Introducing The ZenBook Pro UX501
Enter Asus. They've utilized their ZenBook line to satisfy a wide range of demographics and price points, but their UX501 -- with its "Pro" designation, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960m GPU, and 4K touchscreen display -- is a Zenbook aspiring to meet and exceed Apple's flagship notebook, and look stunning while doing it.
As you'll see, in many ways, it's mission accomplished...
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4720HQ (6MB cache, 2.6GHz to 3.6GHz)|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 64-bit (free upgrade to Windows 10)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M w/ 2GB GDDR5|
|Memory||16GB DDR3L 1600MHz DRAM|
|Display||15.6-inch IPS (3840x2160), 282 PPI, 280 nits|
|Storage||Samsung PM951 512GB PCI-E x4 SSD|
|Ethernet||None (USB 2.0 to RJ45 adapter included)|
|Wireless Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0|
|Interface (Left)||DisplayPort Out, HDMI Out, USB 3.0|
|Interface (Right)||USB 3.0 x2, MicroSD Card Reader, Headphone Out|
|Webcam||1MP HD (720p) camera|
|Battery||96Wh 6-cell) lithium-ion|
|Dimensions||15.08 (W) x 10.04 (L) x 0.84 (H)|
|Pricing||$1499 as tested|
It's easy to spot the highlights. For less than $1500, you've got a handsome looking notebook sporting some drool-worthy display capabilities. 4K resolution? Check. IPS panel? Check. Touchscreen? Check. And while Asus doesn't explicitly market it as a gaming product, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 960m can hold its own in moderate to heavy titles at 1080p.
The Zenbook UX501 has other premium flourishes too, such as its PCI-E x4 Samsung SSD which, in our testing, is capable of blazing fast sequential read speeds up to 1,606 MB/s.
For those keeping score, the UX501 is $500 cheaper than the baseline 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, yet eclipses it in both storage space and graphics horsepower.
On paper, it's a notebook aspiring to satisfy the needs of creative professionals, power users, media junkies, and gamers. In reality can it please everyone? Let's dive in.