8.6
Score

Pros

  • A Proper Creator Laptop
  • The ASUS Dial is revolutionary
  • 16:10 4K OLED Display is amazing to use
  • Unique trackpad button layout for customizability
  • Exceptional Performance
  • Finally an I/O I can get behind
  • SD Card reader is finally here on a ProArt Laptop

Cons

  • Cost a pretty penny
  • Thermals could be better
  • Wished it came with a Studio grade card like A2000

Creator laptops in general are niche if you ask me and previously, consumers will just get a gaming laptop for powerful performance to carry it on the go. But honestly, gaming laptops really don’t fulfill a content creator’s need.

Personally, I genuinely appreciate a creative centric laptop and the existence of the ProArt series from ASUS holds a special place in my heart alongside with another series from another brand that I shall not name here. But the ASUS ProArt StudioBook you see here is the most unique ProArt laptop ever made, because it has a creator’s dial. This is the ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED H5600QR Review.

ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED H5600QR Review

 

Look and Feel

1/4

There’s something about a matte black finish laptop that turns a lot of head and it’s just one of the classiest looks you can find in any kind of product. The ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED adds a class to the whole creator’s laptop with its beautiful black finish that stands own and blends well into any kind of environment.

Interestingly, it isn’t the laptop color that gets attention. It’s the ProArt emblem that’s on the back of the display that makes everyone a little intrigued. The only place where you’ll see an ASUS logo is when you lift the laptop open, under the display, which also has a very muted appearance. Tastefully done.

The feel of this laptop is just like a creator laptop: robust, well put together and solid. These are three crucial things that you should hear from any laptop you purchase but there’s always the compromise of choosing two out of three.

Not with this. It’s constructed with sturdy alloy build in and out and it’s well put together with close to no flex near the keyboard and the trackpad. Once you lift this 16” behemoth, you’d go, its built well. There’s just a genuinely nice feeling overall. So, worry not, if you are picking this up wanting that premium build, it offers that right out of the box.

Display

Creators appreciate a bigger screen real estate, since multi display isn’t something, they can bring on the move, unless if you were to pickup the Zenbook Pro Duo, but otherwise, you have to rely on one display. That is, it. But the 16” OLED display you find on the ASUS ProArt StudioBook uses a 16:10 aspect ratio instead of the tradition 16:9 display, and it makes a whole lot of difference.

The extra vertical real estate is a delight to have as you can fit in more stuff on a screen and even be able to do proper scrubbing and so on in Premiere Pro or even have enough space to do Lightroom work which is what I did most of the time with this laptop.

As for the rest, a creator laptop deserves creator centric display and so it does get everything: a 4K UHD Display with 100% DCI-P3 Color gamut support, Pantone validated, brightness up to 550 nits which is good and again, an OLED display – which means true blacks, 0.2 ms response time, all that good stuff.

Since the refresh rate is capped at 60Hz, obviously you can’t use it to game, which is not recommendable but hey, the specification of the laptop is powerful enough to output to a better monitor to game. So, I suppose the option to do that is still there. Otherwise, the display on the ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED is without a doubt, one of the best displays I have come across on a Creators Laptop.

The Real Star: ASUS Dial

ASUS isn’t afraid to try something new with their laptop and it’s not something you can say for others. ASUS ProArt StudioBook has a unique tool that it comes with for users to take control of their tools in creator application, with the help of a dial – the ASUS Dial. It must be the most magnificent dial I have ever laid my hands on, and thanks to ASUS, they have ruined things for me (in a good way).

Since mid-December 2021, I have been using the ProArt StudioBook as my editing rig, mostly for photos as I shoot images more than videos these days due to some personal reasons. That said, the dial has been nothing but a huge help in every way possible. Think of it like the Surface Dial which was made for the Surface Studio, but this is with ASUS’ own twist and custom software that goes along with it.

The dial works with system settings to control Volume and brightness which is nifty and when you press the dial, it acts as a click, so you don’t have to do some weird click to emulate a click. Once you install your preferred editing suite, the dial will then recognize the application you’re in and will give you a slew of setting at the tip of your fingers.

When we used Lightroom, it gave us 6 more settings to use with the dial: Highlights, Blacks, White, Exposure, Contrast and Shadows. So, this will interact with the Histogram for you to do what you need to do. By default, amazing because as we all know, that histogram can be a pain to control with mouse and lacks the granularity which the dial does offer.

Now, some users have their own sets of control that they’d like to have at the tip of their fingers and that too is possible. I like to have my Straighten Photo and go to previous/next photo at the tip of my hands for me to switch easily. All you need to do is head to the settings, choose the options, add, and save. The ASUS Dial applies the settings instantaneously and you are good to go.

So, far the dial works in 4 applications which I know: Photoshop, Lightroom, AE and Premiere Pro. Now, most users will be okay but for those who use Affinity for instance, well, it could be challenging.

So, I do hope that ASUS does give some sort of Devkit for users to develop or even Affinity and others to produce their own tool to be integrated with the ASUS Dial. Because this is an amazing tool which I can see people getting used to, which I did, and I regret because ASUS Malaysia loaned us this laptop for the content to happen.

Specification and Performance

Moving onto the Specification, the ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED is no joke when it comes to performance. It offers the following under the hood:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with Radeon Graphics
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
  • 64GB 3200MHz DDR4 2x SO-DIMM slots memory
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD Gen 4 (Can do RAID 0 up to 4TB)

You might wonder there are certain notable changes in specification. Well, if you are in Malaysia, this is what you get. Instead of a NVIDIA A Series GPU which is more focused towards creator centric and CADWork like tasks, which is actually the kind of GPU you’d find under the other ProArt StudioBook One we reviewed a long while back.

Otherwise, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 you find under the laptop is capable of superior performance because you are not getting the underpowered variant of the 3070. (Oh yes, it does exist.)

As you all know, when it comes to a creator laptop, our reviewing method changes slightly where we use applications like SpecViewPerf and so on. But in this case, we will be focusing more on the usual PCMARK, 3DMARK, Geekbench, Blender, Cinebench R23 and we are going to throw a creator benchmark: PugetBench with Lightroom and DaVinci Resolve for you to get an idea of the performance.

1/6

It’s safe to say that the performance of this laptop is good, and there no better word to put it because it scored 8000+ points in PCMARK10, did the whole BMW Render in just 3+ minutes, scored 11000+ points in multicore performance on Cinebench R23 and got good scores in PugetBench for Davinci Resolve and Lightroom Classic.  Just make sure to keep an eye on the thermals as the laptop does get noticeably warmer under heavy loads.

I/O, Keyboard and Trackpad

I can’t stress enough on how much I love the I/Os on the StudioBook because it has everything we need: Kensington Lock, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB C 3.2 Gen 2 doubling as Thunderbolt 4, RJ45 Port, Audio Jack, HDMI 2.1 and a proper full size SD Card slot, specifically a SD Express 7.0 card reader that’s capable of speeds close to 990MB/s. Now this is a good set of I/O that a creator would need and there’s no need to carry an external SD Card reader.

The ProArt Studiobook uses a close to full size keyboard with a dedicated number pad on the side but the best part about this keyboard is how properly sized all the keys are. That includes the textured arrow key which is a nice touch. It has a genuinely nice feel to it and the keyboard has a key travel of 1.4mm, respectively. It is relatively shorter than the key travel we have seen on the ROG laptops but it’s much better than the StudioBook One which essentially uses a Butterfly-type switch with barely little key travel going on.

Unlike any other trackpad, the ProArt once again has an utterly unique trackpad on it. The whole area to control the cursor is huge and it supports ASUS Stylus which is good for those who want to use it in Photoshop or Drawing application. It also comes with 3 dedicated buttons instead of the traditional left and right only buttons.

The idea is to give 3D Designers the ability to have special button applications within their preferred app, which is a nice touch as well. By default, Windows lets you use it as a middle click which is also nice to have. Never knew I needed a middle button which is useful. The glass top trackpad is slick, smooth, and responsive. Has good palm rejection too.

Conclusion

When we started this review, we mentioned how niche Creator Laptops are and how it caters to a very distinctive audience. The ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED fits into that exact category but it is a creator laptop, like no other. Every aspect of this laptop is done right: good form, splendid performance, and the right kind of tools a creator would want. For me, the ASUS Dial is an absolute game changer that I cannot resist the amazing support and functionality it comes along with.

If you are a pro creator and need the right kind of laptop for you to bring on the move to have the most productive experience, be it at work or home, this ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 16 OLED is an extremely fitting laptop for your use case scenario. Depending on which variant you go for, the price of this laptop starts at RM 9,999. The variant you see in this review cost a cool RM 11,999.


Special thanks to ASUS Malaysia for passing us the ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED for making this review happen.