- Processor: 3.3 GHz AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX octa-core (16 threads)
- Screen: 16″ WQXGA (3840 x 2400) OLED, 400 nit, 100% DCI-P3
- Memory: 32 GB DDR4
- Storage: 2 TB SSD
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Max Q with 8 GB GDDR6
- Operating system: Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit
- Dimensions and weight: 36.2 x 2.1x 26.4 cm / 2.4 kg
- Connections: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, 4 x USB-C Gen 2 (of which 2 with VR support), 3 x USB 3.2, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort (via USB-C), Ethernet, HD webcam, 3, 5 mm minijack (sound), SD Express 7.0 card reader
- Web: asus.com
Like several other PC manufacturers, Asus has over the last few years cast their attention on the so-called digital creatives: graphic designers, video people and 3D animators who need super-fast computers with heavy-duty graphics. But who does not want to buy a gaming PC.
Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 is the latest model in Asus’ creative series. It is a laptop that is slim and light enough to carry in your bag on the commute or to the customer meeting. But powerful enough for demanding creative work.
The cabinet is milled in one piece of a black anodized aluminium alloy. The rather large computer weighs only 2.4 kg. Considering the fact that a lot of cooling is required of the processor and the graphics card, this is quite well done.
The format is a bit unusual, but quite successful: A 16-inch screen in 16:10 format. It provides good screen space, but the machine still takes up less space than a 17-inch PC. Due to the slightly taller screen format, however, the cabinet becomes quite deep, so there is plenty of room for a large touchpad and a so-called Asus Dial. The latter is a large knob that acts as a steering wheel with which you can control various functions in your programs.
The touchpad also has extra features. In addition to standard navigation, it supports a stylus pen, so you can use it as a drawing pad with 1,024 pressure graduations.
The keyboard is large and all keys are the right size. This also applies to the separate numeric keypad.
Screen in a class of its own
And then there is the screen. It is simply one of the very best screens I have ever seen on a laptop! Images are colour-deep and Kodachrome-vibrant in a way that makes all the other screens nearby appear matte and gray.
It’s an OLED screen in 4K resolution – or rather in WQUXGA resolution. An abbreviation that I doubt anyone is able to memorize for more than a few seconds at a time. But in practice it corresponds to a resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. And in full 100 percent DCI-P3 film industry quality as well as Pantone-validated. With a black level that is darker than the back of the Moon.
The only laptop screen I can think of that can competitively compete with this one is the 4K OLED screen that sits on the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo.
Professional graphic designers require two things: Precision – which the screen delivers so brilliantly – and speed. And with an eight-core AMD Ryzen 9 processor, generous 32 gigabytes of RAM and an Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card, the Studiobook 16 has more computing power than most desktops.
“The screen is so colourful and vibrant that you feel like licking the food pictures on Facebook.”
AMD’s Ryzen processors have recently impressed with plenty of power at an affordable price. This also applies to the Ryzen 9 5900HX used in the Studiobook.
A Geekbench 5 score of 9,010 in multi-core and 1,482 in single-core is among the best we have seen, and the office program test PCMark 10 ends with a result of 6,805. It’s absolutely splendid.
Studiobook 16 is not built for gaming, but the 3D performance is in no way lacking. Not for the sake of lunch break entertainment, though. Professional graphics programs such as Photoshop use the power of the graphics card for more serious calculations.
The 3DMark Time Spy test ends up with a score of 9,010, while the Fire Strike test from the same company gives a result of 19,720. This should make both image processing and video editing run smoothly.
The large media files also need to be saved, and here the Asus stands out from the crowd. With an average transfer rate of 3.2 GB/s, measured with HDTach, storage and reading is at least twice as fast as on most PCs we test.
The battery test is also a positive surprise. Bright 4K screens and fast graphics processors rarely rhyme with good battery economy. But a battery life of over four hours is on par with frugal ultrabook computers!
Mac is the standard
There is hardly a self-respecting PC manufacturer that does not have a model for creative professionals on the program. But the direct competitor to any of them is the Apple MacBook Pro, as Apple dominates the graphics industry.
Measured by price and performance, the otherwise quite expensive Studiobook Pro 16 does well in comparison. You have to pay 30-50 percent more for a MacBook Pro 16 with the same performance. And today, Apple does not have any screen that can match in colour richness and resolution.
Measured on its own, the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 is a really cool computer for graphic production. There is plenty of computing power, and the screen is so colorful and vibrant that you feel like licking the food pictures on Facebook. The Asus Dial knob and the combined touchpad and drawing pad are innovative elements that for some can make production more efficient and comfortable.
The standard by which creative computers will be measured, however, is set in Cupertino, California, and the reaction in the creative department will probably be “Well, that is not a Mac at all!” However, it will only last until the colleagues see the screen…