The Perfect Laptop For A Terrible Year: ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 Review
You know sometimes the fastest way for me to review. Something is to ask myself when the manufacturer takes this back, am i going to miss it enough to feel compelled to buy it and thanks to a thrilling year of pc game releases and a winter that looks like it’s going to be a long one? The answer in this case is um Music. This laptop from asus, if you prefer asus, is called the zephyrus duo and just for fun. Let’S start with a duo of things that it is not it’s not terribly new, having launched back in june and it’s. Also, not a machine that i would have expected to fall. For i mean most of my work happens on a macbook pro and most of my play happens on my living room xbox. So this monster, with its huge fans, rgb lighting and a glowering republic of gamer’s eyeball, is kind of overkill for a guy like me, but like a shot up starfighter, i moved into this machine already weakened by an earlier asus assault. You subscribers will recall that my favorite windows laptop of last year was this pc’s productivity, primed predecessor, the zenbook pro duo. I found that second screen so useful that i ended up buying that machine for regular use and over the next year. The only complaint that kept cropping up was that the second screen was too flat, often giving me too much glare but wouldn’t. You know i proposed a fix for this in my review video.
I almost wish there was a mechanism that made this pop up when you open the laptop and lo and behold that’s just what the zephyrus duo brings to the table. Open. The lid and two arms lift the second screen to an angle of 13 degrees, making it much easier to see in all its 4k anti glare glory. It also opens up a convenient air channel for the cooling system, with dual fans pulling in colder air from above. Instead of hot air from between the chassis and the desktop, the second screen is still stylus ready and touch enabled, but touch input is gone from the primary 15 inch display. Instead, you get a choice of either a full hd version with gamer friendly 300hz refresh rate or the 4k option, for which i opted, which is beautiful, even if its ips technology lacks the deep blacks of my preferred. Oled displays really the only thing i’d change about these screens is to boost the brightness which doesn’t get high enough to overcome direct sunlight. Outdoors, though, keep in mind that this is of course, kind of an indoor machine taking a spin around the sides. We find another zenbook flaw fixed the zephyrus can charge via usbc it’s, very slow, so you’ll still want to bring that 240 watt, brick if you’re doing gaming or video editing, but this at least gives you the option of leaving that brick behind and even in extreme Circumstances charging from a battery pack or a power station and while we’re talking battery let’s just get this out of the way as with most gaming and desktop replacement laptops, this one really isn’t meant for long stretches away from the wall.
The best i managed was three hours of light office work alongside that single usb c port you’ve got three usb, a connectors which will come in handy when we start gaming in a second full size, hdmi to add a third monitor or plug into a tv separate Headphone and mic jacks and an rj45 port if wi, fi, 6 isn’t enough connectivity for you, notably absent, is an sd card slot, which is a shame, but nowhere near as big an omission as the lack of a webcam. I guess the reasoning goes that true streamers. Will have their own high quality webcam, and you know i get that nobody could have seen 2020 coming, but man talk about a bad year to take a knee on video calling. On the other hand, it was a great year to lean into gaming, laptops and i’m glad. I held this review long enough to try this machine with three of 2020’s most anticipated titles. If you caught episode, three of mr mobile stays home you’ll know that i recently decided to put my vintage joysticks back in storage, because i no longer need to rely on 90s era. Classics like tie fighter for my pc gaming fix this year, saw not just the release of tie fighter spiritual successor, star wars, squadrons, but also the first new edition of microsoft, flight simulator in six years. So, in observance of that de facto holiday, i took the opportunity to drop entirely too much money on a new hands on throttle and stick from thrustmaster and verbal controls allowing me to make quick use of those usb 3.
2 ports. I downloaded both titles from steam, barely feeling the 200 gig hit to my two terabytes of storage hit the performance mode button to toggle maximum cooling, and i proceeded to try to push this machine first thing i did in star wars. Squadrons was max out every graphic setting i could find, but with a suggested graphics card, several tiers below the rtx 2080 super in this machine. I couldn’t get squadrons to so much as hiccup to my eye. This game runs perfectly with frame rates averaging around 45 to 50 fps at maximum settings and that second screen doesn’t just sit there between the throttle and stick. There are over 60 buttons. I can assign spacecraft functions to so i keep a cheat sheet down there to remind me which controls are which, and i love being able to switch the keyboard from my usual full color spectrum cycle, to something a little less distracting for nighttime flying. If i have a complaint it’s in the audio output for all the space in this chassis, the speakers still can’t get close to the richness or fidelity of my macbook pro Music. Otherwise, the zephyrus duo is truly overkill for a game like squadrons. Now, microsoft, flight, simulator that’s, another story, it’s one of the most taxing games. You can ask a pc to run today and when i go into the settings and put the balls to the wall, an expression that comes to us from the world of aviation.
By the way i can finally get this powerhouse to bog down a bit. Everything’S still rendered in gorgeous 4k from the private island, where i washed dishes as a kid to the las vegas strip. I won’t be visiting for ces this year, but the more detail in the scenery, the lower the frame rates at maximum settings over a dense city, it’s, not uncommon to dip into 10 or even single digit frames per second. I eventually ended up walking back that scenery. A little bit so i could have a smoother flight experience, which was also helped along by new joysticks, see it just doesn’t feel right to pilot civilian aircraft with military controls, at least not to me. So thrustmaster was kind enough to send over its new tca officer pack with a throttle and stick that replicate those of the airbus a320. Now this isn’t a sponsor spot. I am evaluating these as a reviewer, once i’ve had some more time with them and my early impression well i’ve come to know thrustmaster as the company that makes big heavy satisfying flight controls out of metal. This hotas is not that the lightweight bases combine with hollow thin plastic to make this particular officer pack feel rather flimsy, but their visual accuracy is very convincing, they’re comfortable and easy to set up thanks to plug and play compatibility with flight simulator and uh more to The point they’re much cheaper with pre order pricing at the first website i found set at about 160 compared with the 600, the full warthog hotass costs at press time, like i say more to come on those after i log some more flight hours over the coming Weeks meanwhile, let’s head back to the computer for the final and most recent test, title cyberpunk 2077.
. Now, depending on where your priorities lie. This game is either the buggiest mess since windows me or the most unfairly maligned masterpiece since the series finale of lost by the way games like this, i prefer to play with an xbox controller, which means i got to put that hdmi port to use, throwing those Glorious 4k graphics onto my living room tv and even though the computer’s fans spooled up so high, i thought it might lift off the tabletop. The game ran at a respectable, if not ideal, 30 fps, again a wildly demanding title, probably slotting, somewhere between flight simulator and squadrons, and the computer handled it with no problem at all bag friendliness bugs and why i’d choose this over a desktop after a quick word From my sponsor it’s rare that i get to say this about a sponsor, so listen up, i haven’t stopped using surf shark since the first time we partnered there are plenty of great vpns out there, but surf shark is the only one with this combination. One traditional vpn features like browsing safely from public wi, fi or watching geo, restricted movies or tv shows let’s. Be honest. You’Ve probably got a lot of time on your hands right now: two privacy, beyond a simple vpn hacklock scans the web and gives you a heads up if your email address or passwords are compromised, so the first person to take action. Is you and three consistent and reliable security without crushing my speeds, like so many vpns try surfshark now at the link below and use promo code, mr mobile you’ll get 83 percent off a year’s subscription and three extra months free thanks to surfshark for sponsoring this video.
The zephyrus duo is like most gaming laptops in that it’s, not the most portable machine, but even here asus exceeded my expectations at .8 inches it’s, not even a quarter inch thicker than my macbook pro and it’s, just a pound heavier too. So it fits better. In my backpack than the old zenbook pro duo did, which i was happy to see still, you do have to get used to all the same things that gave that older zen book its learning curve. The keyboard is very low on the deck which takes a bit of getting used to and makes genuine laptop sessions a little more challenging. The same goes for the side mounted track pad, which i can really only say i tolerate, since it’s, both cramped and oddly proportioned to fit, though i love its parlor trick of doubling as a touch sensitive numpad and the screen pad plus is treated by windows. Just like any secondary monitor, meaning that when you’re doing something up on the main display, more often than not, the app you’re using down below will fall out of focus. Flight simulator offers a particularly irritating example of the reverse. If you tap your map or radio controls down there, your flight controls stop working until you click back on the main screen again, and on top of that, some apps, like telegram, have scaling issues depending on how large you run them. You see you kind of have to feel it out on a per program basis, and i just wish asus and microsoft would work together more closely to really flesh out the dual screen experience, which microsoft has obviously been thinking a lot about recently.
But these are compromises. I’M, more than happy to endure, given all the added utility that second screen offers and remember: it’s, not just about gaming i’m talking about using that extra area to keep an eye on slack or telegram or evernote or all three at once, all without interrupting what i’m Doing up top and for copying data between documents or consulting an email while filling out a form, this computer makes me feel actually a lot like my galaxy z fold. 2. Does you know in a sea of products that claim to make you more productive this one? Actually does, and while it hasn’t completely spoiled me for other laptops, other notebooks now do feel at least less than as for the final question, why not just buy a cheaper desktop? Well, the answer is, as stupidly simple as you might expect, so i can stay mobile. Several times this summer i was able to bring the zephyrus duo out to my dad’s house, so i could let him try flight simulator and the fact that i only had time to take one rushed and terribly lit photo will attest to just how fun those flights Were desktops are great but they’re cheaper for a reason you can’t easily take them on a road trip. Nor can you easily move them from room to room in a household where other people need the dining room table or you just need to get away from everyone for a few hours laptops allow for that, and this laptop excels at it.
So, yes, the zephyrus duo. 15 is outrageously expensive, but so are similar offerings from competitors like dell and razer. The question, to my mind, is: if you have that kind of money, is it worth what asus is asking and to me, that answer is absolutely while cheaper single screen alternatives with similar power can be found from brands like msi. This is well a duo, a productivity powerhouse and gaming goliath in one improbably portable casing, it’s a machine that, just a few years ago, i might have dismissed as a fanciful prototype too ambitious ever to make it to production, in other words, it’s a little slice of The future that you can buy today and something like that is always gon na cost you Music disclosure time. This review was produced following four months with an rog zephyrus duo, review sample provided by asus. The company did not provide compensation for this coverage, though, and i never give a manufacturer copy approval or an early preview of my reviews. That means asus is seeing this video for the first time right alongside you.