Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 Notebook

Content

  1. Contents of delivery
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Positioning
  4. Appearance, ergonomics
  5. Screens, multimedia
  6. Keyboard, touch pad
  7. Performance, autonomy, cooling
  8. Results

Contents of delivery*

  • A laptop
  • 240W Power Supply, 65W USB Type-C Power Supply
  • Wrist rest
  • ROG Delta Headset
  • ROG GC21 external webcam
  • ROG Ranger Backpack
  • ROG Gladius II Mouse
  • Documentation

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

* exact equipment depends on the region

TECH SPECS
Operating system Windows 10 
Processor Intel Core i9-10980HK, 8 cores, 16 threads, 2,4 GHz (maximum frequency 5,3 GHz, 3 MB L16 cache), 14 nm process technology, review version)

Intel Core i7-10875H, 8 cores, 16 threads, 2,3 GHz (5,1 GHz max, 3 MB L16 cache), 14 nm process technology

Video Cards Intel UHD Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, 8 GB VRAM (GDDR6, review version) 
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, 8GB VRAM (GDDR6, Intel Core i7-10875H only config)
Chipset Intel HM470
Screen IPS, 15,6 ″, 4K / UHD (3840 × 2160), 16: 9, 248 ppi, 60 Hz refresh rate, 100% Adobe RGB color gamut, Pantone certified, non-touch (review version)
IPS, 15,6 ”, FHD (1920 × 1080), 16: 9, 141 ppi, 300 Hz refresh rate, 3 ms response time, 100% sRGB color gamut, Pantone certified, non-touch
Additional ScreenPad Plus display: IPS, 14.09 ”, UHD (3840×1100), 256 ppi, 60 Hz refresh rate, 72% NTSC color gamut, touch 
RAM DDR4 16GB + DDR4 16GB (48GB Max Config) Dual Channel 3200MHz
Жесткий диск 1 TB SSD M.2 PCIE 3.0×4 NVMe + 1 TB SSD with RAID 0 support (review version)
512GB / 1TB SSD M.2 PCIE 3.0×4 NVMe RAID 0
Connectors 1x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP 1.4, Thunderbolt 3, Power Delivery) 
2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.0b, 3,5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm combo jack, RJ45
Wireless Interfaces Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Gigabit, Bluetooth 5.0
Battery Li-ion, 90 Wh
Additionally ScreenPad Plus auxiliary display, AAS Plus advanced cooling system, switchable between discrete and integrated graphics, long-range microphone array, ESS Saber DAC with Hi-Res Audio and 7.1 virtual surround sound, customizable per-key color illumination, VR support
Dimensions and weight 36 x 26,8 x 2 cm, 2.4 kg
Price From 251 to 990 rubles (depending on configuration)

Positioning

We continue to get acquainted with the updated line of ROG Zephyrus laptops, this time at the review – at the moment the top device of the Republic Of Gamers, but it is suitable not only for hardcore gamers. Three modifications of the model will appear on the market, the differences are in the characteristics of displays, models of the processor and video card, as well as in the amount of memory for storing data. The non-standard concept of the laptop lies in the use of an additional touch screen ScreenPad Plus, on the pages of the Mobile Review you could already familiarize yourself with it from the review of the ASUS ZenBook Duo

In the hero of the review, this idea was further developed and applied in a gaming device, which is understandable, because esports does not stand still and is constantly moving forward, giving a certain impetus to the popularity of gaming among users of all ages. The ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 tried to connect the two worlds: gaming and professional, including tying both scenarios to the secondary display. In the course of the review, we will talk about this and not only, since there is a lot to tell about.

Appearance, ergonomics

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

The premium character of the device is already underlined at the stage of unpacking. In a large black cardboard box, a smaller box is fixed between two sealing elements. When you open it, the laptop itself beautifully slides out of it. According to the first external impression – a completely familiar laptop, relatively thin and lightweight, without any RGB-excesses on the lid and body. The lid is made of durable matte and not too easily soiled metal, with the ROG logo on it. Noteworthy are the location of three ports on the rear of the laptop: these are HDMI, USB-A 3.2, and a network port. This arrangement of ports will allow you to connect an external display without a cable dangling in the middle of the table. A glossy insert running almost diagonally along the lid emphasizes the cutout in its lower part, it is one of the elements of the cooling system, we can see its grilles both on the back and on the side ends of the ROG Zephyrus Duo, as well as on the bottom panel, on which there are inserts for stability of the laptop on the table.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

Of course, we are more interested in what’s inside. When you open the lid of the laptop, the main trump card of the laptop immediately comes to the fore – the touch display, which slowly rises above the body as the screen hinge moves. Below the display are two large air intakes for the cooling system. This arrangement is explained by the fact that the temperature of the air drawn inside in this place is lower than, say, at the table surface. This is one of the features of the updated AAS cooling system, we will return to it in a separate section.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

The angle of rise of the ScreenPad Plus in relation to the main body is 13 degrees, according to the manufacturer, it is optimal for viewing content and for interacting with the display. And only then the main display, the keyboard and the touch panel located to the right of it draws attention. The use of an additional screen left no other placement options, while the solution is quite convenient, at least you get used to it quickly. Thanks to such solutions, the laptop retained its sane dimensions, I check this parameter as standard with a test with a backpack, Zephyrus Duo 15 passed it brilliantly. It was a little uncomfortable to realize that behind the back is such, frankly, an expensive device, which, moreover, is not very noticeable by the weight, we had to check from time to time whether it was there.

Screens, multimedia

Let’s take a quick look at the versions of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 screens. The display in the gamer model has a Full HD resolution, but the screen refresh rate here reaches as much as 300 Hz with a minimal response time, which even exceeds the requirements for monitors during cyber tournaments. The quality and naturalness of color reproduction of the screen is confirmed by Pantone specialists, the company has been professionally dealing with the issue of displaying colors for a long time, creating for this its own standardized system for the selection of shades, its authority in this matter is obvious. For both versions, NVIDIA G-Sync technology eliminates unwanted artifacts and image tearing. It synchronizes the processing time of the monitor and the video card, minimizing the display lag, improving the overall picture quality.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

The test unit also features a Pantone-certified UHD display with 15,6% Adobe RGB color space. The color rendition is as correct as possible, the matrix is ​​without any glare, the frames around the display are thin, and they do not interfere with viewing. Such parameters, coupled with a confident margin of brightness, make such a display an excellent option for those users who work with graphics. Yes, it’s only 2 ”, but Screen Pad Plus comes to the rescue, plus no one bothers to display the image on a larger monitor. In order to save the results of work or video from the stream, the test model provides a solid-state drive with a volume of as much as XNUMX terabytes with an impressive read and write speed.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

The ScreenPad Plus concept continues the tradition of the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. The auxiliary display used in the parameters does not differ from that in the mentioned model: 4K, 14 inches, touch input is supported. Not multi-touch, of course, which would be in the spirit of a futuristic design. You can still take out individual applications on the second display, you can comfortably use three or four applications at the same time and switch between them via the Alt + Tab command or through the auxiliary display manager of running applications built into the software. More than ten applications can be stored in memory. It is convenient to work with the second display: the cursor instantly moves between the two screens, there are no delays at all. To quickly transfer an application to an auxiliary display, you need to pull its window down. The Screen Xpert window will immediately appear, in which you can select the nature of interaction with ScreenPad Plus: transfer it in a compressed form, to full screen, or pin it to the launcher. In the settings of the additional display, you can set its resolution, brightness, change the background, set up energy saving and scaling.

Of course, it was not without the influence of the game. The concept of an additional screen received a certain development precisely in the context of gaming: ASUS cooperates with third-party developers to create scripts for ScreenPad Plus, which can pump the gameplay in the most popular games. So, for example, for Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends, specialized software add-ons are available that display game statistics, necessary metrics, tips for character development on an additional display. Dying Light 2 also has a dedicated mode, which comes as a gift when buying a laptop. Streamers will love the XSplit Gamecaster app, which will display stream statistics, video settings and chat with subscribers on ScreenPad Plus, all in order not to clutter up the main display.

In addition to the gaming scenario and the improvement of multitasking, such a display can definitely be used when working with graphics, animation, as well as when editing video: there is a powerful video card and RAM up to 48 GB. The combination of software and hardware features makes the hero of the review a universal tool for all tasks. At the same time, if you wish, you can turn it off; there is a separate key above the touch panel for this. By the way, the on / off button of the computer is also located right there, if the backlight is active, then it always lights up red.

Two four-way speakers are responsible for the sound, a dedicated DAC is provided in the sound path, there is support for Hi-Res Audio. The volume of the sound is more than enough to block the rustle of the fans, which in themselves are not too loud, but in Turbo mode they start to show themselves quite actively. 7.1 virtual surround sound is available when using headphones.

Keyboard, touch pad

The switches of the keyboard installed in the laptop have an average quiet stroke, independent processing of clicks allows you to more clearly read the entered commands, for each key you can set up a multi-colored backlight, a true attribute of gaming devices and accessories. The keys themselves are comfortably spaced apart from each other, accidental presses are extremely rare. Due to its distance from the main display, the keyboard is less susceptible to heat, the area next to the screen is usually quite warm.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

Due to the abandonment of the area for entering numbers, the size of the keys did not suffer. The block for entering numbers from the physical has become digital, it is combined with a touch panel located to the right of the keyboard. This solution is familiar from some ASUS models, switching from the trackpad to the digital block is carried out by clicking on the icon in its upper left corner. When you switch to entering numbers, the trackpad stops working according to its main purpose, which is strange, in laptops this functionality was simpler. There are no complaints about the work of the keyboard and trackpad, I enjoyed typing this text on a laptop, conveniently and comfortably.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

Performance, autonomy, cooling

Let’s start with cooling. The redesigned heat dissipation system of the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is complemented by a new thermal interface: liquid metal is applied to the processor using specially designed equipment and technical process, which increases the efficiency of heat transfer. This solution came from the ROG Mothership and will be used in all notebooks in the lineup based on the tenth generation of Intel processors. It should be understood that even the most advanced cooling system does not mean the absence of heating, in this case it is also there, but hands will not feel it when playing games and working with resource-demanding software.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) NotebookReview ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

It’s not every day that such a powerful and productive device gets to the test. The Intel Core i9-10980HK processor is currently the flagship solution in the manufacturer’s line of chips, it can overclock to 5,3 GHz and with a heat package of 45 W it is theoretically able to warm up the case well, partly for this, the advanced cooling AAS Plus is used. There is absolutely nothing to complain about in terms of performance, however, such a level was to be expected from such a filling.

Benchmarks:

  • Cinebench R20: CPU 3683, single-core 413.
  • Geekbench 5: single-core 1219 / multi-core 7652.
  • PCMark 10: 5464 (9728 base operations / 8542 productivity / 5330 digital content creation).
  • 3D Mark:
    • RTX capabilities, Port Royal: 5389
    • DirectX 12, Time Spy: 8657 (8776 graphics, 8941 processor)
    • 4K games in DirectX 12, Time Spy Extreme: 4139 (graphics, 4136, processor 4161)
    • DirectX 11, Fire Strike: 20 (graphics 025, physics 23, combined test 486);
    • 4K games in DirectX 11, Fire Strike Ultra: 5493 (graphics 5340, physics 19, combined test 842);
    • General test for gaming devices, Sky Diver: 43 140 (graphics 72 419, physics 16 073, combined test 28 643).
  • CrystalDIsk Mark: 3444 MB / s read / 3197 MB / s write.

The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super discrete graphics card in Max-Q design plays an important role in providing a top-end visual experience in games. It differs from the desktop older brother by slightly reduced performance for the sake of energy efficiency, less heating and a slightly thinner profile. Otherwise, everything is identical. The bundle of tensor and RT kernels still works. The latter are responsible for the correct and as close as possible to real processing of light: scattering, reflection, casting a shadow, and so on, while tensor kernels speed up the execution of basic operations, using AI and deep learning in them.

It is worth turning on RTX – and the image in the game is transformed, it becomes very realistic, more like a movie than a game. According to my impressions, the difference is simply fantastic, apparently due to the fact that I have not tested RTX devices for a long time, and then there is also new graphics. In conjunction with the aforementioned processor and the amount of RAM, games are launched at maximum settings, so I conducted tests in games in both UHD and Full HD.

Testing in games:

  • Shadow of Tomb Raider: 107 fps (Full HD, Hairworks on).
  • Doom Eternal: 91 fps (4K, max quality graphics, Vulkan)
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood: 84 fps (4K, maximum graphics quality).
  • Metro Exodus: 73/49 fps (Full HD / 4K, Extreme quality, Phys-X enabled)
  • Far Cry New Dawn: 86/48 fps (Very High quality)
  • Fortnite: 95/43 fps (Full HD / 4K, Epic quality).
  • Apex Legends: 53/125 fps (Very High settings).
  • Battlefield V: 44 fps (4K, DX 12 and DXR on, maximum definition mode), 53 fps (4K, maximum graphics quality, DXR off)


Results

Of the possible alternatives to the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, only the aforementioned ZenBook Duo series laptops can be distinguished, it should be understood that with similar characteristics, the price fork will be about the same. If we take new items, then the Full HD version is positioned as a more affordable option, based on the specified price range – from 252 to 000 rubles. The cost, as always, is a kind of stumbling block. Even a cursory acquaintance with the characteristics is enough to understand that such a monster cannot be cheap. What can we say, RTX does not seek to get cheaper, and the rest of the components are also at the level, and the tricks with the exchange rate affected.

Review ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 (GX550) Notebook

The auxiliary display concept is a very interesting visual and functional find. Frankly, the feeling that arises every time you open and use the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 did not pass even on the 5th day of active testing, the form factor is extremely unusual, you get the full impression that you have something from the future or from one of the Sci-Fi films … At the same time, you get used to such a paradigm of use instantly, especially if the created script makes it easier to work or optimizes the gameplay. It is clear that such a laptop will be chosen by professionals whose work and whose bread is tied to games, graphics, editing and similar scenarios, as well as those who are looking for maximum multitasking in conditions of confident performance.

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