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.

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.

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.