First displayed at Taipei’s Computex convention, the Asus ZenBook Pro comes equipped with the first of its kind ScreenPad. It’s a lot like the new MacBook Pro’s touchbar, except that it is located below the keyboard and you can watch videos on it.
The ZenBook comes with an icon to bring up the app launcher, which displays every app installed that is ScreenPad supported. When one app is opened, it is launched both on the main screen, along with the ScreenPad version launching simultaneously. One demonstration showed how a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel could be edited using a customized interface on ScreenPad, while the corresponding changes were seen on the main display.
Tom Brant/PC Mag
Despite needing an extension installed to get the most functionality of the ScreenPad, a suite of Asus apps can be run. Some of these include Calendar, a music player, calculator and the Microsoft Office suite. Asus has indicated that browser extensions will become available too. One such extension will be for Chrome and will turn the ScreenPad into a YouTube screen.
Some concerns surrounding ScreenPad include how much it will affect the battery life of devices, as well as how many third-party developers will make supported apps. Presently, Asus is in discussion with a number of developers and have manged to secure Windows Store apps which will display a message if they have ScreenPad support. No further information has been made available on how the battery life will fare with ScreenPad and so we wait to get our hands on a device.
- Intel Core eighth-generation i5, i7 and i9 options
- 15.6-inch touchscreen display, FHD (1,920×1,080 pixel) and UHD (3,840×2,160) options
- Deep Dive Blue and Rose Gold Trim colour options
- 5.5-inch FHD ScreenPad
- Nvidia GeForce 1050Ti, 1050 GTX
- Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Up to 1TB SSD storage
- 1.88kg, 4.1 pounds
Pricing and availability have not been made available, but it is likely to make a huge splash on its release.