh rate of 300Hz. The full HD display is razor-sharp for gaming and other activities. The display is rather impressive, with photographs, webpages, streamed material, and YouTube videos all looking fantastic. I’m not sure whether graphic designers and video editors would love this display, but given their preference for a broader Adobe RGB color gamut and DCI-P3, I recommend they opt for the latest ZenBook Pro Duo over the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE. There is no webcam, which is quite odd in an age when remote work is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Naturally, the keyboard features RGB illumination, as one would expect from a gaming notebook. However, the layout of the keyboard and touchpad is, in my opinion, quite contentious. Due to the ScreenPad Plus’s big area on the deck, Asus was forced to include the keyboard in some way.
As a result, the keyboard seems cramped and packed. Though we never had difficulty typing on the keyboard, the lack of space to rest our wrists while typing irritated us much. Similarly, the touchpad is vertically positioned. The touchpad, which is placed on the right, is snappy, but navigation can be a challenge at times. With a long push on the upper left corner, the tiny touchpad transforms into a number pad. It is actually quite useful in certain games, most notably Overwatch.
ScreenPad Plus and Speakers
What function does the ScreenPad Plus perform in a gaming laptop? We inquired of myself. After almost a week of use with the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, we have an answer, but it is not the one you might think.
When we evaluated the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED, I discussed how the ScreenPad Plus functions as a second monitor connected to the PC. The ScreenPad Plus’s fundamental feature is retained in the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE. On the primary screen, we can edit stories and on the secondary screen, we can view YouTube videos. Additionally, we can snap apps to the full screen or half-screen. Everything we’d anticipate doing on a secondary monitor is available. What’s truly curious in is how Asus incorporates the ScreenPad Plus into the games. Yes, we can open the Discord chat application on the secondary monitor while continuing to play the game on the primary display. However, that is not the purpose of the secondary display. want the ScreenPad Plus to be deeply integrated into at least the top ten to fifteen PC games that make use of the secondary screen. We’re not sure what role the ScreenPad Plus serves in an expensive gaming laptop like this until that happens.
The speakers and microphones on this notebook are incredible. Although not quite at the level of the 16-inch Macbook Pro, the speakers get extremely loud without introducing distortion at higher volumes. Additionally, the microphones have been enhanced, resulting in far crisper zoom calls.
Performance and battery life
You’ll find a Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage, and a GeForce RTX 3080 GPU on the inside. A machine of this caliber must be the greatest in its class, which deserves the high price tag. We played Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves, both of which are Xbox Game Pass exclusives. The games loaded quickly and we rarely saw any frame drops. Once connected, the gameplay was fluid and stutter-free. Allow us to assure you that this is not the machine that will put your patience to the test.
Apart from games, the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE functions as a full-featured workstation. Given its hardware specifications, the gadget is more than capable of handling the tasks we perform on a laptop (writing and editing stories, editing photos, WhatsApp Web, Zoom calls, and a number of Chrome tabs). We can attest that the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE is more than capable.
The Zephyrus Duo 15 SE has a battery life of between four and five hours. This was when we utilized the laptop exclusively for work purposes. Battery life will be drained at a faster rate while gaming. Expect the laptop to get warm during prolonged gaming sessions, which is normal for a device designed for that purpose.
Should you buy the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE?
We’re aware that selecting a laptop, particularly a gaming laptop has become increasingly difficult in recent years. However, the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE is not for conscientious consumers. This laptop is for individuals who demand the best and have the money to spend on the ROG Zephyrus Duo without hesitation.
(Also, Read Alienware X-Series Gaming Laptops )