ASUS Unveils Ultra-Thin ZenBook Pro 15 with Six-Core Core i9, GTX 1050, Calibrated 4K LCDby Anton Shilov on May 18, 2018 9:00 AM EST
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- Coffee Lake-H
- ZenBook Pro
- ZenBook Pro 15
ASUS has introduced a new version of its ultra-thin 15.6-inch ZenBook Po 15 laptop that offers higher performance than predecessors while retaining a very thin z-height as well as a rather low weight. The notebook features Intel’s latest 8th Generation Core processors with six cores as well as a standalone GPU, a rare combination found in an 18.9-mm thick laptop. To make the PC even more unique, ASUS offers it with a factory-calibrated monitor.
The new ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX550GD comes in ‘Deep Dive Blue’ aluminum unibody with rose gold edges to emphasizes its premium nature and positioning. The top-of-the-range model is based on Intel’s unlocked six-core Core i9-8950HK processor, though it is unclear whether ASUS lets owners of the notebook overclock this chip. Other SKUs are powered by the six-core Core i7-8750H or the quad-core Core i5-8300H processors. The CPU is accompanied by NVIDIA’s discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics processor with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory, 8 or 16 GB of DDR4-2400 DRAM, and an SSD with up 1 TB capacity (PCIe 3.0 x4/NVMe). To cool the CPU and the GPU down, ASUS uses a special cooling system featuring three heat pipes and two fans.
High-performance internals and a luxurious chassis are not the only first-class features offered by the ZenBook Pro 15 UX550GD. The manufacturer offers two premium 15.6-inch IPS multi-touch LCD options with the machine. One of the display panels has a 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) resolution, covers 100% of the AdobeRGB as well as 95% of the NTSC color spaces, and is factory-calibrated to DeltaE ≤ 2 accuracy. Another option features a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, covers 100% of the sRGB color space, and is factory-calibrated to DeltaE ≤ 3 accuracy. Not a lot of Windows-based laptops are outfitted with AdobeRGB-capable displays and even fewer come with pre-calibrated LCDs, so ASUS clearly deserves praise here.
On the wireless side of things, we see Intel’s Wireless-AC 9560 CNVi solution featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi (with up to 1.73 Gbps throughput) and Bluetooth 5.0. As for physical connectors, the notebook is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 headers, an HDMI display output, a microSD card reader, a TRRS audio jack, and a proprietary jack for charging. When it comes to conferencing, the laptop has a VGA webcam, Harman Kardon-badged stereo speakers, and a microphone array.
Just like other ZenBook Pro 15 models, the UX550GD features an 18.9-mm z-height and weighs 1.86 kilograms, thus being thinner and lighter than most 15.6-inch laptops. To retain portability, ASUS equipped the notebook with a 71 Wh Li-Poly battery that enables it to work for up to 9.5-hours on one charge (according to MobileMark 2014), which is below what one might expect from a premium PC. Keeping in mind that there is always a tradeoff between weight, display quality, and battery life on new higher-end notebooks, the relatively limited battery life of the US550GD is not really surprising and will not scare people off who need to have a good display on a 15.6-inch laptop that is barely thicker than many 13.3-inch models.
The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX550GD laptops will be available in the coming weeks. ASUS has not published prices of these notebooks, but it is logical to expect the manufacturer to charge a premium for a rather unique combination of features (an unlocked Core i9 CPU, factory-calibrated 4K display, thin-and-light form-factor, etc.). Meanwhile, a version with a Core i5 processor and a Full HD LCD will likely be offered at a more democratic price.
|General Specifications of the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX550GD|
|1920×1080 | 100% sRGB
3840×2160 | 100% AdobeRGB, 95% NTSC
|CPU Options||Core i5-8300H (4C/8T)
Core i7-8750H (6C/12T)
Core i7-8850H (6C/12T)
|Graphics||Integrated||HD Graphics 630 (24 EUs)|
|Discrete||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
4 GB GDDR5 memory
|RAM||8 or 16 GB DDR4-2400 (soldered)|
|Storage||SSD||256 GB - 512 GB SATA
512 - 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4/NVMe
|Wireless||Wi-Fi||Intel Wireless-AC 9560 CRF
802.11ac (2x2) Wi-Fi
|USB||3.1 Gen 2||2 × TB 3 (Type-C)
2 × USB Type-A
|Thunderbolt||2 × TB 3 (data, DP displays)|
|Display Outputs||1 × HDMI
2 × TB3 with DisplayPort
|Gigabit Ethernet||Optional via a dongle|
|Card Reader||Micro SD card reader|
|Other I/O||Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack|
|Dimensions||Width||36.5 cm | 14.37 inch|
|Depth||25.1 cm | 9.88 inch|
|Thickness||1.89 cm | 0.74 inch|
|Weight||1.86 kilograms | 4.1 lbs|
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Charlie22911 - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkI am flummoxed at this recent trend of stuffing CPUs and GPUs into devices that cant handle them without throttling.
SharpEars - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkYou are absolutely right!
DanNeely - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkBecause it lets you combine a laptop that's discrete enough to pass without comment in public with the ability to game at halfway decent settings into a single package.
niva - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkThe point is that it doesn't work well in practice. If you max out that GPU while gaming at so called "halfway decent settings" you better have the laptop in the freezer.
PeachNCream - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkFunctionality has to take a back seat to making the computer needlessly thin since that's a more important (for generating sales) metric than how well a computer copes with waste heat.
BPB - Friday, May 18, 2018 - link"Meanwhile, a version with a Core i5 processor and a Full HD LCD will likely be offered at a more democratic price"
It's kinda off topic, but what does democratic price mean?
Ananke - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkcheap enough, so plebs feel free, aka the poor to have economy freedom :) :)
mooninite - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkSo close to being a replacement to my UX301LA... I hope they make a 13" 1440p or 4k option with either Ryzen Vega onboard or Core i7/i5 Vega onboard graphics. NVIDIA / hybrid graphics are OK, but a pain for Linux environments thanks to the backwards / hacky implementation that only their Windows drivers fully implement.
danwat1234 - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkThe chart for the laptop does not list the i9-8950HK extreme CPU. I doubt the laptop can keep the 6 cores, if fully loaded, any higher clocked than a regular 8750 could do in that chassis.
DanNeely - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkApparent typo in the chart or press release. The Asus page lists the top end chip as i9-8950HK not i7-8850H.