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Asus loads ZenBook and VivoBook lines with ScreenPad displays

The ScreenPad is like if a phone and a touchpad had a child.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The centerpiece of Asus' 2019 Computex press conference on Monday was the ZenBook Pro Duo, a high-end laptop that sports two 4K displays. But that doesn't mean its less expensive laptops didn't get some love, too.

Asus' ScreenPad is a phone-sized screen that doubles as a trackpad. First introduced in last year's ZenBook Pro 15, it's been improved (it's now the ScreenPad 2) and ported to Asus' midrange laptops.

What's new in the ScreenPad 2? It's slightly larger, more responsive and, perhaps most importantly, it now isn't powered by a discrete graphics card, which makes it much easier on ye' ol' batteries.

If you're having trouble imagining it, just think of the trackpad in your laptop. Now imagine it as a 5.65-inch phone screen, with apps and all, and you have an idea of what Asus is going for. It comes loaded with Asus programs, but you can also put apps like Netflix, Spotify and Facebook Messenger down there. 

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Asus' ScreenPad-eqipped VivoBooks. 

Daniel Van Boom/CNET

It also serves functions that compliment whatever you're running on the main screen. A tech demo showed a PowerPoint-style app where the ScreenPad had options to embolden, italicize or underline text.

Here are the 2019 models you'll find the ScreenPad 2 in. These notably include the VivoBook S lineup, which are cheaper than the ZenBook range. (Also, hilariously, Asus pulled a "hello, fellow kids" and categorized the VivoBook as its "youthful and stylish" range during its Computex press conference.)

  • Asus ZenBook 15: Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeFore GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics, 92% screen-to-body ratio
  • Asus ZenBook 13, 14: Intel Core i7, Nvidia MX250 graphics. The ZenBook 13 has a 95% screen-to-body ratio, while the 14 has a 92% ratio.
  • Asus VivoBook S 13, 15: Intel Core i7, Nvidia MX250 graphics, 5.65-inch ScreenPad, 88% screen-to-body ratio.

Asus also announced a special ZenBook 30, a laptop to celebrate the company's 30th birthday. It's a 13-inch ZenBook laptop, with a Core i7 CPU and Nvidia MX250 graphics like the above machines, but it's got some luxurious trimmings. It's leather encased, and has 18 karat rose gold plating. 

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ZenBook 30

Asus

Find out more about the show-stealing ZenBook Duo laptops in our first-take about the computers.

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