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Asus refreshes ROG range with new Duo 16, Flow Z13 and Zephyrus G14

Jonathan Bray
4 Jan 2022
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Asus unveils an avalanche of new laptops, including one with a dual-resolution, dual-refresh rate display

CES 2022 isn’t quite the all-singing, all-dancing tech show it might have been thanks to Covid, but it’s here, and Asus is among a host of laptop manufacturers unveiling products at the show.

Following on from Intel’s announcement of its new 12th Gen mobile CPUs, the Taiwanese firm has unveiled a host of new gaming machines, including a new twin-screened Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16.

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On the face of it, the new 16in Duo is a mere evolution of the Duo concept. Like last year’s Duo, it has two screens: one main display and a second ultra-wide display (the Screenpad+) that rises up on hinges, just above the keyboard, as you open the lid. Asus has refined the mechanism so this screen sits closer to the main display with less of a gap and it is including the latest AMD CPUs and GPUs.

This Duo does more than improve an already successful formula, however, introducing the first dual-resolution, dual-refresh rate display we've seen on any laptop. What this means is that, instead of having to make the choice of a high resolution and low refresh rate screen or a low resolution with a high refresh rate, the new Zephyrus Duo delivers both.

Want a higher resolution for working or creative pursuits? Select 4K 120Hz mode. How about a bit of hardcore FPS gaming? Just flip it to 1080p at 240Hz. There isn’t much detail on how Asus is achieving this yet or whether it involves compromises in image quality or battery life, but Asus is promising 500 nits peak brightness, so it’s certainly not going to be dim.

If that sounds too gimmicky to you, Asus is also offering a model that includes Asus’ new “Nebula” display: a 16:10 aspect ratio, QHD Mini-LED screen that hits an even higher 1,180 nits of peak brightness, covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space, has a refresh rate of 165Hz and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1.

The ROG Zephyrus Duo 16’s keyboard naturally comes with per-key RGB lighting and has 1.7mm of travel for comfortable typing. A six-speaker Dolby Atmos audio system rounds out the package. 

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

Along with the new Duo, Asus has a newly updated Zephyus G14 laptop, aimed firmly at the discerning, on-the-go gaming enthusiast. The new laptops look similar to last year’s G-series Zephyrus laptops, are available in white or dark grey, and come with an improved matrix-LED “display” on the outside of the lid.

They now have built-in webcams with Windows Hello login support, although the 720p resolution is unlikely to get seasoned video conferencers particularly excited. As for CPU and GPU options, that’s more interesting. Asus is going all-AMD with this machine, pairing the very latest Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU with AMD’s new RDNA 2-based mobile GPUs (up to a Radeon RX 6800S GPU in this case). It will be interesting to see how performance pans out against Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs when we get our hands on one of these machines.

As with the Duo, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is available with the new Nebula screen, although at a reduced refresh rate of 120Hz and a lower peak brightness of “only” 500 nits. DCI-P3 coverage is claimed at 100%, there’s support for VRR (variable refresh rate) tech and the panel is Pantone verified so should be colour-accurate.

Asus ROG Flow Z13

Next up we have another intriguingly novel proposition: a high-powered 13.4in gaming-capable tablet, dubbed the Asus ROG Flow Z13.

The tablet has a built-in kickstand, much like the Microsoft Surface Pro, which delivers up to 170 degrees of adjustability. Unlike the Surface Pro, however, it comes with a keyboard in the box. Other stats include claimed battery life of up to ten hours on a single charge and a weight of just 1kg including the keyboard. Inside, it runs 12th Gen Intel CPU technology and it has a discrete Nvidia RTX 3050Ti GPU, so there’s plenty of power.

As for the display, it will be available with a rather underwhelming-sounding 13.4in, 4K 60Hz display covering 85% of the DCI-P3 colour space, or a Full HD 120Hz screen that covers 100% of sRGB. Both display options will be Pantone certified, though, so they should be reasonably colour accurate.

The exciting news here, however, is that, just like last year’s ROG Flow X13 ultraportable laptop, the Z13 will be compatible with Asus’ XG Mobile eGPU system. Plug the optional eGPU box (available with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 inside) into the tablet via Asus’ proprietary port and you’ll be able to game at ultra-high frame rates, just like a full-blown gaming laptop.

Asus ROG Strix Scar and Strix G

Aside from the headliners, Asus will also be launching updated ROG Strix Scar and ROG Strix G gaming laptops with the latest Intel chips and Nvidia GPUs inside.

We loved last year’s Scar and Strix G laptops, so we're keen to see how these new models stack up when they arrive over the next few months.

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