ASUS ZenBook Pro UX550.
AT A GLANCE
DISPLAY 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel multitouch IPS display
PROCESSOR Intel Core i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache)
MEMORY 16GB DDR4-2400 RAM
GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
STORAGE Samsung PM961 512GB PCIe SSD
The ASUS ZenBook Pro is a large, powerful 15.6-inch machine that wants to challenge the MacBook Pro.
But while it may not have the polish of Apple’s premium notebooks, it’s still a rather attractive and well-built laptop, with a solid unibody aluminum design and diamond-cut silver edges. It’s large but not clunky, quite a far cry from the other NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti notebooks available. For one, it measures just 18.9mm thick and weighs 1.8kg.
However, those were mostly entry-level gaming notebooks. While the ZenBook Pro certainly has the chops to run certain e-sports titles such as Overwatch or Dota 2, its appeal lies more in what it brings to the table as a sleek machine for content creators who want slightly more graphics processing power than an integrated GPU can offer.
The laptop is paired with a generous 73Wh battery, which gives it decent, but not quite class-leading, battery life.
The multi-touch display is frankly gorgeous to look at. It is quite obviously better than the screens on other 1050 Ti gaming notebooks, with vibrant colors and wide viewing angles. However, the panel is also brighter than the competition, so that likely contributes to higher power consumption as well.
Another thing to note is the glossy panel. It helps make for more pleasing images under optimal conditions, but it doesn’t play as well with the reflections from overhead lighting.
That said, the four Harman Kardon speakers deserve special praise. They pump out loud and full-bodied sound, complete with tight and punchy bass. That’s probably because of the two woofers at the bottom, which are dedicated to handling the low bass frequencies.
Combined with the excellent display, the ZenBook Pro seems set up to be quite a decent entertainment machine and workstation.
One nice touch is the dual Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left, so it can support two 4K external monitors for a total of three simultaneous displays. This means it’ll also work with the ASUS ROG XG Station 2 external GPU dock if you want to play more demanding titles.
More business than gaming, but the ZenBook Pro is decent for those who want to work and play on the same system.
The chiclet keyboard sports just a
single-color white backlight.