22 January 2019
Asus at the Computex 2018 event launched a new style of laptop that has a secondary touchscreen and it’s fitted where you usually see a touchpad. The all-new ZenBook Pro 15 has a 5.5-inch secondary touchscreen, what the company calls the ScreenPad. This can run its own apps when required like the calculator, music player, and digital numeric keypad. When the user wants to switch from touchpad mode to ScreenPad, they just have to hit the F6 to toggle between the options. Also, the users may be able to use the smartphone from the desktop using the secondary display with the help of Asus Sync sometime in the near future.
Asus touts that the ZenBook Pro 15 is meant for the professionals who want to leverage something extra from their devices.
The ZenBook Pro 15 is powered by up to the hexa-core Intel Core i9 processor paired with a monster GTX 1050 Ti GPU and a 1TB PCIe SSD with four lanes. It comes in 15.6-inch and 14-inch sizes, both featuring narrow bezels around a panel that offers 132% of the sRGB color gamut, 100% Adobe RGB, and Pantone validation. The ZenBook Pro offers a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI 1.4 port, capable of driving a trio of 4K external displays. Compared to this, the ZenBook Pro 14-inch has only one Thunderbolt port.
One of the useful aspects of this secondary display on the ZenBook Pro 15 is the Chrome plugin that lets you send a YouTuber video to the trackpad screen while you keep doing other things on the main display.
Both the 15-inch and 14-inch versions of the ZenBook Pro have almost identical specs but they differ in designs. Both have a circular brushed finish to the aluminum lid, but the 15-inch is the curvier of the two with smooth lines and wider arcs to its corners, along with a polished rose gold bevel around the edges. The 14-inch has a squarish body and doesn’t have that rose gold access edge.
Asus intends to release an SDK for the ScreenPad and serve apps through the Microsoft Store. It may also launch a dedicated website to show the available ScreenPad apps. ASUS also demoed an extension for Microsoft Office, letting you format text via the ScreenPad
- 15.6-inch 4K (3840x2160) IPS touch display,100% Adobe RGB, Delta-E <2
- Intel Core i5-8300H quad-core or Intel Core i9-8950HK hexa-core
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
- up to 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
- 512GB/1TB PCIe SSD or 256/512GB SATA SSD
- Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2x2, Bluetooth 5.0, 2x USB-A 3.1, 2x USB-X 3.1 +Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, Audio jack, microSD
- Windows Hello fingerprint reader (15.6-inch), Windows Hello IR camera (14-inch)
It may be available in mid-July 2018 and you can expect it to be priced at around $2299.