Asus ZenBook UX580GE Review

Asus ZenBook UX580GE Review\

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The ZenBook Pro UX580GE’s multi-function ScreenPad replaces a trackpad
  • It also has a professionally calibrated 4K touchscreen
  • There are lots of ports for flexible and convenient connectivity

When Asus first showed off its 2018 ZenBook Pro flagships at Computex earlier this year, it saved the grand reveal of the new ScreenPad feature right for the end. Until you see it light up, it looks exactly like a standard laptop trackpad. The idea of turning a surface that we touch all the time anyway into a multi-function smartphone-like controller seemed to make perfect sense – and it was presented as much more versatile than the Touch Bar on current-gen MacBook Pros.

But then we spent an hour or so with the ZenBook UX580GE and its smaller cousin, the UX480FD, and came away feeling very confused. We couldn’t see how the ScreenPad’s capabilities really fit with the way people use laptops. Now that we’ve had a chance to spend more time with the laptop, do we feel any different? Can Asus convince buyers to spend over Rs. 2,00,000 a laptop? We have all the answers.

Asus ZenBook UX580GE ScreenPad

Before we get to anything else, we’re sure people will want to know all about the ScreenPad, and there’s a lot to say. It seems fairly obvious that Asus wants to compete with the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, which is essentially a secondary screen that displays contextually useful controls. While Apple displaced the Fn row, Asus decided that this laptop’s trackpad should pull double duty. It feels logical because of how we’re all used to smartphones and tablets.

There are four modes, which you cycle between using the F6 key’s secondary shortcut. First of all, this should have been more obvious. The trackpad icon is fairly indistinct, and for such a headlining feature, it’s completely lost amongst the usual screen brightness and volume controls. Starting with the most basic, you can choose to disable the ScreenPad entirely, just like many laptops let you turn the whole thing off if you prefer.

Traditional Trackpad mode, as its name suggests, makes the touchscreen behave just like a standard laptop trackpad. In this mode, it’s actually pretty impossible to tell that there’s anything unusual about it. That’s probably why Asus decided to place a gigantic sticker right next to it with an arrow telling you that there are features to discover (though not how to do so).

The next is ScreenPad mode, which is really where the most innovation comes into play. First of all, you can choose any background image, just like your phone’s wallpaper. All you have to do is right-click an image file in Windows Explorer and select Set as ScreenPad backgroud. The position, scale, and size cannot be set, so you’ll end up with awkward cropping unless you use a 16:9 file.

A lot of people might find this cool enough on its own. Look closely though, and you’ll see a small white bar at the top. Swiping downwards pulls up the ScreenPad’s main toolbar, from where you can launch little widget-like apps. This is where the confusion begins.

asus zenbook ux580 screenpadkey ndtv zenbook

 

These apps include a numeric keypad, a calculator a music player, a calendar, a Windows app launcher, and a Spotify controller. Some of them are poorly conceived, for example the keypad is completely disabled until you hit a Num Lock button, which is totally pointless because there are no secondary functions and no chance of launching the widget accidentally.

The music player can only handle files in your Windows user profile’s Music folder, and has its own volume control rather than being able to adjust the Windows system volume. If you multitask away from this widget with music playing, there is no way to pause it or skip tracks. A simple set of Windows media playback controls – which are strangely missing from the keyboard – would have been infinitely better.

Spotify is not available in India yet, so that app is pointless. The calculator is simple and straightforward. Calendar requires you to use a Microsoft account and you can only see appointments, not create them. Finally, the app launcher makes no sense to us because there’s absolutely no way that swiping to reveal the ScreenPad toolbar, then choosing the launcher, and then tapping the icon you want is quicker than simply tapping the Windows taskbar or a desktop icon.

Whenever you use a ScreenPad app, you lose all trackpad functionality. That means that the numpad is useless if you want to enter data and make selections or change formatting in a document or spreadsheet. Unless you use the touchscreen or an external mouse all the time, ScreenPad apps by nature have to be things that you can use independently, not while interacting with software running on the laptop itself. Most people could do more with their smartphones, and have an easier time. It’s really hard to imagine use cases, which is probably why the selection is so bare.

Asus says that a developer kit is coming soon and that it will work with software makers to support ScreenPad, but there’s a conceptual disconnect that makes these apps awkward. On one occasion during our review, the ScreenPad appeared to hang, and we could neither use it as a trackpad nor switch to any other mode.

asus zenbook ux580 widgets ndtv zenbook

 

Of course, Asus has stuffed yet another idea into its ScreenPad, and that is the ability to use it as a secondary monitor. It is after all a 1920×1080-pixel touchscreen, and in Extension Display mode, Windows automatically recognises it an attached display.

On our review unit, the ZenBook UX580GE didn’t always recognise the position of the secondary monitor relative to the first, and due to the size difference, Windows UI scaling was way off. We could scale up to 175 percent but text was still tiny and unreadable. Software will have to specifically be aware of the ScreenPad in order to make it work for things like toolbars. Once again, we were left struggling to find a purpose for the ScreenPad. Oh, and if you need to pop back into ScreenPad mode in order to use an app, it’s like disconnecting a second monitor – all your apps jump back to the primary display and you lose your window positions and sizes.

But there’s a much, much bigger problem here. The ScreenPad as an extended display continues to be a trackpad for both displays, but it isn’t conceptually a touchscreen anymore. You cannot touch and interact with buttons or windows in the way that you would on a smartphone or tablet – or for that matter, on the ZenBook UX580GE’s own screen! It completely breaks the UI conventions that are now so deeply ingrained in all of us.

Instead, you drag your finger around to control a cursor across both screens, and then position that cursor over elements, and then tap anywhere. You have to separate the trackpad from the display in your mind. It’s absolutely ridiculous and maddening, and even as highly experienced power users, we found ourselves tapping in vain and getting frustrated. We cannot understand how anything so completely unintuitive could ever have been released as a consumer product.

asus zenbook ux580 dualscreen2 ndtv zenbook

 

It sounds like we’re being extremely negative about the ScreenPad, and the fact is that it really seems as though Asus didn’t think this idea through. To be fair, there is one very interesting and well-designed aspect to it, and that’s the integration with Microsoft Office. If you’re in ScreenPad mode, it will automatically change to show a toolbar with relevant shortcuts in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. You can customise these to some extent, and some of the buttons expand to show even more controls. The idea is sound, and the execution is pretty seamless. The only unfortunate part was that we had to supply our own Microsoft Office license.

There’s another Adobe Reader app that claims to let you sign digital documents with the ScreenPad, but it just never worked for us. Similarly, Asus offers a browser extension that shows YouTube playback controls, but it didn’t work in Edge and only kicked in after we downloaded Chrome.

Asus will offer more apps over time through its (rather spammy) Giftbox app store, and says that developers will soon be able to begin creating their own. We can’t yet say whether this will turn into an ecosystem worth supporting, especially since the ScreenPad is limited to Asus’ current flagship models right now. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation – but for now, there’s the rest of the ZenBook UX580GE to talk about.

asus zenbook ux580 office ndtv zenbook

 

Asus ZenBook UX580GE design

There aren’t any choices when it comes to the ZenBook UX580GE’s finish, which is a pity. The ‘Deep Dive Blue’ colour isn’t a bad thing, and has become a bit of a trademark for Asus. However, we did not care for the rose gold accents at all. The Asus logos on the lid and below the screen, the printing on the keyboard keycaps, and the shiny chamfered rim of the body are far from subtle or refined. We’re sure that a lot of people will find this too garish for professional environments – and we felt the same way when we reviewed the ZenBook 3 UX390UA last year.

The lid has the same Zen-inspired pattern of concentric circles that we’ve seen many times before, but the keyboard deck has a diagonal brushed finish, which seems incongruous. Smudges and fingerprints can be seen very clearly on both surfaces. We also think that six stickers advertising various features and specifications is a bit excessive.

While still fairly portable, this laptop definitely isn’t too concerned with being thin and light. It’s a bit larger in all dimensions than the current-gen 15-inch MacBook Pro, and very slightly heavier as well. However, the 1.89kg weight is still manageable for those who need to carry this laptop around every day.

One of the tradeoffs for this bulk is the fact that you get a whole lot of useful ports. On the left, there’s a power inlet, HDMI port, and two USB Type-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3. On the right, there are two Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) ports which a lot of users will appreciate, plus a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm combo audio socket. Of course a full-sized SD card slot would have been much more useful for photo and video professionals who work with cameras a lot.

There isn’t enough space for an Ethernet port, but Asus includes a USB Ethernet adapter in the box. We had a little trouble with this, and the laptop often failed to detect it or decided that it had malfunctioned after a few minutes of use. You don’t get any other accessories – we would have liked a sleeve or at least a microfibre cloth.

asus zenbook ux580 right ndtv zenbook

Asus ZenBook UX580GE specifications and software

Asus has chosen specs befitting of a top-end professional laptop. You have a choice of Intel Core i7-8750H and Core i9-8950HK CPUs, and our review unit was the more premium version with the Core i9. This is a six-core CPU with a 2.9GHz base speed and 4.8GHz maximum turbo speed. It’s important to note that Intel’s sole mobile Core i9 CPU is based on the same mainstream Coffee Lake architecture as other mobile parts, not the high-end Skylake-X architecture that all desktop variants use – in essence you do get higher performance but the Core i9 brand here is really more about marketing.

Both versions of the ZenBook UX580GE have 16GB of RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, and a 71WHr battery. You also get dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello authentication, and a standard 720p webcam. The HDMI 1.4 and Thunderbolt 3 ports let you drive up to two external 4K displays – or three at lower resolutions – so including the ScreenPad, that’s five in all.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the ZenBook UX580GE’s own 4K screen, which claims to deliver a professional level of colour accuracy with a gamut that covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB spectrum. This is the first time we’ve come across a Pantone Validated screen, and if that wasn’t enough, Asus also tells us that it has been calibrated to Delta-E<2, where E=1 is considered indistinguishable to human eyes, and E<4 is considered the minimum for professional work – though a lot depends on the specific version of the standard used and illumination conditions at the time of testing, which Asus hasn’t gone into detail about.

On the software front you get Windows 10 Pro, McAfee LiveSave (which throws up loads of annoying subscription reminders), and WPS Office. There’s a large number of Asus apps included Splendid for choosing screen colour profiles, Battery Health for charging options, a registration app, e-manual, and the aforementioned Giftbox app store.

asus zenbook ux580 left ndtv zenbook

Asus ZenBook UX580GE performance

With all the attention focused on the ScreenPad, it might be easy to forget that the ZenBook UX580GE is a flagship laptop with top-end specs, and it performs just as well as expected. The screen is brilliant, bright and crisp, and is a pleasure to work with – except that it is highly reflective. There are bottom-firing stereo speakers which produce very loud, rich and deep sound in all kinds of music and videos.

The keyboard is well designed and is satisfying to type on. It’s not too loud and the keys travel well, but it does sag slightly in the centre. Typing comfort is slightly affected by the oversized ScreenPad. It’s great at palm rejection but by nature, the screen gets warmer than the surrounding metal, and this can get distracting when typing long documents.

We flew through our usual benchmarks. The ZenBook UX580GE achieved 190 and 1,165 points in CineBench R15’s single- and multi-threaded tests. It also gave us 5,052 points in PCMark 10 Extended. SSD performance is particularly good – CrystalDiskMark reported sequential read and write speeds of 1.4GBps and 2.36GBps, and random speeds of 1.37GBps and 1.66GBps respectively.

We managed to render Blender’s BMW test file in 7 minutes, 36 seconds. POVRay ran its built-in benchmark in 1 minute, 46 seconds. Handbrake transcoded a 1.36GB AVI video file to H.265 in just 59 seconds, and 7zip managed to compress a 3.24GB folder of assorted files in 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

Gaming definitely isn’t the primary purpose of the ZenBook UX580GE, and if that’s what you want, you can save a lot of money by looking elsewhere. Still, it does have a powerful enough CPU and GPU to handle recent games using reasonable settings, whenever you have some spare time.

The synthetic 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Ultra tests gave us 2,420 and 1,754 points respectively. Rise of the Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark managed a respectable 49.25fps at 1920×1080 using the High preset and FXAA. Far Cry 5 gave us an unplayable average of 14fps at 4K, but a reasonable 46fps average at 1920×1080 using the Normal preset. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is pretty demanding, but we managed a smooth average of 51fps at 1920×1080 using the Medium presets for graphics and post-processing in a manual run-through.

asus zenbook ux580 witcher ndtv zenbook

 

Battery life isn’t one of the biggest strengths of the ZenBook UX580GE. With a 4K screen and relatively slim body, we weren’t expecting miracles. We got about seven hours of continuous usage, which involved basic productivity, Web surfing, and some video streaming with the screen set to 50 percent brightness. The intensive Battery Eater Pro test lasted for a decent 1 hour, 19 minutes.

There are two cooling fans inside the chassis, and most of the time, we were able to hear a very light buzz. Thankfully, the noise didn’t become disturbingly loud at any point, even when running very stressful tests. The keyboard stayed cool, but the ScreenPad and area around it did get fairly warm at times.

Verdict
We applaud Asus for trying something new and different with the ScreenPad feature. However, the company seems to have let its clever ideas run wild, and too many features and modes have been combined into one device. ScreenPad mode needs a lot of work, and all apps need to work like the Office toolbars and YouTube extension. Extension Display mode has very limited usefulness and the implementation is a total trainwreck, breaking the most basic habits that people have when using touchscreens.

Apart from that though, the ZenBook UX580GE is a brilliant high-end laptop. You might come for the ScreenPad, but if you look beyond it, you’ll stay for everything else. It’s powerful but still not too bulky or heavy, and it feels great to use. People who work with photos and videos will love the screen, and there’s enough power and storage on tap for heavy content production work. There are barely any compromises when it comes to specifications, connectivity, or portability. We just wish that there had been a choice of body colours.

Speaking of the price, it’s Rs. 2,09,990 for the Core i9 variant and Rs. 1,79,990 if you step down to the Core i7. This makes both options very competitive with Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro, which has weaker specifications. Even so, we’d love to see lower-priced variants without the ScreenPad – Asus could reach a much wider audience without the gimmick.

Asus ZenBook Pro UX580GE
Price: 
Rs. 2,09,999 (as reviewed)

Pros

  • Excellent 4K screen
  • Relatively compact and portable
  • Great performance
  • Lots of storage and connectivity

Cons

  • ScreenPad is gimmicky
  • Garish body colour
  • Too much preloaded bloatware

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Display: 5
  • Performance: 4.5
  • Software: 4
  • Battery life: 3.5
  • Value for Money: 4
  • Overall: 4.5

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Asus ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Pro Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

Asus ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Pro Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

Asus ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Pro Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More
HIGHLIGHTS
The two Windows 10 devices were unveiled at Computex 2016
Asus ZenBook 3 is priced at Rs. 1,47,990 in India
Asus Transformer 3 Pro is priced at Rs. 1,44,990
Alongside the launch of the ZenFone 3 series of smartphones in India, Asus has also launched the ZenBook 3 laptop and Transformer 3 Pro 2-in-1 in the country. The two Windows 10-based productivity devices will be available from online and offline retail channels from October, and have been priced at Rs. 1,47,990 and Rs. 1,44,990 respectively.

To recall, the Asus ZenBook 3 and the Asus Transformer 3 Pro were launched at Computex 2016, alongside the ZenFone 3 series of smartphones. The ZenBook 3 is the latest salvo fired against Apple’s very popular MacBook Air and MacBook ultra-portable laptops, and Asus says it is thinner than the MacBook Air, yet faster than the MacBook.

Other highlight features of the ZenBook 3 according to Asus are that it sports the world’s thinnest fan at 3mm; has an 82 percent screen to body ratio; bears a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 panel, and is claimed to have a 9-hour battery life that’s coupled with quick charging – 60 percent charge can be achieved in 49 minutes. The laptop also features a gold-backlit keyboard with “twice the key travel” of the MacBook. It weighs in at 910 grams, measures 11.9mm in thickness, and sports a fingerprint reader. To put that in comparison, the MacBook is 13mm at its thickest point, and weighs in at 920 grams.
The ZenBook 3 (UX390UA) model has been brought to India, and it features a 12.5-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixel) display, Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a choice of 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD or 512GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD, Intel HD Graphics, a 6-cell 40WHr battery, Harmon Kardon speakers, and a fingerprint sensor. It will be available in Royal Blue, Rose Gold, and Quartz Gray colour variants.

Coming to the Asus Transformer 3 Pro – the company says the laptop-tablet hybrid is thinner than Surface Pro 4, at 8.35mm. It features Harman Kardon audio with dual-front speakers that are supposedly four times as loud as the Surface Pro 4. It comes bundled with a detachable keyboard and stylus pen.

asus_transformer_3_pro_gold.jpgThe Asus Transformer 3 Pro (T303UA) model was launched in India, and it features a 12.6-inch (2880×1920 pixels) display, Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD, a 13-megapixel rear camera that features a 2-megapixel IR camera alongside, Thunderbolt 3, full-size USB 3.0 port, and full size HDMI port. The hybrid will launch alongside a mobile hub accessory (Asus Universal Dock) for all other ports. It will be available only in its Gold colour variant in India.

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Tags: 2 in 1, Asus, Asus India, Asus Transformer 3 Pro, Asus ZenBook 3, Hybrids, Laptop Tablet Hybrid, Laptops, Tablets

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 Review

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 Review

The Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 is the most recent addition to the company’s premium laptop lineup, and was launched in India a few months ago. With a street price set of Rs. 1,15,999, we’re creeping into MacBook Pro territory. Apple’s offering is usually one of the first choices that springs to mind when one thinks of a premium laptop, so Asus has its work cut out in terms of grabbing mindshare at this price segment.

We received the UX501JW-FJ221H model for review, which is the one that’s currently being sold online. The ZenBook Pro promises a luxurious experience and high-end performance. Let’s see how well this translates in the real world.

Look and feel
At first glance, the laptop does remind you of Apple’s design style, but look closer and you’ll see plenty of differences that help the ZenBook Pro hold its own. Asus has gone with aluminium for the lid and body, which lends the laptop a premium look. The lid also features Asus’s signature ‘spun-metal’ finish which is present on all ZenBook models.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_keyboard_ndtv.jpgOpen the lid and you’re greeted by a gorgeous 15.6-inch UHD (2160×3840) IPS screen. There’s no anti-glare treatment so reflections can be a problem even at full brightness. The display also supports 10-finger touch input for Windows 8 and 10. The colours are rich and there’s no perceivable jaggedness around text or icons thanks to the 282ppi pixel density. Viewing angles are also very good, which makes watching movies in a group more enjoyable thanks to a wider sweet spot. There’s a rubber lining along the edge of display which seals off the keyboard area when the lid is closed.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_right_ndtv.jpgThe hinge is sturdy and hides the exhaust vents so the hot air doesn’t make it uncomfortable to use on your lap. All ports are placed on the two sides of the laptop. You get a total of three USB 3.0 ports, a headphones and microphone combo jack, SD card slot, HDMI 1.4, Mini DisplayPort (MiniDP) 1.1a, and the charging port. Asus has confirmed that the laptop sold in India will have a Thunderbolt port instead of MiniDP and will ship with a Gigabit LAN adapter. There’s no access flap for swapping out the RAM due to the aluminium base so you’ll have to unscrew the entire bottom to get to the components. The two rear rubber feet are larger than the ones in the front, giving you a comfortable incline for typing.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_buttons_ndtv.jpgYou get a full-sized keyboard along with a numeric pad. The chiclet keys are backlit and have good spacing. They’re also comfortable with decent travel and a firm tactile response. Audio is handled by Bang & Olufsen speakers on the bottom, facing the sides. The large trackpad is glass-coated so finger tracking is smooth. The left and right mouse buttons have good tactile response and don’t require much effort to use. The palm rest area is spacious too but the surface does tend to pick up smudges and fingerprints easily. The LED status indicators for power, battery and hard disk activity are placed facing the front.

Asus has done a brilliant job with the build and finish of the ZenBook Pro UX501. Right from the UHD display to the chamfered edges on the body, the laptop looks and feels like a premium device should. It weighs 2.2kg which is on the heavier side, so lugging it around might take some effort.

Specifications and software
The ZenBook Pro packs in a high-end Intel Core i7-4720HQ CPU which runs at 2.2GHz and can turbo up to 3.6GHz. This quad-core CPU is the same one present in the HP Omen and MSI GT80 2QE Titan SLIthat we reviewed recently.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_left_ndtv.jpgThere’s a total of 16GB DDR3 RAM and just like the Asus A555LF, 8GB of it is soldered onboard while the rest is on a single DIMM stick. The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. For storage, Asus has gone with a 512GB PCIe SSD from Samsung. Other specifications include an HD webcam, Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 96WHr 6-cell battery.

The retail unit of the laptop should come with Windows 8.1 64-bit which is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Our review unit came with Windows 10 already installed. You also get a whole bunch of Asus utilities including Live Update; Splendid utility for switching between different colour profiles; USB Charger Plus, which lets you charge USB devices when the laptop is off; WebStorage, which is Asus’s own cloud storage service; and trial versions of McAfee LiveSafe security suite and Office 365.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_led_ndtv.jpgPerformance
General app performance and boot times are speedy thanks to the very fast SSD. Asus has set the display scaling to 250 percent which gives you an effective display resolution of a little under 1920×1080. Windows does a good job of scaling icons and text which are native to the new operating system, but some apps that don’t account for this are rendered at the native resolution, which makes everything too small to see without squinting. EA’s Origin game manager, for instance, didn’t comply with Windows’ scaling. We noticed a very small delay in the animations when opening new windows or apps, which can be mistaken for lag but it’s just Windows scaling up the resolution. It’s very subtle and will likely go unnoticed by most

The palm rest area runs very cool and doesn’t heat up even while gaming. One thing we did note was that the base, near the hinge, does get hot after a while and so does the bottom portion of display, where the Asus logo is. The keyboard is comfortable to use with very little fatigue creeping in, even after extended periods of typing. You can also choose between three levels of key backlighting. We don’t have any complaints with the trackpad either, which works well and doesn’t get in the way while typing.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_cinebench_ndtv.jpgWe got 42fps in Cinebench R15’s OpenGL test and 584 points in the CPU test. POVRay completed with a trace time of 3 minutes 25 seconds, which is a good number. The ZenBook Pro really shines in storage subsystem read-write tests, posting better numbers than more expensive gaming laptops. In SiSoft SANDRA’s physical disk module, we got an aggregate drive speed of 1.4Gbps. The File System bandwidth test returned 1.4Gbps for sequential read speed and 1.3Gbps for sequential write.

The UX501 isn’t marketed as a gaming laptop but it can very satisfactorily crunch pixels for a good gaming experience. Gaming at the native resolution is a silly idea since even high-end desktops would struggle to fill up a 4K screen. Dropping the resolution to 1080p makes games playable, without losing much on quality. This also lets you bump up the eye candy for a better visual experience. Tomb Raider returned a healthy average frame rate of 49fps at the Ultra preset.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_crysis3_ndtv.jpgCrysis 3 was unplayable at ‘Very High’ settings so we had to drop it to ‘High’ to get smooth enough frame rates. Even with FXAA and 16x AF at full-HD resolution, we got a healthy average frame rate of 32fps. Gameplay gets a little choppy during the outdoor fight scenes in the opening sequence but that can be remedied by dialling down some of the settings.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_farcry_ndtv.jpgFarCry 4 was also just about playable at 1080p, with the quality set to ‘Ultra’, and SMAA and HBAO enabled. We managed 21.4fps on average here, which is not ideal but we wanted to see till what point we could push the hardware. Of course, dropping the quality settings down a notch will give you a more playable frame rate.

The display scaling can cause slight glitches when changing settings in-game, especially the resolution. We also came across another peculiar software glitch where some games and benchmarks would fail to detect the Nvidia GPU and crash. We had this issue with Battlefield 4 and 3DMark Fire Strike. Even after updating the necessary drivers, the issue still persisted. We’re hoping this is an isolated incident with our review unit.

Asus_ZenBook_Pro_UX501_display_ndtv.jpgThe ZenBook Pro is great for multimedia use. HD videos, especially full-HD and beyond, look stunning due to the IPS panel. Colours are rich and vibrant and the viewing angles are very good. The audio levels are decently loud with good mids and highs.

Coming to battery life, we managed to get 3 hours 42 minutes in Battery Eater Pro which translates to roughly 5 hours of real-world usage. During regular use, we managed to get close to this figure with lots of Web browsing, using Office documents, and playing a bit of music.

Verdict
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 turns out to be one of the better premium laptops in the market. It offers high-end specifications usually found in more expensive laptops, which makes it great value. The 4K display is stunning and is superb for office and multimedia work. The SSD also delivers some of the fastest read-write speeds we’ve come across. Then, there’s the aluminium build, powerful internals and decent battery life on top of all of that.

Having a 4K resolution on such a small screen results in a few niggles. Not all applications adhere to Window’s scaling guidelines so you might be forced to use apps at 100-percent resolution, where menus and text can get unreadably small. The lower bezel of the display also tends to get very hot, even without gaming. This isn’t something you’ll notice with regular use but we hope it doesn’t have an adverse effect in the long run. Finally, the screen is quite reflective which makes it difficult to use under sunlight or even indoors, with artificial lighting behind you. Even maxing out the brightness level doesn’t fix this.

Price (MRP): 1,15,999

Pros

  • Crisp UHD display
  • Excellent SSD performance
  • Aluminium body
  • Decent battery life
  • Good multimedia performance

Cons

  • Lower bezel of the display heats up
  • A bit heavy
  • App scaling doesn’t always work
  • Screen is very reflective

Ratings (Out of 5)
Design: 4
Display: 4.5
Performance: 4
Software: 3.5
Value for Money: 3.5
Overall: 3.5

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Tags: 4k laptop, Asus, Asus ZenBook Pro UX501, Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 price,Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 price in India, Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 specifications, laptops, UX501, ZenBook Pro,ZenBook Pro UX501
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Asus Launches ZenBook Windows 10 Flagship Laptops Starting Rs. 55,490

Asus Launches ZenBook Windows 10 Flagship Laptops Starting Rs. 55,490If have been on the fence about which high-end Windows laptop should you spring for, maybe Asuscan offer you a helping hand. The Taiwanese company has unveiled ZenBook flagship lineup that features Windows 10, and 6th generation Intel Core processor.

Asus on Tuesday unveiled three models in its ZenBook series: the ZenBook UX303UB, ZenBook UX305CA, and ZenBook UX305UA. All the three models offer high-end innards and will be available for purchase starting Friday, March 4 from Asus Exclusive Stores and online retailers.

Starting with the ZenBook UX303UB, the ultra-portable notebook sports a 13.3-inch LED backlit full-HD display (1920×1080 pixels) in 16:9 aspect ratio and a viewing angle of 170 degrees. It is powered by Intel Core i5-6200U SoC clocked at 2.3GHz coupled with discrete Nvidia GeForce 940M and Intel HD Graphics GPU (2GB) chips, and 8GB of RAM (4GB built-in and 4GB DRAM DDR3L chip).asus_ux303_gold_1.jpgOther features of the Asus ZenBook UX303UB includes 1TB SATA hard drive, an HD Web camera, support for 802.11ac+Bluetooth 4.0 (dual band), three USB 3.0 ports, one Mini Display port, one HDMI 1.4 port for external video display, and a 50WHr battery. Its price starts at Rs. 71,490.

The Asus ZenBook UX305CA, on the other hand, sports a 13.3-inch LED backlit display with full-HD screen resolution. It is powered by Intel Core m3-6y30 SoC that can clock up to 2.2GHz, coupled with Intel Graphics 515 and 8GB of RAM (4GB on-board memory and 4GB system memory, the company says). Other than that we’re looking at the same innards as in the ZenBook UX303UB save for 44Whr battery, and 256GB SSD as opposed to a hard drive. Its price starts at Rs. 55,490.

If neither of the models interests you, the Asus UX305UA just might. It comes with a 13.3-inch LED backlit display of QHD+ (3200×1800 pixels) screen resolution, and wide viewing angle of 170 degrees. It is powered by Intel Core i7-6500U SoC clocked at 2.5GHz, coupled with Intel HD Graphics 520, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Other features include a 512GB SSD, 56Whr battery, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port. Its price starts at Rs. 74,190 for the variant with Core i5 processor.

[“source-Livemint”]