Asus has just debuted its ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 laptop and, aside from a powerful new specification that includes an 8th generation Intel Core i9 CPU, it comes packing what the maker is calling a "ScreenPad".
The ScreenPad is located where a laptop's traditional touchpad is placed, but in this case it's a 5.5-inch touchscreen display that can act as a second screen, be used as a secondary control panel for apps, and display its own data, too.
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In certain apps, such as Office and YouTube, ScreenPad displays custom controls, and it also still retains complete support for Microsoft Precision Touchpad, too, meaning users can still make use of any gestures (up to four fingers) they are fond of using. ScreenPad also supports the Asus Pen.
Windows calendar is also synced to the ScreenPad, and a configurable toolbar at the top of the ScreenPad can be pulled downward to access a user-configurable app launcher as well. Asus has also confirmed that it plans to launch a ScreenPad SDK by the end of the year to encourage support for new applications and features.
To see how the ZenBook Pro 15's ScreenPad works then watch the official reveal video below:
ScreenPad looks pretty useful, with its positioning, form-factor, and potential features seemingly outstripping those demonstrated on Apple's MacBook Pro Touch Bar. Naturally, until we have tested the ScreenPad we will withhold judgement, but it certainly looks promising.
The spec of the ZenBook Pro 15 also looks very competitive, with that aforementioned Intel Core i9 processor being partnered with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5 graphics card, 1TB SSD, suite of DDR4-2400 RAM, and up to a 4K resolution display. We also like the sound of a 83 per cent screen-to-body ratio.
And, well, ScreenPad will at least deliver yet another thing for enthusiasts to run Doom on.