When it comes to quality laptops, Asus tops the list in the Indian market. They have very aggressively expanded their lineup and are very consistent with updating the models with the latest CPUs. The newest product from then to hit the Indian market is the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 UX482E. The laptop is aimed towards Pro-grade users and in their ZenBook series of laptops. The laptop comes in a plethora of SKUs with 11th Gen Intel processors and a dual-storage configuration.
We have the Intel Core i7 with the Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics card variant with us for over two weeks now and here is what I think about it. So, let’s dive into the review.
ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 UX482E Specification
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7
- Graphics adapter: Intel UHD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce MX450
- Memory: 16GB, DDR4-4266Mhz
- Display: 14-inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, IPS LED, glossy: Yes, touch input
Secondary Display: 12.65-inch ScreenPad Plus, 1920 x 515 pixels, IPS with touch input
- Storage: 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD
- Connections: 1 x USB 3.2, 2 x USB 3.2 (Thunderbolt 4)(Type C), HDMI 1.4, Audio Connections: Combo audio, Card Reader: microSD card
- Networking: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11b/g/n/ac) (2×2), Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 70Wh Lithium-Polymer (3 cells)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 64 Bit
- Camera: 720p 30fps, with Windows Hello support
- Additional features: Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet, Keyboard Light: Yes
- Weight: 1.6 kg
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Asus ZenBook UX482E
- Carry Sleeve
- Power Adapter
- USB to Ethernet jack
- Warranty and User Guide
The 2021 ZenBook Duo 14 carries on the design from the earlier generations. While the secondary display on previous models was flat, we now have a propped-up display on this one. The entire chassis is made out of a magnesium alloy that Asus has been using across the ZenBook lineup.
The display lid is made out of the same alloy which makes it sturdy and light at the same time. The ZenBook Duo 14 is being sold in just colour choice for now. The fact that Asus went with a clean design and colour choice is a welcome move. Coming to the lid and hinge, the hinge on both the main and secondary display feel solid.
There is not much significant wobble on the main display despite it being a touchscreen and can be propped down quite low while the secondary display lifts up a few degrees for ease of use. While there aren’t any structural changes made compared to previous generations, the laptop feels sturdy enough and can withstand some tuff usage.
Overall, despite backing two displays and a large keyboard, the footprint of the laptop is quite low. On top of that, the weight distribution has been done quite well and the 1.6Kg gross weight makes this one light enough to be carried anywhere.
In terms of connections, Asus has taken a modern approach. Most of the legacy connectivity options have been removed while for some important ones, adaptors have been provided within the box. We get a full-size HDMI 1.4 slot on the left side, which is joined by two USB Type C 3.2 spec Thunderbolt 4 ports that can support PD charging as well.
While on the right side, we get a Type A 3.2 spec slot, along with the combo audio jack and a microSD card slot. Since the laptop is aimed at Pro users, we feel like the most prominent connectivity options have been covered while the Thunderbolt 4 spec ports can take in more inputs via dedicated dongles.
The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 UX482E comes with the Windows 10 Home out of the box. But this could vary based upon the SKU you choose. There is no DOS version available as of now, something that Pro users would have liked.
Just like smartphones, every OEM these days is bundling some software as well. We found some useful ones like the ‘Asus Battery Health Charging’ which takes care of the power and battery management, Smart Audio lets you configure the audio input settings, Splendid that takes care of the display profiles and Wi-Fi roaming optimization.
Keyboard & Touchpad
Keyboards have been particularly quite well on Asus laptops. Since the ZenBook Duo 14 packs a large secondary display, the keyboard had to be shrunk a bit. Though the keyboard still holds the 6-row layout, some of the rows have been sized a bit differently.
The keys are adequately placed with the travel distance merely being 1.4 mm which is good for effective typing. The pressure point and resistance are well adjusted and typing on the keyboard is a breeze, once you get accustomed to this key layout. It’s got backlighting, which is pretty much standard in this price range. You get three levels of brightness on it as well. The only thing missing here is a full-length num-pad, which has been taken over by the touchpad.
Moving to the touchpad, Asus has equipped the ZenBook Duo 14 with a different style touchpad, which was present in the previous generations as well. The touchpad is barely large enough for comfortable use. It comes packed with Windows Precision Drivers which gives added ability to use gestures like 3 finger swipes to change desktop, 3 finger touches to launch Cortana. You get separate left and right keys, which are placed on the bottom.
Despite the 14-inch size, the primary display and the laptop overall has a small footprint. We get a 14-inch 16:9 Full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The bezels on the sides are kept to a minimum, while the top one has some girth to it due to the addition of the IR camera for the Windows Hello suite.
Asus’s Splendid Display technology makes a return here, which helps you to tweak colours and other critical display settings. The colours out of the box on the main display are set to a cooler tone. The display gets bright enough and looks well in most environments. Moving onto the secondary display, we get a 12.65-inch IPS grade panel here which supports pen input as well. The colours here are decent at best, given the use of this secondary panel.
The common thing between the two displays is the support for touch input which on Windows 10 is bare of any use. But is useful in certain Pro-grade apps and use cases. This will be best suited on the Windows 11 build which we couldn’t test on the laptop as of writing this review.
The performance on the ZenBook Duo 14 SKU that we have is top-notch. Our unit comes with 11th Generation Intel Core i7 1165G7, which is one of the latest upper-midrange chips from Intel. This is a new chip that demands less power but the throughput has been upped when compared to the earlier generations.
Our model comes decked out with 16GB RAM which is expandable up to 32GB. With the Intel i7, you get 2GB VRAM via the Intel UHD graphics which have been improved with this new generation of Intel chips. The SKU we had also come with Nvidia GeForce MX450 2GB VRAM card, so people who need slightly better graphics performance can always go with this variant.
There is no option of getting a dual-storage model here which is of no use anyways on a Pro-grade product. Our unit came with a 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD by WD. The performance on the drive is quite good with average reads going all the way to 3,000Mb/s and write speeds in the excess of 1,500Mb/s.
Coming to the audio, this is where the ZenBook Duo 14 disappoints a bit, not because the speakers are bad but because they’re still not “Pro Grade”. Despite being a Pro-grade laptop, the audio output via the speakers is not up to the mark. The speakers are placed on the front-bottom, a little back to be honest, but the rubber feet give enough room for audio to build up which is still not enough.
The loudness is good enough to watch a movie or play some lo-fi music but if you are looking to do video editing, you still gotta use your headphones. Asus also bundles in their own software called the SmartAudio using which, certain aspects can be tweaked.
To get both the display working non-stop, Asus has packed the ZenBook Duo 14 with a 70Wh 3-cell battery. In our tests the battery lasted for about 12 hours with all the networking peripherals turned on, with the laptop on Airplane mode, you get up to 16 hours.
There is basic fast charging enabled and using the supplied 65W adapter, you can charge about 50% of the battery in under 50 mins. Additionally, you can use the Type-C port for charging by using a USB Power Delivery Charger.
- Good Build quality
- Bright Touchscreen displays
- Excellent battery life
- No fingerprint sensor
- The secondary display can be better
Verdict – Should you go for it?
For a sticker price of INR 1,34,990, the ZenBook Duo 14 UX482E SKU that we have is a bit of a stretch for most users. That being said, this laptop with a large secondary display is aimed at a section of Pro users, that would be happy to shell out extra bucks for ease of use.
The ZenBook Duo 14 UX482E is a decent product equipped with the latest Intel i7 processor, excellent battery life, and provides a plethora of connectivity options. The only grip we had was with the secondary display and no fingerprint reader.
The nearest competition to this would be the older generations ZenBook Duo’s which are still very much capable or the new Apple MacBook Pro with the M1 chip. If this Core i7 feels like a bit for you, check out the i5 variant of the ZenBook Duo as well which is priced under INR 1L.