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Asus' $1,799 ZenBook Pro 15 Takes on MacBook Pro with 4K Display

Asus has refreshed its 15-inch ZenBook Pro with a 4K display and new internals, and it's available today.

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.