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Asus' unique ZenBook Duo ScreenPad is getting better, but it's not quite there just yet

Glare is the biggest enemy of the Asus ScreenPad at the moment
Glare is the biggest enemy of the Asus ScreenPad at the moment
The ZenBook Duo series is aching for a panel provider who can mass produce OLED displays in the form factor that Asus needs. The IPS ScreenPad for the UX482 works better than it did on the UX481, but its core viewing angle disadvantages remain.

In 2020, Asus launched its first generation 14-inch ZenBook Duo UX481 laptop that integrates two displays instead of just one. The second 12.9-inch IPS display (called ScreenPad) would lie flat between the keyboard and hinges similar to the Apple Touch Bar but in a much, much larger screen size. Anyone with a multi-monitor setup will know how useful the extra screen real estate can be for work or multimedia.

Unfortunately, the UX481 ScreenPad would suffer from one huge problem: viewing angles. Unlike the main display which is always facing directly at the user, the ScreenPad is always viewed at a wider angle. Its suboptimal positioning accentuates glare and reduces apparent brightness noticeably.

For the 2021 ZenBook Duo UX482, Asus has incorporated hinges that lift and angle the ScreenPad by a few degrees for a more direct viewing angle to the user. It's not perfect, but it definitely helps in mitigating some of the glare and brightness issues with the UX481 ScreenPad to make the UX482 ScreenPad a bit easier to use. Asus has also upped the maximum brightness from 300 nits to 400 nits for the same reasons.

Switching to OLED would almost certainly solve the aforementioned issues while also improving the colors. However, OLED panels are already difficult to come by and this would be doubly true for the unusual size and aspect ratio necessary for the ScreenPad. It might be another generation or two before we see a 14-inch ZenBook Duo with that "perfect" OLED ScreenPad.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Asus' unique ZenBook Duo ScreenPad is getting better, but it's not quite there just yet
Allen Ngo, 2021-01-16 (Update: 2021-01- 8)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.