Unveiled at Computex 2018, the Asus ZenBook Pro is the new pinnacle of Asus’ premium laptop range, and it comes with an attention-grabbing new feature: a smartphone-sized touchscreen in the place of the regular touchpad. I got to grips with the two ZenBook Pro models and their so-called ScreenPads here in Taipei, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well implemented and potentially useful this apparent gimmick feature is.
The touchpad seems like such an obvious place to put a secondary display, so I’m glad laptop makers are experimenting with it. That being said, I think I would personally prefer the display itself to not be a full-colour smartphone-like display, but rather a more basic black and white (or grey and white) OLED display that almost visually disappears into the chassis itself. On the Asus Zenbook Pro, the touchpad jumps out at you and demands attention, which I don’t particularly like.
I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a new laptop, and my previous one is a Zenbook and Linux runs pretty flawlessly on it. While this looks somewhat cool, I wonder how Linux would deal with it.
I’m telling you, Apple’s going to release a MacBook that’s just two iPads stuck together with a bespoke Jony Ive hinge. The bottom one will be running a full-screen keyboard app.