[In-Depth Comparison] ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) vs Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – Battle of the innovators

New ideas are always great, and ASUS is the king when it comes to coming up with new ideas. Be it double displays or an elevated keyboard, they find a way to implement and execute these ideas to near perfection.

Their ZenBook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) is the epitome of this, using the two-display design and the elevation technique to deliver a capable 14-inch laptop with some of the quickest hardware that’s available right now.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has always looked to do things their own way, creating a range of Surface laptops that are as different as ever. The Surface design language uses simple shapes and lots, and lots of aluminum. The Surface Laptop Studio tries to recreate the experience of the Surface Studio desktop device, which is a mini PC connected to a large display with two hinges, which allow for a lot of flexibility.

The laptop does something similar, with an interesting folding lid. The laptop has considerably less performing hardware, however, Microsoft is almost always behind when it comes to implementing new hardware.

Today we are putting the ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) against the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402): Full Specs / In-depth Review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: Full Specs / In-depth Review

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) configurations:

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio configurations:

Contents


Design and construction

Both devices are well-built, featuring aluminum for their housing. However, the ASUS is much more aggressive looking, with the sides and lid having a diamond cut, while the bottom panel has an angular appearance as well. The laptop has a black paint job, with a low-key ASUS logo that is off-centered, while the circular brushed finish around it is missing. The lid is difficult to open with one hand, as the hinges are stiffer since they also have to open and prop up the secondary display as well.

The Surface Laptop Studio has a design that resembles a very short pedestal, as the base does cover a larger surface than the bottom panel. The finish is clean, with a glossy Microsoft logo on the foldable lid. Yes, the gimmick of the laptop is that the metal portion of the lid folds in two, so you get the convertible aspect without having your keyboard exposed on the other end. It also allows for some creativity, as the display can be partially brought down, hiding the keyboard but leaving the touchpad.

WeightHeight
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)1.75 kg19.6 mm
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio1.82 kg18.94 mm

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Keyboard and touchpad

Due to the second display, the input devices on the Zenbook are pushed down, resulting in no palm rest area. Previously, in other ASUS dual-screen devices, we have seen them providing a detachable one, however, it’s missing here. The keyboard has the feel of a desktop unit, with decent key travel and clicky feedback. The touchpad is positioned vertically but has physical buttons which are very comfortable, while the glass surface is especially smooth.

The keyboard on the Surface doesn’t offer the longest key travel, but it’s still decent, while the feedback is clicky. There’s also a backlight. The pad covers a decent chunk of the base and the glass surface is very smooth. It doesn’t have a clicking mechanism, instead using a Haptic motor, which mimics a click using vibration.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Ports

With the second display providing some vents for cooling, ASUS was able to place some of the I/O on the back. In total, you have two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, an HDMI 2.1 port, a MicroSD card slot, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)

The Surface Laptop Studio is much more modest, with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and an audio jack.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio


Specs sheet


Display quality

The ZenBook has a 14.5-inch 2.8K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. On the side of the Surface, we get a 14.4-inch IPS display with a 2400 x 1600p resolution. The display on the ASUS device has a higher pixel density of 234 PPI, a lower pitch of 0.108 x 0.108 mm, and a lower Retina distance of only 38 cm. The secondary display also has a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2880 x 864p.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Both laptops have comfortable viewing angles. Here are images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The display on the Surface Laptop Studio gets much brighter, reaching 500 nits in the middle of the screen, 486 nits as an average for the entire display area, and a max deviation of only 6%. On the other hand, the Zenbook has an infinite contrast ratio, thanks to the nature of OLED displays.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Color coverage

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

Both displays on the Zenbook fully cover the DCI-P3 gamuts, while the Surface device offers 100% sRGB coverage.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Color accuracy

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results in factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can check the results from the test of both laptops, with both the factory settings (left) and with our “Design and Gaming” profile applied (right).

Both laptops come with great accuracy. The Zenbook is ready out of the box, while the Surface gets a dE value below 2 using our Design and Gaming profile.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

The Zenbook totally destroys its opposition, with a Fall + Rise time of 1.8 ms.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Health Impact / PWM (Blue light)

PWM – Screen flickering

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable by the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

The ASUS main display uses PWM until 80 nits, after which there are some small pulsations. On the other hand, the second panel has 0 PWM usage.

The display on the Surface Studio uses PWM as well, but the frequency gets very high above 65% brightness, so most of the time you’ll be alright. Still, our Health-Guard profile completely eliminates it.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) 14.5″ Samsung ATNA45AF01-0 (SDC416D) (2880 x 1800p) OLED: Buy our profiles

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 14.4″ Sharp LQ144P1JX01 (SHP1509): Buy our profiles

Battery

Due to its more efficient hardware, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio gets better battery life despite the smaller 58Wh battery pack. It lasts for 2 hours and 57 minutes more in web browsing and 3 hours and 38 minutes more in video playback.  Now, we conduct the battery tests with the Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.

Brightness: 180 nits; HDR: Off
Time to Full Discharge: Higher is Better

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


Performance

The Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED offers the Alder Lake H-series with the Core i5-12500H, Core i7-12700H, or Core i9-12900H. On the GPU front, you can rely on either the integrated graphics or the RTX 3050 Ti (65W).

The Surface device relies on the Tiger Lake H35 series with either the Core i5-11300H or the Core i7-11370H. Both are quad-core Tiger Lake-H35 processors. The GPU selection offers a 50W RTX 3050 Ti and the RTX A2000.

CPU benchmarks

The Microsoft laptop gets outperformed to oblivion, with the Zenbook scoring 169% higher in Cinebench 20, while also being 3 seconds quicker in the Photoshop benchmark.

Results are from the Cinebench R23 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)


GPU benchmarks

While the Zenbook is more powerful in the graphics tests, the margin isn’t as crazy as the one with the CPUs. The ASUS laptop scores 20% higher in 3DMark Fire Strike and 13% higher in Unigine Superposition.


Gaming tests

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Metro ExodusFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED – RTX 3050 Ti (65W)107 fps (+27%)49 fps (+20%)23 fps (+15%)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – RTX 3050 Ti (50W)84 fps41 fps20 fps

Borderlands 3Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED – RTX 3050 Ti (65W)95 fps (+22%)65 fps (+20%)49 fps (+20%)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – RTX 3050 Ti (50W)78 fps54 fps41 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED – RTX 3050 Ti (65W)126 fps (+21%)84 fps (+22%)73 fps (+35%)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – RTX 3050 Ti (50W)104 fps69 fps54 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED – RTX 3050 Ti (65W)83 fps (+34%)76 fps (+31%)65 fps (+30%)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – RTX 3050 Ti (50W)62 fps58 fps50 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

Intel Core i9-12900H (45W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)3.10 GHz @ 2.50 GHz @ 88°C @ 74W2.92 GHz @ 2.40 GHz @ 88°C @ 65W2.74 GHz @ 2.27 GHz @ 82°C @ 56W

The Core i9 would definitely benefit from better cooling, as it doesn’t reach significantly high clock speeds, despite the warm temperatures. Still, it’s nice to see the chip go above its 45W TDP.

Intel Core i7-11370H (35W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio3.74 GHz (B+13%) @ 98°C @ 59W3.57 GHz (B+8%) @ 98°C @ 49W3.38 GHz (B+2%) @ 91°C @ 40W

The Core i7-11370H clocks higher, but is also very close to overheating. It also goes above its 35W TDP.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 TiGPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max fan)
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)1701 MHz @ 80°C @ 64W1694 MHz @ 82°C @ 63W
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio1610 MHz @ 73°C @ 49W1629 MHz @ 70°C @ 50W

The 3050 Ti inside the Zenbook laptop has a decent lead in terms of clock speeds, but it leads to an increase in temperatures as well, reaching 82°C, which is close to the limit.

Gaming comfort

The outside of the ASUS laptop gets really hot, reaching 56°C, with the bottom panel heating up as well. Gaming and heavy workloads should be done on a desk unless you want a free vasectomy. The device is also very noisy.

On the side of the Surface, due to the position of the cooling on the inside, the palm rest area gets warm. However, the fans are relatively quiet.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Verdict

The lack of experience on Microsoft’s part can definitely be felt, which is always the case with Gen 1 devices. On the other hand, ASUS has taken a crack at the dual-screen form factor several times now, so they are slowly tuning and perfecting the technology.

On the design front, both laptops offer a unique aesthetic, with the ASUS laptop being lighter but slightly thicker. It also has a fantastic pair of input devices and while the positioning will need some getting used to, we believe in the intelligence and adaptability of the Homo Sapiens. It also has better I/O coverage, with a Type-A port, an HDMI connector, and a MicroSD card slot.

The ASUS laptop is a clear favorite with its two displays which have great color coverage and decent accuracy. Yes, the Surface gets a lot brighter, however, the OLED panel on the Zenbook will be tough to beat. The dual-screen device will also get better in time, as software integration with it becomes deeper and you can do more and more on it. Currently, many Creator apps can take advantage of it, but in our opinion, we’ve only scratched the surface.

The Surface Laptop has longer battery life but delivers much, much less performance. Tiger Lake’s H35 processors were known for their underperformance, mainly due to the 4/8 layout, which doesn’t cut it in 2022. The Zenbook is crazy quick with its 14-core Core i9, while the RTX 3050 Ti that it carries has extra 15W TGP headroom.

The extra performance, however, results in a lot of excess heat, with both the base and the bottom panel blowing way past 50°C. The noise levels are high as well. All in all, the Zenbook is the better laptop currently, in our opinion, as we value performance over battery life, while the rest of the packaging is both eye-catching and great to use.

Microsoft does have a good starting point, so we’ll keep the Surface Laptop Studio on our radar, as future generations will surely bring the fight to the market.


Why choose the ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)?

  • Dual-screen setup is striking and eye-catching
  • Much higher performance
  • More populated I/O


Why choose the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio?

  • Longer battery life
  • Runs cooler

ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402): Full Specs / In-depth Review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: Full Specs / In-depth Review

All ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) configurations:


All Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio configurations:

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