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ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo
Old 29th May 2019
  #1
ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo

I don’t know about you but I think this is a pretty interesting product for music and AV creators.
Not only do you have both a 16:9 and a 32:9 touch screens, but you still have a physical keyboard and track pad. All in a laptop.
Arrange on top, mixer on the bottom ultrawide..
It’s got up to an 8 core i9 too...

Pretty schwifty if you ask me.

Old 30th May 2019
  #2
Don't you think that a standalone, larger version of this bottom ultrawide touch screen, would be a very useful device for many AV creators?

I'd love one that lines up with my 27" touch screen.
Old 31st May 2019
  #3
Nobody else’s got any thoughts on this?
Old 1st June 2019
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Sry but I could never use a laptop like that. The touchpad would be very uncomfortable to use. It would tire my hand, as it's not a natural position to rest your hand. The keyboard would also be uncomfortable to type on, especially on your lap. I wouldn't want to have a secondary screen below. The screen needs to be in front of me, or else it would kill my neck, and the viewing angle would be quite bad, so I would just end up not using it. It would also drain the battery quickly. I would rather have a ultrawide monitor, where I can see everything on the same screen. I would get tired of this laptop quite quickly, due to how uncomfortable it would be to use. I'm going to buy the Razer Blade 15. I can even get up to 64 GB of RAM on the Razer. There is nothing that drives me more insane than having an off center touchpad. Just try and rest your fingers on the edge of your laptop, and feel how uncomfortable it is. It's probably going to be expensive too. I need a computer that's ergonomically friendly, or else I'm going to dislike it. It feels much more natural to look at a screen that's right in front of you, compared to looking down at a screenpad that you'll be viewing at an angle. No thanks.
Old 1st June 2019
  #5
Have you tried it?
Because you seem very certain about things you could only truly know if you’ve used it extensively.

Also. Since both screens are touch screens, the idea is that you wouldn’t need the trackpad as much. Also it comes with an arm rest to make it more ergonomic.

One thing, I’m not particularly interested to buy this machine in the current form factor as 15” touch screens are small for DAWs.
I AM interesting in adding an ultrawide slab of touch screen beneath my 27” in the studio, in much the same way.
So I’m mainly interested in seeing this laptop version succeed so that we might see desktop versions arrive to the market.
That said, I think even this laptop version could be quite useful for music and AV creators on the go.

Last edited by ~ufo~; 1st June 2019 at 09:59 PM..
Old 16th November 2019
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Has anyone tried this? Curious about DPC latency, if it's not an issue I would consider this over the 16 inch MBP.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
Bought one of these last week hoping to replace my ageing Macbook for music production. Thought the second touch screen might be useful/fun for all sorts of things - hands-on messing around with faders, VST controls etc.

Frankly, after several days use, the jury's out - and I think I'm probably going to return it - primarily because it just isn't practical as a portable machine.

The reviews talk about the weight of the laptop plus power brick and so-so battery life, so perhaps I should have known better. But I still found myself shocked at how heavy and baulky this thing is, and just how quickly the battery drains.

I would be thrilled if I managed to get three-four hours people talk about, but I get nothing like that when running Ableton. Unless you put the battery in low power mode, it drinks itself dry in about an hour.

So as much as I like having two touch screens and an i9 ticking away under the hood, I can't stop thinking - what's the point in this being portable? Why not just get a desktop and a couple of monitors if I'm going to be tied down to the studio by it anyway?

It's frustrating, because I love everything else about it. Even the forward placement of the keyboard's no problem for me, and I find the trackpad just fine - although if your a left it's probably not going to work for you. Although you could just get a portable mouse of course...

Anyway, if anyone else has one of these I'd be interested in hearing what you think - could use some help working out whether it's a keeper or not. All the other laptops out there seem somewhat boring after using this - not least your macs.

Last edited by KriticalMass; 22nd November 2019 at 01:49 PM.. Reason: typos
Old 22nd November 2019
  #8
Like I said, I'd LOVE to have a stand alone ultrawide slab of touch screen that's basically half the height of my 27" 16:9 and lines up with it horizontally.

This concept, in desktop (say the new iMac...
Yes please.

With an 8-16 core i9
Old 24th November 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
Update:

Just did a battery run down test with Ableton - a single sample on loop, volume down, both screens on, brightness 50% and battery mode at 50%. And discovered that the problem with battery drain on this computer is worse than I could even have imagined.

Battery saver mode kicked in after just an hour - you could practically see it counting down.

So unfortunately I have to conclude that - unless you are always able to plug in - this thing is completely useless as a mobile DAW - which is a huge shame, as it was really fantastic to have the clips on the main screen and the wave form display on the secondary screen. The ability to pinch to zoom on the waveform was amazing.

None the less, it's going back. I just wish there was something else like it on the market to replace it. Hopefully there will be before too long.
Old 24th November 2019
  #10
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blaugruen7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KriticalMass View Post
Update:

Just did a battery run down test with Ableton - a single sample on loop, volume down, both screens on, brightness 50% and battery mode at 50%. And discovered that the problem with battery drain on this computer is worse than I could even have imagined.

Battery saver mode kicked in after just an hour - you could practically see it counting down.

So unfortunately I have to conclude that - unless you are always able to plug in - this thing is completely useless as a mobile DAW - which is a huge shame, as it was really fantastic to have the clips on the main screen and the wave form display on the secondary screen. The ability to pinch to zoom on the waveform was amazing.

None the less, it's going back. I just wish there was something else like it on the market to replace it. Hopefully there will be before too long.
You need it to be without electricity?
What audio interface do you use?
Old 24th November 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaugruen7 View Post
You need it to be without electricity?
What audio interface do you use?
Yes, I like to get out of the house sometimes and make music wherever my heart takes me. Otherwise I'd just use a desktop, with same specs at half the price.

No audio interface - headphones. And the battery drain test was conducted with volume turned to zero.
Old 24th November 2019
  #12
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blaugruen7's Avatar
Me myself is nowadays mostly concerned with fan noise in laptops.
It wrecks my nerves and makes audio recording more difficult.
How was fan noise under full load?
Old 24th November 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaugruen7 View Post
Me myself is nowadays mostly concerned with fan noise in laptops.
It wrecks my nerves and makes audio recording more difficult.
How was fan noise under full load?
Under load the fan noise is definitely there - I have the i9 so it’s to be expected given the chips cooling requirements. Not terrible and less than my 2014 MacBook 15 I bought it to replace.
Old 24th November 2019
  #14
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blaugruen7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KriticalMass View Post
Under load the fan noise is definitely there - I have the i9 so it’s to be expected given the chips cooling requirements. Not terrible and less than my 2014 MacBook 15 I bought it to replace.
This is actual already very good news in my book.
Thank you very much
Old 24th November 2019
  #15
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ufo~ View Post
Like I said, I'd LOVE to have a stand alone ultrawide slab of touch screen that's basically half the height of my 27" 16:9 and lines up with it horizontally.

This concept, in desktop (say the new iMac...
Yes please.

With an 8-16 core i9
An iMac with an iPad running sidecar would get you somewhat close to your vision I’d have thought - not widescreen though of course. But you could still run a chunk of the screen into an iPad Pro propped your directly below it.
Old 24th November 2019
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Review with DPC latency Results

I found a review which shows useable dpc latency results. Can you run latencymon with ableton up or did you already return it?

Also where did you get it where you were able to return it? Was there a restocking fee?

I would definitely like to try it and see if it seems worth the issues with the battery/weight.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/ZenBoo....434762.0.html
Old 24th November 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by HotCarl View Post
I found a review which shows useable dpc latency results. Can you run latencymon with ableton up or did you already return it?

Also where did you get it where you were able to return it? Was there a restocking fee?

I would definitely like to try it and see if it seems worth the issues with the battery/weight.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/ZenBoo....434762.0.html
I've cleaned the fingerprints off (it's a fingerprint magnet by the way) and packed it all away now, sorry.

I'm in the UK, and I bought it used off eBay for almost £1000 less than the high street price. From a UK-based eBay business called stockmustgo. They offer a 30 day no quibble returns policy - which I'm hoping is as hassle free as they make it out to be.

They've got another one listed right now at a damn good price:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Asus-UX58...4b88%7Ciid%3A1

They've also got a used i7 model listed at almost £1000 off, making it pretty cheap for what it is - if only the battery wasn't as bad as any I've encountered in two decades. Maybe it lasts longer on the i7?
Old 30th November 2019
  #18
Gear Addict
Update:

So I’ve decided not to return my zenbook pro duo after all. Why? Because after discovering that the batteries only lasted just over an hour running Ableton - and dismissing it on that basis - I decided to try the Same test on my 2014 MacBook Pro 15 and discovered that in reality the batteries on that lasted only half an hour longer. I guess I hadnt really understood what a drainer of batteries Ableton really is. I wonder if there’s any laptop that can get significantly more battery time with Ableton?

I then tried a battery test using Word, browsing the Internet, watching a few YouTube videos with screen on 50% brightness and I got just under five hours out of it. And for me that’s ok.

I then had a look around at the alternatives - and realised there really aren’t any. I’m not just taking about the second screen. I don’t believe there is a single other stylus enabled touchscreen 4K oled i9 32gn 1tb thunderbolt 3 laptop out there. And at the price I got it refurbished from eBay - £2100- its more than £1000 cheaper than the nearest equivalent MacBook Pro 16. And of course the MacBook hasn’t got an RTX GPU. Or indeed a second 4K stylus touchscreen.

So, to all those out there wondering about this computer - my advice would be to go for it, especially if you can get a good deal on it. It’s an amazing computer and despite the high price actually something of a bargain imho.
Old 2nd December 2019
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by KriticalMass View Post
of course the MacBook hasn’t got an RTX GPU. Or indeed a second 4K stylus touchscreen.
Indeed it doesn't even have a primary one.
Old 16th December 2019
  #20
Gear Addict
 
AndyZippy's Avatar
Okay, so I bought an Asus Zenbook Pro Duo in the last week as part of a brand new set up (I need to be mobile but running from mains power once in situ is no problem) as it perfectly fits my needs - I opted for the i9 / 32GB RAM / 1TB 15.6" version, so I guess you could say the "all singing all dancing" version - to use with a Universal Apollo X4 and X8P (and Satelite) over Thunderbolt 3. I'm coming away from an age-ing rack-mount desktop/SSL Alphalink set up and chose this over going to a new Macbook Pro 16.

Well... a week in, and i'm still not past getting clicks and pops in both DAW playback (Cubase 10.5) nor, say, youtube via chrome browser. My LatencyMon DPC etc scores have been really, really bad during troubleshooting, so I'd be really interested to know how others are getting on! I don't want to admit defeat, take it back and go the Macbook Pro 16 route as the two screens works so well, especially for Cubase's mixer in the second screen and frankly it is a thing of beauty and lovely to use with the front mounted keyboard (for me at least), but I've lost a week already to trying to just make it work

Old 17th December 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

This is the (seemingly consistent) experience I see when using windows laptops for audio. I've been through 5 high-end windows gaming laptops - none of which I could get to work reliably for a DAW.

I'm currently using a 2018 MacBook Pro i9 - nice and safe.
Old 17th December 2019
  #22
Gear Addict
 
AndyZippy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCProject View Post
This is the (seemingly consistent) experience I see when using windows laptops for audio. I've been through 5 high-end windows gaming laptops - none of which I could get to work reliably for a DAW.

I'm currently using a 2018 MacBook Pro i9 - nice and safe.
Yes, I would agree now - I'm about 24 hours away from going through with my refund and ordering a new 8 core Macbook Pro 16 - My first apple for 12 years! I so wanted the Zenbook to work, I tried writing fader automation on the second screen and it was awesome - sadly, amongst cracks and pops and the other wealth of DOC issues. Genuinely gutted!
Old 17th December 2019
  #23
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blaugruen7's Avatar
Sorry to bring this up here, again.

All your software is compatible with the newest Macos?
Old 18th December 2019
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

You can downgrade to Mojave - it is possible. People have done it - you can google how to do it.

I think we're past the tipping-point for Catalina compatibility - not everything is obviously. Such are the times we live in.
Old 18th December 2019
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

If I wanted a windows laptop DAW I would probably bite-the-bullet and go with a decidedly un-sexy option from a company like this:
https://pcaudiolabs.com/rok-box-mobile-series/
Old 18th December 2019
  #26
Gear Addict
 
AndyZippy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaugruen7 View Post
Sorry to bring this up here, again.

All your software is compatible with the newest Macos?
Yes, had a check to make sure my main hitters are all OS Catalina compliant - One VI isn't but I emailed them and they had already started working on making it compatible thankfully!
Old 18th December 2019
  #27
Gear Addict
 
AndyZippy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCProject View Post
If I wanted a windows laptop DAW I would probably bite-the-bullet and go with a decidedly un-sexy option from a company like this:
https://pcaudiolabs.com/rok-box-mobile-series/
Honestly the only thing that kept me considering the windows realm was how awesome the potential of this new Zenbook Duo was for my setup - Still holding a tiny slice of hope but to be honest, it's fading
Old 18th December 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 
blaugruen7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyZippy View Post
Honestly the only thing that kept me considering the windows realm was how awesome the potential of this new Zenbook Duo was for my setup - Still holding a tiny slice of hope but to be honest, it's fading
Have you phoned the Asus Hotline?

Years ago I phoned them because of some tablet and they were great

Maybe it's just not the most powerful profile activated?
Old 18th December 2019
  #29
Gear Addict
 
AndyZippy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaugruen7 View Post
Have you phoned the Asus Hotline?

Years ago I phoned them because of some tablet and they were great

Maybe it's just not the most powerful profile activated?
Yea, I've been on the phone to them a couple of times now. Tech Support had to ask HQ about this as they seem almost oblivious to this model but made it sound like the bios does not allow for much tweaking. I tried running throttle stop to disable Turbo Boost, Speedstep and C-1E just to test - Tests by me and UA showed it would only disable turboboost, for example.

The problem is their support is so slow, I don't have weeks to spend faffing only to find it will never work, whilst my ability to get a refund ticks away.
Old 19th December 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

The core issues is: these windows gaming laptops are not designed for real-time audio processing. If you call tech support and ask about their DPC latency issues they have no idea what you're talking about.

The addressable windows laptop DAW market is too small for these manufacturers to invest in. Once in a while you can get lucky and find a high-powered windows laptop that happens to have the right chipsets to work well as a DAW - but it's a gamble.

A Mac laptop will work 99.9999% of the time.
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