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Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE is a dual-screen gaming beast with RTX 3080 GPU

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE
(Image credit: Asus)

The new Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE has a hefty price, but that's the case when you've got great power (great responsibility not included). It's arriving not just with the newest laptop CPU and GPU that AMD and Nvidia have to offer, but its 14-inch secondary screen tilts up at an angle to extend its super-sharp (or blazing fast) screen even further.

So, what else does this best laptop contender — just announced at CES 2021 — have going for it? Let's find out.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE specs

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU
Displays: 15.6-inch UHD 120Hz/8ms or FHD 300Hz/3ms; ScreenPad Plus: 14.1-inch 3840 x 1100 or 1920x550
Memory: 16GB to 32GB
Storage: 512GB to 2TB SSD
Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Ports: 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A, HDMI 2.1, headphone jack, Ethernet port, microSD reader

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE price and availability

The ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE starts at $2,899 and is available for pre-order in North America, from the ASUS US Store right now.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE design

The big story here is how the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE has dual displays to expand your ability to do more. The new ScreenPad Plus — a 14-inch display that's super sharp, at 3840 x 1100 or 1920 x 550 pixels — rises up to a 13-degree angle to meet the bottom of the screen, and extend its space. 

The panel goes the full width of the chassis, and Asus suggests that the secondary screen would be ideal space for the software used for chat, streaming broadcast tools and other programs. ROG is looking to work with game devs to further involve the ScreenPad Plus, and the upcoming Dying Light 2 will place touchscreen controls for managing inventory and quests in this space, as well as co-op chats. Other partners include XSplit Gamecaster, Overwolf and FL Studio.

Asus Rog Zephyrus Duo 15 SE

(Image credit: Asus)

You can also make custom layouts for this section, using Asus' Task Group, to easily open groups of apps. 

ROG has also upgraded the heat management for the Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, which starts with the improved airflow from the tilted ScreenPad Plus. There is also a new Arc Flow fan design, that uses reshaped blades that ROG says will "more more air more quietly." Plus, Asus is using Thermal Grizzly’s liquid metal compound on its new AMD CPUs to reduce CPU temperatures by up to 10 degrees Celsius (vs standard thermal paste). These measures are rated to dissipate "up to 165W of combined processor power."

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE display

The Zephyrus Duo 15 SE is giving gamers two options for the main display. More casual gamers can get a 4K/120Hz panel, while the esports crowd can opt for a 1080p display with a super-fast 300Hz refresh rate. Both panels pack Adaptive-Sync technology to reduce lag and match the refresh rate of the screen with the frame-rate of the GPU. The 4K panel is rated to cover the full Adobe RGB wide-gamut color space.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE perfomance

This is gonna be a beast. The Zephyrus Duo 15 SE packs an GeForce RTX 3080 laptop GPU, and Asus claims its cooling and ROG Boost technology will allow that GPU to run at up to 1645 MHz at 115W. That GPU uses the new Nvidia Ampere architecture, which offers improvements to CUDA cores for programmable shading, as well as upgraded RT cores for ray tracing and Tensor cores for AI. There are also a dedicated 16GB of VRAM for just the GPU. 

On top of that, you've got the latest from AMD, the Ryzen 9 5900HX mobile processor. It's got 8 cores and 16 threads, and uses the company's latest Zen 3 architecture and a larger on-chip cache (of up to 20MB). 

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE outlook

Asus Rog Zephyrus Duo 15 SE back

(Image credit: Asus)

The ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE truly looks to put the Special in Special Edition. With a ton of graphics power, a truly unique secondary screen design that extends your screen and a lot of cooling to keep everything running properly, this looks like it will be the wildest gaming laptop you can get your hands on.

And at $2,899, it should be. We look forward to putting it through its paces, especially to see how useful the ScreenPad Plus is in actual usage.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.