Product and Reviews

ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 (GX650)

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Asus’s Republic of Gamers Zephyrus Duo 16 gets some upgrades with a much bigger 16-inch screen in a more document friendly 16:10 ratio, a new webcam that comes with an IR emitter to measure the face more accurately and lastly, the redesigned hinge that pushes the bottom second screen much closer to the main screen.


Top of the range specs for the most powerful duo screen gaming laptop great for content creators too. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Of course, the innards are upgraded with AMD’s AMD Ryzen™ 9 6900HX with 64GB of DDR5-4800 RAM. Nvidia’s powerful GeForce RTX 3080Ti Laptop GPU is also in the mix giving the ROG Laptop the necessary power to play your favourite games at maximum graphics settings.


So it is not a surprise that the synthetic tests yielded top scores in 3DMark’s Firestrike (11270) and Cinebench R23 (12963), one of the few laptops that break the 4-figure scores.


2.5 Gigabit LAN Port, USB-A for mouse and Full-sized HDMI port for monitors, cameras or video recorders. Too bad there is no Type C port here for charging purposes. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


Connectivity with the laptop is also top-notched with a full-sized HDMI port so that the machine can work with digital video recorders or hook up with an external monitor. Regarding network speed, the laptop comes with Wi-Fi6e and a 2.5 Gigabit LAN port at the back for the most stable and fastest network connection for gaming and work.


Of course, that would mean your ISP has to support at least a 2Gbps internet connection with router/switch devices that allows a 2.5Gbps connection at the port level.


For such a powerful machine, it is quite disappointing to see a MicroSD card slot instead of a full-sized SD Card slot. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


The main problem with the laptop is the lack of an SD Card reader, so transferring image or video files from my DSLR or mirrorless camera necessitates the use of a card reader.


As the name suggests, the Duo has two distinctive screens, with the bottom 14-inch ScreenPad supporting creators and gamers alike. Creators, especially videographers, can place their video and sound assets at the bottom while working on the video timeline at the top. There is lesser folder switching as a result.


It also helps that the second screen is part of the laptop, so you do not need to pack an additional screen when travelling.


The major difference between the ROG and the Zenbook versions is the inclusion of acrylic windows just above the keyboard, giving the ROG laptop top-notched aesthetics. Too bad that the windows’ LED light is not that prominent because the keyboard’s LED is much brighter.


The cyberpunk look is attained thanks to the see through windows in the laptop case. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


With a bigger screen, having a 4K resolution is necessary to ensure the image quality remains high. The image and videos do not look as blocky on a FullHD screen.


However, gamers would most likely switch on the ROG Nebula function that uses 4 pixels on the screen to represent 1 pixel in a 1080p setting to gain a blazing fast and smooth 240Hz refresh rate for a better gaming experience.


All the power did come at a cost. The ROG Duo is much heavier at 2.5KG, no thanks to the machine’s massive cooling system. This laptop is meant to be on the desk more than an ultraportable.


Secondly, a wrist pad is essential with this laptop as the keyboard is at the bottom half of the laptop base, which can be pretty uncomfortable when typing for an extended period.


The secondary screen is great for two purposes – a quick way to change settings during gaming and also provide another window to manage media assets. PHOTO: Wilson Wong


The hinge tilts up the secondary screen, making it very easy to see the contents on the screens. It also allows air ventilation when the laptop is performing at its best. When closing the laptop, make sure dust and debris are not stuck below the secondary screen.


Having a hinge to push up the secondary screen has another use – to expose two front-firing speakers for a more expansive audio experience. Watching video streaming on this machine is undoubtedly enjoyable, but hooking up a pair of headphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack will guarantee a better experience overall.


The ROG Zephyrus DUo 16 is now available for $7998.