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Asus' new ZenBook Pro UX501 touted as the latest MacBook Pro killer

By Shawn Knight ยท 29 replies
Apr 27, 2015
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  1. asus macbook pro zenbook pro ux501 apple laptop zenbook zenbook pro

    Asus has released a new notebook that looks to be the closest rival yet to Apple’s bar-setting MacBook Pro. At 0.81 inches thick, the ZenBook Pro UX501 is a tad bit thicker than the MacBook Pro but it more than makes up for it in terms of impressive hardware.

    The new ZenBook is sculpted from lightweight aluminum and is equipped with a 15.6-inch VisualMaster 4K (3,860 x 2,160) multi-touch IPS display with a pixel density of 282 PPI. It is powered by Intel’s Core i7-4720HQ processor (2.6GHz, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) alongside 16GB of RAM and a spacious 512GB PCIe x4 SSD which Asus claims is capable of read/write speeds up to 1,400MB/sec.

    asus macbook pro zenbook pro ux501 apple laptop zenbook zenbook pro

    An Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory handles graphics duties. Other amenities include 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a backlit keyboard, three USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 2.0 port, an HDMI port and an SD card reader.

    The system measures 15.1” x 10.0” x .8” and weighs in at five pounds. It runs Windows 8.1 for up to six hours on a single charge, we’re told.

    asus macbook pro zenbook pro ux501 apple laptop zenbook zenbook pro

    The specifications are certainly impressive although the 960M will struggle to push games to the 4K display at anything higher than medium graphics settings.

    The ZenBook Pro UX501 is available as of writing for $1,799, a rather attractive price given the powerful hardware and impressive 4K display it includes.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    I was really being impressed by this device until I accidentally noticed the price then my eyes started to burn and stream. $500 less and Asus would've hit one right out of the park.
  3. The Dell Precision 3800 has already been better than the MacBook Pro for a year now.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,346   +595

    Notice that the headline says the "latest"? It doesn't say it's the only one.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,307   +2,772

    The video card is a disappointment. Such machine needs a 980M option badly.

    Anyway, the new Macbook Pro is out in June, soon enough to wait and see what how it scores.
  6. "Macbook Pro Killer" - impossible, the majority of Apple users buy Apple products only because of the brand. Whether the product is superior or not, Apple users won't take notice.
    EEatGDL likes this.
  7. This is true. Apple fans will buy pretty much anything that is "shiny and made by Mac"
  8. I did, but it also refers to closest rival and figured the Dell should have been part of the post as it is the only other (although I researched a while back) laptop that is comparable at that thickness/weight. Not trolling, just adding info to the discussion.
  9. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 474   +346

    There's one problem with this computer... it's running Windows 8.1. Put Windows 7 on it and then I'll come close to considering this computer. Windows 8.1 is an absolute deal killer for me.
  10. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,604   +441

    You should just go back to MS DOS if you are that stuck in the past. For godsake, installing an OS isn't hard.
  11. trparky

    trparky TS Evangelist Posts: 474   +346

    Installing an OS isn't hard at all, I can practically install Windows 7 in my sleep. Finding drivers? That's the more difficult part. A lot of the OEMs don't supply drivers for new versions of Windows let alone older versions.
  12. I just ordered this laptop yesterday for $1999 and now today I'm seeing this and other articles saying $1799.

    I can't find it anywhere for that price. Hoping they aren't lowering it already.
  13. With multiple reports about flawed greenish mustard yellows from early purchasers of the ux501 with the 4k screen, I recommend making sure it's not just a macbook killer for the color blind by checking the screen before buying.
  14. stateofjermaine

    stateofjermaine TS Rookie Posts: 23

    Or because they regularly use software and apps that are exclusive to OSX. But I agree that it's a generally useless term.
  15. Bao Nguyen

    Bao Nguyen TS Booster Posts: 73   +43

    This laptop is definitely not for you since you're stuck at year 2009. Installing Windows 7 on new machine comes with EFI won't be simple especially if the manufacturers disable option for legacy BIOS. Touchscreen will be useless. 4k resolution will be annoying. Do not buy this laptop guy from 2009!
  16. I find Windows 7 much more appealing than Windows 8. What's wrong with 4k on Windows 7? I have 3 Yamakasi Catleap monitors each running 2560x1440 on Windows 7 (total being 7680x1440, technically 7k) . (I removed the bezels and mounted them as close together as possible.)
  17. Bao Nguyen

    Bao Nguyen TS Booster Posts: 73   +43

    The part where you said "technically 7k" made me laugh so hard. If that's how you achieve 7k, I can simply lay 4x Full-HD monitors (1920x1080) horizontally and call it 8k? Sorry but that's not how it work, 4x Full-HD monitors is only equivalent to 1x 4k monitor in term of pixels. Windows 7 is generally sucks at high DPI scaling, that's why I said it will be annoying, I didn't say it's not usable.
    Arris likes this.
  18. That is a cool design, I do wish the option for customization was there; I too would opt for a more powerful GPU, at least the 970.

    As for being a Macbook Pro Killa... the bark is not really there to convince a devout Mac user to switch. Rather, it helps combat the Mac envy some PC users get.

    On the PC, we always get the best bang for our buck, and that is balanced with the adage, "you get what you pat for". We often get the power we want over design and build quality. Those concerns are usually left on the, well, design room floor because of the low margins. PC users like a deal. - Right?
  19. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 403   +211

    Windows 8.1 is just straight up better than 7. Just go use XP you old man...
  20. crabbos

    crabbos TS Rookie

    Install 8.1. Install Classic Shell. Stop talking.
  21. @Bao Nguyen:
    Yes, by definition four 1920x1080 monitors would be 7k (7680px, exactly the same horizontal pixels as three 2560x1440 monitors). The aspect ratio is not taken into account, and therefore neither is the vertical pixels. My setup being three 16:9 monitors with a resolution 2560x1440 creates a 7680x1440 7k resolution and a 16:3 aspect ratio.

    Unfortunately you're wrong. While it is not how people perceive 7k or 4k for that matter, it is a marketing play. Being that it is more than 7000 pixels horizontally, it is factually 7k by definition. Clearly I took into account that people like yourself don't understand marketing terms, hence the word "technically." In the future please expect people to take terms by their literal definition.
  22. waterytowers

    waterytowers TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    Forget about windows, does it support Linux? My Dell 15 XPS works great with Linux, only issue is I would like a longer battery life. If I could get 6+ hrs real work out of a non-mac I would buy it immediately. I can accept a little bit more weight too, it doesn't have to be feather light.

    Mac is not my thing and neither is Windows. I use my laptop for work and find Linux the most useful for my purposes. If I need Windows I just run it in a VM. 16GB RAM shared with a Windows VM works a treat on the DELL. I also have 1.5TB of SSD, it doesn't run with 1,400MB/sec but it is fast enough.

    As for the screen, I am used to the small fonts, but I can always make them bigger if I want.
  23. Bao Nguyen

    Bao Nguyen TS Booster Posts: 73   +43

    And you just "only" take advantage of that "marketing" term to boast about your 3x 1440p setup to make it look impressive by saying it's 7k. I'm sorry but 4x 1440p is only equivalent to a on-market 5k monitor in term of pixels count, so I'd say your setup is 3/4th of a 5k monitor not 7k. (If you wanna boast, I'm using 3x Dell P3214Q horizontally which makes it 11520x2160, but I'm not gonna be like you and claimed it 12k, my setup is only 3/4th of an 8k monitor)
  24. @ Bao Nguyen: Really? You found a way to respond. You must really love arguing about nothing. You're still stuck on my comment that was poking fun at you and the term 4k. Apparently that went over your head. I have three Yamakasi Catleap (Korean) monitors at which I picked up for $275 each a couple years ago. Clearly a setup that is within most people's reach, nothing to "boast" about.

    Also your monitor is UHD, not 4k. So three of them would make 11k. :p
  25. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,346   +595

    Bao Nguyen, there is no need to be so confrontational and "in your face" with other members and guests if you disagree with them. Discuss the ideas and issues, not the people. If you can't figure out how to do this, I suggest not posting in this thread.

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