ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW Review
- Ample sized 15 inch screen
- 4K display is a delight
- Fast 2.6 Quad-core Core i7-6700HQ processor (Skylake architecture)
- Integrated Nvidia GTX 960M GPU- makes gaming possible
- Fast PCIe SSD storage
- Great ports selection future proofed by the Thunderbolt 3 (via USB TypeC)
- Strong battery
- Quiet and cool running system
- Heavy laptop
- Comes with Bloatware
- It comes highly recommended and thanks to its top-tier performance, we recommend it too. It flies in the same airspace as other pre-level 15 inch laptops such Apple and Dell but costs a fraction of the price.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW mirrors the design of the UX501J from 2015. It also is a match with the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display thanks to a sleek-looking aluminum built body. The deck is polished aluminum which gives it a premium MacBook stance, but the slightly thick, dark and contrasting bezel (measures half-inch) marks a clear distinction between the two laptop brands. The MacBook sticks out like a sore thumb with its clearly defined and smooth edges and futuristic bezel. Still, that is no deal breaker as it doesn’t have anything to do with performance.
On size scale, the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 measures 10 x 0.8 x 15.1 inches and weighs 5 pounds. That’s a little less heavy than the Dell XPS 15 Touch (9550) which weighs 4.48 pounds. The XPS 15 flaunts a neat aluminum and carbon fibre combination; the carbon especially featuring on the palm rest and keyboard deck making it lighter in comparison.
The best part of this laptop was the 15.6 inch touchscreen screen. Besides from just being ample sized and touch enabled, the screen offers a sweat deal of 4K (3,840-by-2,160) resolution. That means images and video are breathtakingly beautiful with crisp clear and vivid images. The viewing angles were also wide as a result of the In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. This same panel is a duplicate of the one found one the Dell XPS 15 Touch (9550) and Dell XPS 15 (9560. The Samsung Ativ Book 9 Pro also shares a similar panel. We loved the touchscreen for its quick response and gesture friendly mode. It worked pretty well without unnecessary lag and drag during testing.
The port selection was amusingly ample and future proof owing to the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 port. There are also other standard port systems to get you through an ordinary day’s work of file transfer. He left side is a single USB 3.0 port with super charge capabilities (allows charging while computer is on sleep mode), a single HDMI port for external monitors, and a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3.
The right side has two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and finally a headphone jack.
Should you need to connect wirelessly, the system supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.
The Intel Core i7-6700HQ is the heart and soul of the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71. The quad-core processor is based on the Skylake architecture, hyper-threaded to enable clock speeds from 2.6 to 3.5 GHz. The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512 GB SSD (with transfer speeds of 1400MB/s) storage constitute the rest of the vital organs backing up the processor which make for a remarkable tag team in performance. The ZenBook Pro UX501VW is suited for quick photo editing and video cutting.
Performance aside, the Asus ZenBook sports the Nvidia GTX 960M with 2GB VRAM and 128 bit memory bus which isn’t too shabby. It’s remarkable for gaming but not for maximum settings. Its specification and performance allow make it an appealing high-end graphics unit for entry-level core gamers. Newer titles resulted in frame drops but when we tried a few older titles, we got some decent results, especially for high preset and 1600×900 pixels. Low demanding titles like Dota 2 (2013) got 83.1 fps on ultrahigh settings. FIFA 15(2014) – 136 fps on ultra high settings.
The ZenBook also comes preinstalled with Windows 10 Home and handful of other software such as Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector and PowerDirector (these are media-editing programs). There are other utilities available too. Some might be helpful or not but that depends on what you plan to use your laptop for. For instance Nvidia’s GeForce Experience and Asus Live Update which help update your laptop to keep things running swiftly.
KEYBOARD AND TRACKPAD
The keyboard on the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 is sturdy and we had no mishap using it. The keys are island like, well spaced and have a travel distance of 2.1 millimeters. You only require 62 grams of actuation force to get going which is pretty decent for comfy and long stretches of typing. The 4 x 2.75-inch touchpad is smooth and responsive. It worked well with multi-touch gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom giving an overall awesome user experience.
In the battery section, the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 features a chubby 96 watt-hour battery. That goes somewhat toe-to-toe with the Dell XPS 15 which comes with 84Whr. The MacBook Pro leads the pack topping out at a whooping 99Whr. The advertised longevity by Asus is 6 hours but on our rundown test we managed to get 6 hours 22 minutes.
ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 Specs
- Screen Size 15.6 inches IPS 4K UHD screen
- Display 74% Adobe RGB color reproduction
- Max Screen Resolution 3820*2160 pixels
- Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (turbo up to 3.5GHz)
- RAM 16 GB DDR4
- Hard Drive 512 GB SSD with transfer speeds of 1400MB/s
- Graphics Coprocessor Nvidia GTX 960M 2G of GDDR5 memory
- Wireless Type 11 A/C
- Number of USB 3.0 Ports 3
- Item model number UX501VW-US71T
- Operating System Windows 10 Home
- Item Weight 5 pounds
- Dimensions 10 x 0.8 x 15.1 inches
- Processor Brand Intel
- Processor Count 4
- Memory Type DDR4 SDRAM
- Flash Memory Size 512
- Batteries 6 Cells 96 Whrs, Lithium ion batteries
We loved the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 Laptop as it showed lots of promise on paper. But that isn’t the end of the ZenBook’s versatility. It also features some really impressive features too and goes head-to-head with some really big dogs in notebook gaming industry. The Dell XPS 15 is of course a tad ahead even though they have almost exact specs, but Dell costs more. The ZenBook also has a lower and weaker performance than Dell and MacBook Pro but if you can bare the faults, the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 by a long stretch a great laptop to have.
So, just to recap, you get a shiny ample sized 15.6 inch screen, beautiful design, fantastic 3820*2160 resolution display, modern Core i7 -6700HQ processor with great clock-speeds, sturdy keyboard, 6 hour battery and a very competitive price. It’s such a great deal that opting for a Mac or Dell almost feels like a rip off!
Here are some other laptops that the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 brushes shoulders with:
- Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch, Retina Display (2015)
- Dell XPS 15 9560 Read Review here
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (2017)
- Asus ZenBook 3 UX390UA
- Lenovo ThinkPad X260. Read Review here
- Dell Precision 15 3510
- Lenovo Ideapad 710S
- HP Spectre. Read Review here
- Dell XPS 13 (Skylake)
- Dell latitude 12
- LG Gram 15 Z960
- Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. Read Review here
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000(late 2015)
- Samsung Ativ Book 9(2014)