Asus’ Zenbook range has quite the following with its glorious designs and excellent specs at very competitive prices.
At the Asus press conference held ahead of Computex on Monday, the latest addition to the family was announced, and it appears to be a more-than-worthy successor. We managed to get to have a quick play with it, and we were impressed.
Zenbook Pro UX550 is a revamp of the original Zenbook Pro launched a couple of years ago, and it looks like Asus has really gone to the next level in terms of battery life and portability. It’s slim, light, rocking some great specs, and as we’ve come to expect from the Zenbook range, it's a bit of a looker. Asus shaved almost 2mm off the earlier model at 18.9mm ,and the weight has dropped from 2.26kg to a mere 1.8kg.
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Asus says it has a whopping 14-hour battery life and can charge to 60-per cent capacity in 49 minutes. All of which is even more impressive when you look at what’s under the hood. The top-shelf model runs on Intel’s H-series core i7 processor and boasts a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. With up to 1TB of PCIe x4 SSD storage and 16GB DDR4 RAM, this machine is packing serious power in a small package.
The display is another strong point with a 15.6-inch UHD 4K NanoEdge - meaning super slim, 7.3 mm bezels that give an 83-per cent screen-to-body ratio. Asus says it runs at 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut and certainly was a vibrant pleasure to behold. There’s a quad speaker set up for the Harman Kardon surround-sound audio, which we didn’t manage to test but which sounds promising.
One rather odd decision for a device which otherwise seems to be catering to people working with video and photos is the lack of a full-size SD card slot. However the rest of the port set up is more than reasonable with two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports a full sized HDMI port, and a micro SD card reader. We liked the feel of the keyboard, too.
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It seemed like it would be comfortable to work on, and the touchpad has a fingerprint scanner for Microsoft Hello. The Zenbook Pro will ship with either Windows 10 Pro or Home. The now-familiar concentric brushed aluminium finish and diamond-cut silver edges round off a nice-looking machine. Arguably, the best bit is the price, though.
Asus says it will start off at just over a £1,000, which, considering that this is a top-end device with some excellent capabilities, is an extremely competitive price. The Zenbook Pro is set to hit the streets in July, and we look forward to reviewing it between now and then.