Asustek Computer, the Taiwanese PC maker has introduced a smartphone sized, touch sensitive second laptop screen that can double up as a touch pad. It is a flagship feature called as Screen Pad which is a part of $2,299 notebook PC named ZenBook Pro 15.
This move by Asus is seen by some as akin to Apple’s strategy to connect iPhones and iPads as second screens for its laptops. Lenovo, the Chinese PC developer had released its Yoga Book tablet in 2016 to match this trend.
Asus’s move to launch products with ScreenPad is for sustaining its share in the competitive consumer electronics market.
The ZenBook Pro 15, will enable its users to work off the main screen with the standard keyboard. However, users can click the F-key situated on the top of the keyboard to switch on the keyboard. The phone sized ScreenPad comes with a configurable toolbar that can link to the gadget’s app launcher that can also be configured. Also, according to Asus’s product description, the ScreenPad can also function in screen extender mode which means that Microsoft Windows can identify it as an extra screen therein allowing open windows to be added to it.
However, the pad’s fixed location could be a limited factor wherein users could ultimately prefer using their existing phones for cross screen functions.
Bryan Ma, devices research vice president with IDC in Singapore states that “But therein lies the challenge, If the ScreenPad is limited to Asus only, then it’s likely that developers won’t find a large enough user base to justify all of their time and effort.”