Having become a major player in the gaming laptop world and the Chromebook market, Asus is setting its sights on what’s being called the digital creatives space — graphic designers, animators, game developers and the like. They require performance power like gamers, but don’t necessarily desire the neon-flavored designs of gaming notebooks. In its Create the Uncreated event the other day, Asus launched a number of laptops to appeal to the new creative class across several of its product lines.
Two features that the new models share are still-uncommon OLED displays and the choice of ether the latest Intel 11th-generation Core processors or AMD Ryzen 5000 series chips. (The ExpertBooks are Intel only, however.) At the top end of the new offerings, the ProArt family gets a pair of new systems in the Studiobook 16 and the Studiobook Pro 16, both of which include the Asus Dial, a hardware input device that can customized for more efficient workflow in different apps. Either can be configured with a 16-inch 4K OLED with 400 nits of brightness, while the Intel version of the Pro 16 can be equipped with a Xeon W-11955M CPU and the AMD version includes the Nvidia RTX A2000 workstation-class graphics card.
Asus similarly bifurcates the Vivobook Pro series into Pro X and Pro lines, with the Pro X models available with higher-res screens and more powerful graphics cards. They also get a virtual version of the Dial feature that’s baked into the touchpad rather than being a separate control. While the new VivoBook Pro 14 and 15 include 2,880×1,800 OLED displays and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, the Pro 14X and 16X laptops have configurations available featuring 4K OLED screens and GeForce RTX 3050 graphics. At 4.3 pounds, the VivoBook Pro 16X is about a pound lighter than the new Studiobook Pro laptops.
The new Zenbook 14X and 14 Flip are as equally light (3.1 pounds) as the 14-inch VivoBook Pro notebooks, though they feature a touchscreen OLED. The Zenbook 14X includes a 180-degree hinged design, whereas the Flip is a full 2-in-1; both, however, come with a stylus to take advantage of the touchscreen capabilities. To keep their size and cost down, the Zenbooks rely on AMD and Intel’s respective integrated graphics instead of a discrete GPU.
For creatives who need to keep things a little more corporate, Asus has the ExpertBook B5 and ExpertBook B5 Flip, the lightest of the announced new laptops at 2.65 pounds. That’s in part thanks to the 13.3-inch form factor, and like the Zenbooks, the new ExpertBooks eschew discrete GPUs for Intel’s integrated graphics. Screen resolution is only 1,920×1,080, but the ExpertBooks still include OLED displays, though only the Flip edition comes with touchscreen features. Enterprise security capabilities include built-in fingerprint reader and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip, and Asus claims 12 hours of battery life for the ExpertBooks.
Starting pricing we’re aware of for the new Asus laptops — which should be available by year’s end — is as follows: Studiobook Pro 16 ($2,500), Studiobook 16 ($2,000), Vivobook Pro 16X ($1,400), Vivobook Pro 14X ($1,200), Vivobook Pro 15 ($920), Vivobook Pro 14 ($750), and ExpertBook B5 ($1,300).
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