The ASUS Zephyrus Duo 16 is a uniquely designed machine that is ideal for a video editing laptop. A hugely powerful laptop, it comes with the top-of-the line AMD Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU, and up to 64GB of fast 4800MHz DDR5 RAM, and 4TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage, with RAID 0 support to make read and write speeds extra quick when you’re importing and exporting footage. The laptop is cooled with an ASUS patented form of liquid metal cooling, whereby it remains solid at room temperature (removing the risk of leaks or damage when transporting the laptop or when upgrading/repairing it) but turns to liquid when the CPU gets hot to better facilitate cooling during heavy workloads, reducing thermal throttling substantially. The GPU options include high-TGP RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti Nvidia GPUs, both graphics cards with very high VRAM ideal for editing software that is more GPU reliant.
The most distinct feature of the Duo 16 is the secondary display that lies between the main screen and the keyboard, and lifts upward at an angle. This smaller touchscreen can be used to display anything you want, but is very well-suited to an editing timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or whatever your editing software of choice is, allowing more space on the main display for your other windows.
The main display comes with another unique feature: an option for a variable resolution & refresh rate. This means you can watch 4K footage in full 4K native resolution at 120Hz, but if you’re done with editing for the day can switch it to 1080p 240Hz mode and enjoy some competitive gaming at a very high FPS – great stuff.
Response time isn’t particularly important for video editing, but if you’re serious about using it as a dual-use machine, the previous 2021 version came with a 7ms response time with Overdrive enabled. We can expect this latest version to be at least as good, though hopefully better; we’ll have to wait for testing to find out.
One aspect we are a little disappointed about with the Duo 16 is that the color replication is only around 98% sRGB, 75% DCI-P3, and 75% Adobe RGB. This means you can get away with color-accurate work in the sRGB space but that’s it. This would be enough for most indie filmmakers looking to do some color grading of their video footage, but if you’re after a professional standard you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Another thing to be aware of is that, due to the space needed for the secondary display, the touchpad is located on the right-hand side of the keyboard instead of beneath it, and there’s very little space below the keyboard to rest your hands. The keyboard also lacks a numpad proper (though this isn’t uncommon for many laptops) but does have the option to switch the touchpad to a digital numpad with the touch of a button. Nevertheless, the quality of the keyboard is good, and the touchpad is of a respectable standard, though users may find it less awkward to use a mouse.
The Duo 16 now has a webcam included on the top of the display, which has InfraRed technology with Windows Hello support, and if other ASUS laptops are anything to go by, you can expect the speakers to be above average, certainly by gaming laptop standards. Everything considered, definitely a laptop to consider for video editing, if you can afford it.