First impression of ASUS ZenBook Pro 15

At the beginning of summer at Computex 2018 ASUS impressed all present, presenting top laptop ZenBook Pro 15. He drew attention not only for its characteristics (one of the first laptops with an Intel Core i9), but also because screenpage, and it was more interesting to take it for a review and test. However, immediately say – we have got more pre-production test sample and it worked perfect. So today is a first impression and some thoughts about the ZenBook Pro 15.

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Specifications:

  • Processors: Intel® Core™ i5-8300H / i7-8750H / i9-8950HK
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 / GTX 1050 Ti
  • Display: 15.6″ LED Full HD (1920×1080) / 4K (3840×2160), optional touchscreen, colour calibration: Delta E<2, 100% Adobe RGB
  • Memory: 8GB / 16GB 2400MHz DDR4
  • Internal storage: 1TB / 512GB PCIe® SSD; 512GB / 256GB SATA3 SSD
  • Interfaces: 2 x Type-C to™ USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Thunderbolt™), 2 x Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combo audio jack, 1 x MicroSD card reader
  • Wireless: Dual-band 802.11 ac gigabit Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 5.0
  • Web camera: VGA 0.3 MP
  • Battery: 71 W⋅h, the charger 150 watts
  • Dimensions: 189/365/251 mm, weight – 1.86 kg

Asus Zenbook Pro 15 is positioned as a premium solution for their laptops. It is not surprising that it has all the best chips from other models. The body of the laptop is made entirely of aluminum, it beveled faceted edges, and the top cover got recognizable concentric grinding. Here just be prepared that it is quite easily soiled, so it is better to have microfiber.


The build is top notch, the laptop feels solid, the hinge holds the display (to open with one hand) and, if you’re typing, holding a laptop on your lap, the screen is not shaking back and forth. By the way, the display is covered with fully glass and has a rather thin frame on the sides (only 7.3 mm). Zenbook Pro is available in black and dark blue colors and they look very solid. Actually, approximately this is what you expect from a laptop and a half-two thousand dollars.

The thickness of the Zenbook Pro 15 is only 18.9 mm and a weight of 1.8 kg. Thanks to this, engineers have placed a pretty good set of interfaces, and set to the laptop put the USB adapter – LAN. Actually here it is possible prikopat only to the decision to use the microSD reader and SD reader, still there is enough space. And since the laptop is marketed for people working with photo and video for them probably a full SD card reader would be easier.


The laptop has the usual island-style keyboard with backlight. The key travel is pleasant to type on it comfortably. This year ASUS decided to rethink the work with function keys and they are now included by default, plus the keys themselves are offset to the side F1. Thus, if in previous models you had to drag from the button to F11 Fn-F12 to adjust the volume, here simply press the F2-F3. However, if you prefer, use a combination of Fn with this new feature you can easily disable it by pressing Fn+Esc.



Right under the keyboard is placed a fingerprint scanner. It works flawlessly – very rarely does not recognize your finger on the first attempt, and the speed of unlocking just an instant. Besides ASUS’s pretty convenient posted (especially if you remember that the company often installed it in the upper part of the touchpad, which has a negative effect on usability) – it doesn’t hurt anyone and is a logical place.

And, of course, ASUS just simply could not install a fingerprint scanner in the touchpad because there is and it does not. In the model ZenBook Pro 15 debuted scrimped! This is a rethinking of the conventional touch pad and Tabara the MacBook Pro. Scrimped is a 5.5” display with Full HD resolution. It has two modes of operation. It can perform the role of an ordinary touchpad – supports multi-touch gestures, but also thanks to his ScreenPad and the shell Launcher, it is possible to install the extensions. For example, the block Num-keys, calculator or music player. In programs such as Microsoft Word to scrimped displays the text editing tools, and if you install a special extension for Google Chrome, you can control YouTube videos on the screen. The company wants to further third-party developers have created applications for ScreenPad, thereby expanding its capabilities.



Moreover, scrimped can be used as a second display. It is possible to drag the window, for example, instant messenger, and use in this mode. Unfortunately, our sample set is buggy, so this mode test failed. But this did not prevent a certain opinion about whether scrimped. In 2018, the company trying to surprise users with something unusual that should cause a buyer to choose their product instead of a competitor. But not always, these solutions prove to be practical. Yet scrimped is more feature that emphasizes the premium nature of the device. It definitely causes a wow effect, because everyone is interested what do you have for such a small screen additional. But in terms of practicality and effectiveness, he still has room to grow. Again, I repeat that we established early ON and further functionality scrimped will increase. I tried different options for the use of Sripada, sometimes really convenient to call a calculator and immediately find something, or switching the next track, but often the same action to run faster with the mouse. So I’m curious how the company plans to further develop scrimped and if he can become a truly useful tool like Photoshop or Premier.

Then move on to the screen and that’s what ZenBook Pro boasts along with scriptom. It has a 15.6” IPS display. In our case, he’s got 4K resolution and has a touch layer. But in Ukraine, will be sold Full HD options and no touch. The screen is glossy, and this is probably the only thing I can complain about users who prefer matte displays. The rest is here very steep, juicy and rich picture. As I said, the ZenBook Pro 15 is positioned for professionals working with photos and video and they will definitely appreciate such a display. He has 100% coverage of sRGB and 72% NTSC ratio color accuracy is ΔE < 2, and the maximum viewing angles of 178 degrees. Honestly, after transplanting ZenBook Pro 15 for other Windows laptops, you immediately everything becomes grey and dull, so the display is definitely a plus.

I think not difficult to guess that the iron ZenBook Pro 15 also received the top. In the maximum configuration, as we do, the user gets six-core processor Intel Core i9-8950HK. Such processors can boast of a few laptops on the market. The sale also will be available with processors Core i5-7300U and Core i7-7700HQ. For the video meets graphics accelerator NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti. RAM can be set from 8 to 16 GB. And internal storage can consist of a SATA3 SSD to 256 or 512 GB PCIe SSD or 512 GB or 1 TB.

This iron is great for graphics work or video editing, where fully utilized the computational capabilities of the processor. But to consider the ZenBook Pro 15 as a gaming ultrabook is not worth it. The GTX 1050 Ti, of course, will allow you to play Fortnite on high settings, but to play more demanding games on maximum settings, you should choose a gaming line of laptops, where you sacrifice compactness, but it will get more powerful the video card and cooling system. I would like to note that despite the strong performance in synthetic tests, the Zenbook Pro 15 also showed was throttling in the stress tests and dropping frequency. In principle, this is logical, because in quite a slim case installed powerful stuffing, and the laws of physics has not been canceled. During the stress tests worked for the full two 50 mm cooling fan, which produce a quite familiar noise in the maximum load at 44 dB. In the daily work of the fan noise usually does not notice (though in our sample sometimes could be heard whistling).








Well, I note that PCIe SSD from Samsung 1TB in our sample showed a considerable speed – 2800 MB/s read and 1700 MB/s write. You can also compliment high-speed Wi-Fi adapter Intel AC9650. But the webcam is not uncommon, with a resolution of 0.3 MP, has autofocus, can record video 480p.

As for battery life, there are no records. The user can on average count on 4-6 hours on a single charge. But ZenBook Pro 15 charges pretty quickly from 0 to 100% in about an hour and a half.

From Asus traditionally has a sound system from Harman/Kardon. The sound I liked, it’s pretty deep and there is a hint of low frequencies. Volume also missing. Nice to listen to music or watch a movie.


 

ZenBook Pro 15 is a top solution for users who are willing to pay for, practically, uncompromising decisions. Here is a solid, excellent build and materials, a cool display, has all the necessary ports. There is a wow feature in the form Sripada, which is still more wow, not a useful tool. But if ASUS will continue to develop this concept, will attract third-party developers to improve screenpage, it may well become a signature feature of the premium laptops Taiwanese company. We have the ZenBook Pro 15 will be sold at a price of $ 1400 for the version with Core i5 and if who are currently looking for a laptop of the high-end segment, I suggest to look at this option.

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