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Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550 Andrei Girbea Rating: 4 out of 5

Asus Zenbook Pro UX550 (UX550VD) impressions and initial review – what to expect from the new top-tier Zenbook

29 Comments

  1. Conrad

    July 27, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Thorough review, thanks!

    I can't help but think ASUS isn't what it should be in terms of quality.

    I read a review of the new Vivobook Pro N580 and it appears to have exactly the same issues as most of their laptops these days: considerable keyboard flex, audible fans that are always active, and a screen that doesn't live up to expectations. It's a real pity because these laptops don't come cheap.

    I see you mention the Zenbook UX530 as an ultraportable alternative, the 15 inch version of the UX430. Is it available yet? Though I imagine the 530 to have the exact same issues as the 430.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 27, 2017 at 7:13 am

      The ux530 is available in some parts of Europe, not the US though. It's the same as the UX430, just a little bigger. The fans can be tweaked with FanStop and as for the other issues, I could live with them.

  2. Ernesto Santiago Guerrero

    July 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Very nice review!
    I've been waiting to hear about this laptop for almost a month now and, as always, nothing lives up to the hype, sadly.
    I guess I could live with most of the little nitpicking problems, but I don't know how much would the keyboard flex could bother me, as I have always had a laptop with full unibody design, and threrefore very rigid chasis.

    I would like to ask you, If, and when, the reviews for the i7 models come out and they come up with the same issues, would you advise waiting for the refresh for the xps 15 model? My main issue with the 9560 is the half-bandwidth thunderbolt 3 the models have, and also the throttling. The first issue I was planning to fix with a eGPU, but the speeds of the TB3 are not promising, and I think the throttling would have an impact there.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 27, 2017 at 8:56 am

      I don't think a refresh of the XPS is due before the new generation of HQ chips is available (early 2018, as far as i know). I would wait for laptops with those new quad-core ULVs that are scheduled for release is September. There might be something interesting there, because otherwise all the thin and lights with Kaby Lake HQ hardware throttle in demanding loads. Perhaps Dell with have those in the XPS 15.

      • Ernesto Santiago Guerrero

        July 27, 2017 at 9:13 am

        Yes, I'm aware that wainting for a refresh of the XPS 15 would mean to also wait for intel to release the Coffee Lake chips, but I was planning on waiting until December-early 2018 to make a decision on a laptop, that would allow for some Ryzen models to come out and weight out the balance of the market. Thank you for the answer.

  3. mystiq

    July 27, 2017 at 9:23 am

    magnificent review, did you planing to review the unit with core i7 and GTX 1050Ti later andrei ? and why they're claiming 3 heatpipes cooling for zenbook pro ? or maybe 3 heatpipes cooling only for the corei7 and GTX1050Ti model ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 27, 2017 at 10:30 am

      i don't think there's a different design for the ux550ve. Can't tell why they claim to have three, the internals shows just two

      • mystiq

        July 29, 2017 at 10:32 am

        did you planning to review the GTX 1050Ti and core i7 version ?

  4. alex

    July 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Rather annoying to see asus forcing you to buy the more expensive i7 to have 16gb of ram. Thanks for the review.

  5. sudo_user_si

    July 28, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Have you tried usb-c charging?

  6. Charry

    July 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Andrei
    What about the new vivobook pro 15? Where i live the cheapest ux550 cost 1900 Dollars and with touchscreen (no version without, yet), and so I was wondering ix the vivobook pro could do for as a replacement. Have u reviewed it yet? And when it's gonna be released?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 28, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      Working on it right now, should be up in about a week or so

  7. Andreas

    July 28, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Very nice review. Kindda disapointed about the keyboard though. But I might still get this one.

    The Dell XPS 15 has a very high screen response time and suffers from some ghosting while gaming.

    How does this compare? Do you have any numbers on screen refresh times?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 28, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      unfortunately I don't have the tools or methodology to test for refresh rate. The screen is identical to the one on the Lenovo Yoga 720 15, so you can check for refresh rate and other details in notebookcheck's review of that product.

  8. AZ

    July 29, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Asus drop the ball hard nowadays

    I remember a time from 2008-2012 when their laptops were the solid pick out of all brands for reliability, quality and function.

    They seem to think they are Dell now but have never earned the title. Charging premium but with honestly pathetic chassis flex, light bleed and forcing matte only (wax effect) on all their very low contrast ratio display leaves a bad taste.

    I mean even HP and lenovo are overtaking asus now.

  9. Anders

    July 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

    good review. so the typing experience on the previously tested ux430 is actually better than on this high-end ux550??

  10. Kyle

    July 30, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Can you review the Gigabyte Aero 15 and P56XT? Currently they blow everything else out of the water as far as performance, portability and battery life are concerned.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Not available over here unfortunately, so I don't think I can get my hands on them for now

      • Kyle

        August 7, 2017 at 4:37 am

        Ahhh that's a shame. P56XT seems like the only lightweight 1070 laptop with a decent 7 hour battery life atm. There're only 2 English reviews and it's not even mentioned on web forums.

  11. BT

    July 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    well im honestly pissed .. i mean i saw the flex in youtube videos at computex but i expected a fix for that at this price point.
    They keyboard and camera are a serious oversight i was really hoping to get this but im now thinking of the cheaper lenovo flex 5 15" as t has more ports than the yoga 720 15" and well cheaper im not paying top dollar for a clear cost cut system.

    if asus went with sharp izgo panels fixed the flex then maybe but limiting ram is a bad choice for any one …

  12. Sean

    August 2, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Why do you say usb-c charging won't work?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 2, 2017 at 2:47 am

      I'm just saying it might not, I don't know if Asus implemented the electronics to hook up the battery via USB-C.

  13. Ciro

    August 4, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Where and when can we buy asus 550ux?

  14. Max

    August 6, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Hey Andrei, very good review. Thank you very much!
    I have a question: Is it possible to turn off the battery during gaming sessions or rendering tasks and power the Zenbook only by the charger? The battery isn't replaceable, am I right? My idea is to unplug the battery at home to keep it powerful for some years.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Not in an easy way, you'd have to open the device and disconnect it physically, and I'm not even sure it would boot with it disconnected

  15. dieter

    August 9, 2017 at 4:42 am

    It's not even out yet in my country and the price on the VD 16GB is already down to €1650. By the time everyone is stocked up it will be sub-1500. Putting this back on the radar for me. An undervolt&repaste will take care of the performance issues, nbfc or bios update (there's one out for the ux410 now) will take care of the fans. Improve battery life too. And already cheaper than xps15 in similar config. A lot better looking too. A little worried about the keyboard though. I'll probably wait until I can test it at a shop.

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