- The best display we have seen on a laptop
- Beastly Specification, especially the GPU
- Compact 300W Adapter for good portability
- Phenomenal GPU Performance
- The Keyboard is just an absolute miss
- CPU Performance is a little underwhelming
- Lack of Headphone Jack is tough to swallow on a creator laptop
One the exciting laptops we have seen in the past is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo – which you can click here to read more about it. But sadly, due to the limited review samples on ASUS Malaysia’s end we weren’t able to review it but it’s okay because the laptop lineup we are so much into is the ProArt series as they have finally entered the Malaysian market. Knowing that their portfolio now has a RM50000 laptop excites me a lot and lucky for us we were able to take a closer look and review the behemoth of a machine – which is the ASUS ProArt StudioBook One.
Look and Feel
We have to talk about the build quality because man it’s built like a tank and users who has a thing for robust looking laptops, we are looking at one here. This laptop is constructed in metal entirely. The color ASUS calls for this laptop is “Star Grey” and man it sure is one quite the turn on of a look. The edges have this angular shape, which they call it the Beveled Edges. It has a super heavy base where the keyboard, trackpad and the body are filled with battery by the way and the place where the laptop has rest of the component is actually right behind the display.
It has some interesting design language going on. The moment you lift the lid up, you will notice that the laptop shell opens up with a slight gap for the Aerospace-grade thermal system to take advantage of the air intakes. Oh, and the heatsinks, constructed in Titanium Alloy. Everything about this laptop is just premium grade and something you won’t find on a consumer machine. The cooling vent kind of has a Zephyrus-like idea to it but instead of having a base that lifts – in this case, the display backing lifts up. Overall, its safe to say it can pass off as a normal looking laptop in front of others and when people lay their eyes in front of the display is when users would realize – this laptop is beyond anything in the market.
If this is the first time you are reading our review here, I should let you know: Nothing turns me on like a perfect color accurate display and oh boy, the ProArt display is, to simply put it: Eyegasmic. It comes in this 15” Ultra Sharp 4K UHD Display and get ready to hear what comes next: 100% Adobe RGB Color Gamut, Delta E<1, 120Hz Refresh Rate and Pantone Validated. All that goodness covered in a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with Anti-glare panel. Take a minute to digest that.
This display is just what the pro creators and pro users would really appreciate and if you are someone who does color correction on work mostly – once again, the perfect display your eyes will ever see. During our time using it, we had to use Premiere Pro and Lightroom to get some color correction work and do some light editing – I have to say I had the best experience with this display. Other Pro tool dependent users are going to enjoy and take complete advantage on what this display has to offer. The fact that hits 4K with 120Hz is impressive. Just the best ASUS has to give for users getting the one.
Watching shows on Netflix with the rich colors made me enjoy the shows even more for its cinematography and camera shots – especially The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which has more darker colors looked very soothing.
Specification and Performance
The specification of the ASUS ProArt StudioBook One is going to kill every laptop dead because it is the only laptop with an NVIDIA RTX 6000 Studio Series GPU in the market, making it the most expensive card you can find.
- Intel Core i9-9980HK Processor with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
- NVIDIA Quadro RTX6000 with 24GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
- 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
We were strictly told by ASUS not to try and open the ProArt monitor as the base is completely filled with battery and of a different kind. Plus, its hard remove and in order to even do it, we’d need a special tool to do so. So, we are not going to touch the upgradability part of this laptop and leave it as it is. With this laptop, our benchmark style is going to be rather different as we will not be doing any game-based benchmark. Because users who want a piece of this laptop are going to get it for pro creation purposes only – we are talking about Adobe Suite, AutoDesk of such kind of calibers.
Starting off with Cinebench R20 which is to test the CPU capabilities. We ran the test on the 8 core 16 thread processor from Intel and it performed okay. It scored a score of 3729 points in multicore setup and 413 points in single core. Now you might be wondering why the score seems low, well – to be frank, throwing in the most powerful processor on a laptop doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get the best experience as it does hinder performance as compared to a Desktop version which has better thermals and overalls. But then again, the new generation processors from their contender do a better job – which only brings one point – the CPU isn’t as great as you think. In Blender, the CPU managed to render the whole image in 5 minutes which is acceptable but again, could have been better.
The GPU on the other hand – we ran a completely different benchmark – SpecViewPerf which is a kind of benchmark that takes advantage of the systems complete resource to do some CAD Benchmark. That said, we have the scores for the CAD Benchmark on FHD and on 4K.
Finally, we went with the usual benchmark such as – PCMARK, 3DMARK and V-RAY which you can see the scores below.
For what its worth, this laptop is purely aimed at creators and not the kind of users you think but the ones who need all that Quadro 6000 GPU in its glory for AI based work or CAD work. If you ask me, for Editing such as imaging and sorts, its an overkill machine and you are better off getting the other ProArt StudioBook laptop from their lineup but for the most part, this is a very niche laptop for a niche set of users. But the CPU is definitely the limiting factor of this laptop.
The SSD came with the laptop did provide some good speeds with a sequential reads of 3334MB/s and a write speed of 2262MB/s respectively.
I/O and Charger
This is where things take a huge turn – as the laptop has only 4 I/Os. There’s two Thunderbolt port on the right side and on the left side you have another Thunderbolt – all of them are USB-C by the way – and a charging port which is different as it has NVIDIA Logo on it – which turns out that the laptop’s slim 300W Power Adapter was developed along side with NVIDIA. The particular adapter is a High Density, high efficiency adapter which makes sense.
Other than that, if you do need extra set of I/Os, fret not because ASUS has included a USB-C Professional Dock with sufficient USB Ports and so on to get your work going on, uninterrupted.
The Caveats with The One
Its not all perfect from what you think because The One does have one particular downside to the whole experience – which is the keyboard.
As thick the laptop is, the underwhelming part of the laptop is definitely the keyboard. Rather than opting in for a longer key travel-based chiclet style keyboard like the ones we see in gaming laptop from the ROG Division or the proper chiclet style like the ASUS Lineup of laptop has, they went for a butterfly key switch like travel – we are talking about a mere 1mm key travel.
Given that the Cupertino brands themselves found issues with it and ended up going back to a scissor-type, the ProArt StudioBook One is just hard to type or have a good experience overall. The layout is fine, some of the key function keys such as PrtScr and etc., is not present on the keyboard which is odd and we had to connect our external keyboards to use them. So, from the looks of it, chances are you will be using an external keyboard to go along with it.
I’d consider this a minor downside but given the fact there isn’t a Headphone jack in this laptop, would make you go “Why?”. That said the speakers on the StudioBook One isn’t as what you’d get from ASUS or their Gaming Laptop division’s standard where it has some serious punch and good tuned speakers from Harman Kardon. It’s a lot flat and simple sounding. You will be able to enjoy a song or a two but if you do want a good experience, its better you get a USB-C DAC along the way out.
Let’s face it – this laptop is way out of everyone’s league, let alone ours. But its an example or a benchmark to prograde laptops on what lies ahead in the future and how powerful machines can get. The Zephyrus Duo was the statement piece for ROG and the ProArt StudioBook One is the statement piece that’s going to change the landscape for people who need a portable machine to bring along to get their CAD work done. There are some things it really needs fixing because trust me, its not all that perfect either as it lacks a good keyboard, better CPU performance as the i9 is definitely bottle necking the GPU from showing its real color and a headphone Jack which is a necessary port on a Laptop.
What I am looking forward to is a laptop from ASUS under the ProArt series to take complete advantage of ThreadRipper processor coupled with the Quadro GPU to give the true power users would want. But let’s wait and see. But for now, I like what I see here.