Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 Review: Beauty And Brawn

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Upgrading To Windows 10 and Closing Thoughts

There's a lot to unpack here. At first blush it seems we've been criticizing the UX501 in several areas, but those areas are of minor importance in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the CPU is being throttled and resulting in diminished performance, although its nothing drastic to write home about. The flip side is that we get a gaming-capable 4K notebook that manages to stay cool and quiet. Given that it's not a machine designed expressly for high-end gaming, we're content with that!

Speaking of that 4K display, it really is stunning with its accurate color reproduction and pixel-packed 15-inch IPS panel. It's a joy to multitask with, and pure bliss watching UltraHD entertainment. It's disappointing that we can't take full advantage of it for gaming, but that would require considerably more powerful hardware, which would have carry considerably higher temps and considerably more weight along for the ride. 

asus angle

concludeDespite our few complaints, the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 is a stylish all-around notebook capable of satisfying power users, working professionals, and casual to mid-core gamers. Its value at $1499 is re-enforced by a blazing fast SSD, a gorgeous 4K display, and design language that should appeal to even the most devout MacBook Pro fans. If an eventual UX502 is being cooked up at Asus, our wishlist consists of very little: better sound quality from the Bang & Olufsen speakers, and stronger CPU performance. Still, out of the box this is an attractive laptop with a compelling value proposition. 

At the conclusion of our testing, we upgraded the UX501 to Windows 10 as well. It was an effortless process that ended up bringing even more enjoyment to the party. Where Windows 8.1 didn't do much to cater to touchscreen users, Windows 10 embraces them without exiling traditional keyboard and touchpad loyalists. We found ourselves gravitating more and more to the touchscreen even for normal browsing and desktop navigation. That screen just begs to be touched. 
 
 hot not
  • Decent value at $1499
  • Dazzling 4K touchscreen
  • Professional, stylish design
  • Insanely fast SSD
  • Good gaming performance
  • CPU performance throttled
  • Can't game at 4K resolution
  • Sub-par sound output


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