ASUS reinvents the laptop trackpad w/ ScreenPad on latest ZenBook Pro 15

Computers have been really stagnant lately. Apple “innovated” when it announced the Touch Bar on its 2016 MacBook Pro line, but other than that, generally speaking, true innovation and trying new things in computers has been limited to physical size reductions.

ASUS is now trying to do something new with its ZenBook Pro 15 line. We recently covered the general launch of this new series of computers from ASUS, but at Computex this year, the company announced a new version with a slight twist: no trackpad, but a touchscreen.

Yes, you read that correctly. This new laptop from ASUS has no traditional trackpad. I love my massive trackpad on the 2016+ MacBook Pro, but my initial impression was that I couldn’t imagine having a touchscreen there.

Though ASUS took the trackpad away on its latest ZenBook Pro 15, they replaced it with a ScreenPad. This 5.5-inch touchscreen display acts as both a second monitor and a trackpad.

ASUS made a video that displays what this ScreenPad can do, and really, it looks super useful. Though I never use the Touch Bar on my MacBook, I could see myself using ScreenPad it in my daily life.

This ScreenPad can do such things like act as a calculator, number pad, calendar, media controller for movies or music, and more. It even ties in with Office apps to give you easier formatting functions so you don’t have to hunt in the menu bar for actions.

This little 5.5-inch 1080p screen can also act as a second monitor for your laptop. This could be useful to keep tabs on Twitter or Facebook, or just to monitor a messaging client like Slack during the workday.

Other features of this laptop are up to a Core i9 processor, GTX 1050Ti GPU, and Windows 10 Pro. Up to 512GB PCIe SSDs and 16GB of DDR4 RAM also come in this laptop.

The main display on this computer is 4K, Pantone verified, 100% Adobe RGB certified, and has ultra-slim bezels to give a better viewing experience. Being Pantone verified from the factory means you’ll have quality colors without having to buy expensive colorimeters to balance the display.

The display is also touch sensitive for creators who like drawing and is compatible with the ASUS Pen. With 10g to 300g pressure sensitivity, this screen can really tell how hard you’re pressing for exact drawings.

The speakers are designed by Harman Kardon so you can have a great audio experience paired with the quality display and ScreenPad.

Rounding out this computer is a plethora of I/O options. Two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, HDMI, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, MicroSD, and a headphone jack give this laptop a fully capable I/O experience.

This laptop will be available to purchase in July from $2,299.

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