A direct competitor to the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro, the new ZenBook Pro 15 (UX550GE) is a touchscreen laptop designed for performance and portability. The slim, lightweight machine sports a stylish aluminum chassis with a dark blue finish and rose gold accents. It retains the thin bezels of its predecessor, except this year, they border a 4K display. Asus claims the new touch screen panel has a Delta-E score under 2 and that it can reproduce 132 percent of the sRGB color gamut.
Asus rates the ZenBook Pro 15's battery life at 9 hours, but we'd be surprised to see that endurance. Last year's 1080p ZenBook Pro lasted only 7 hours and 38 minutes in our Laptop Battery Test.
The Asus ZenBook Pro is relatively portable considering its display size. The chassis is just 0.7-inches thick, and its 83 percent screen-to-body ratio keeps things compact at 14.4 x 9.9 inches. At 4.1 pounds, the ZenBook falls between the 15-inch MacBook Pro (4 pounds) and the Dell XPS 15 (4.2 pounds).
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Asus claims the Harman Kardon-branded speakers are 1.4x louder than last year's model. With louder speakers and a 4K display, Asus has addressed the two biggest qualms we had with the 2017 model.
The new ZenBook comes with a strong selection of ports: 2 Thunderbolt 3, 2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports, an HDMI, a microSD card slot, and a headphone/mic combo jack. Other frills include a fingerprint sensor embedded in the touchpad and the latest Bluetooth 5.0.
For $1,799, the laptop comes with a 15-inch 4K display, an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 is available today on Asus' website and through most major online retailers, including Amazon, B&H and Newegg.
We're looking forward to getting our hands on a review unit, and putting it up against the MacBook Pro and XPS 15.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.