The Asus ZenBook Professional 15 UX580GD is a top-end 15.6-inch pc with a top class ticket to check. At £2,199 (inc. VAT, or £1,832.50 ex. VAT) for the highest-spec style (reviewed right here), you get a Core i9 processor, a discrete GPU and 16GB of RAM. However that isn’t what makes this pc stand proud of the gang: that accolade is going to the ScreenPad, a touchpad that acts as a 2nd full-colour display. Gimmick or great tool? Let’s have a look.
It is value noting on the outset that it is a hefty piece of equipment. The 15.6-inch display sits in a chassis measuring 365mm broad via 241mm deep via 18.9mm thick. This bulk, mixed with 1.88kg of weight, method you will not be taking this pc in your travels except you completely need to.
Asus says the chassis is ‘deep dive blue’ in coloration. It seems to be black till it catches the sunshine, when the very deep blue coloration that is used each out of doors and in turns into obvious, as does the Asus branding at the lid and slanted linear etching surrounding the keyboard and at the wrist leisure. A lot more noticeable is the gold rim across the higher edges of the bottom, which may end up an excessive amount of for some trade customers.
The ScreenPad is the scene-stealer, despite the fact that. In addition to catering for typical touchpad purposes (cursor motion, button presses and gesture controls), it really works as a 2nd touchscreen and viewer. The ScreenPad measures five.five inches around the diagonal, and has a solution of one,920 via 1,080 pixels.
When hired as a touchpad, the ScreenPad has vibrant wallpaper somewhat than the extra same old mono floor. However the true amusing comes when it operates in its two different guises.
This kind of is ScreenPad mode. This gifts a horizontal menu alongside the highest of the pad providing a spread of options, together with a calculator, a calendar, an app launcher and a song participant. The ScreenPad has its personal keep an eye on panel so you’ll set its brightness and wallpaper, and it could actually accommodate apps. Spotify is promised for obtain, and there is an app retailer available from the ScreenPad’s settings menu so as to add extra, akin to ScreenPad Place of work. This permits you to keep an eye on not unusual Microsoft Place of work purposes, averting the wish to achieve for the mouse or be mindful keyboard shortcuts.
The ScreenPad additionally has an Extender mode. Transfer this on and the principle display can also be swept into the ScreenPad, or despatched there by way of a keyboard aggregate, in order that it is reflected. Or you’ll use the ScreenPad as a mini 2nd show, shifting round Home windows and apps with faucets and sweeps. It is small, however it does paintings.
Each those modes, Extender and ScreenPad, are accessed via urgent F6, which additionally means that you can paintings in conventional touchpad mode and disable the touchpad totally, toggling throughout the choices with each and every F6 button press.
The ScreenPad isn’t with out barriers. In each Extender and ScreenPad modes, cursor and button controls are disabled. The pad itself keeps its touch-responsiveness, so you’ll transfer round in apps and within the prolonged Home windows display, however whilst the previous is reasonably simple since the apps are designed for the display measurement, the latter could be very fiddly. The tiny show calls for actual precision and dexterity. I would not counsel making an attempt to make use of menus in Extender mode, and whilst it is OK for scrolling via internet pages, clicking hyperlinks is usually a problem.
In sensible phrases, disabling cursor and button controls in those two modes makes operating with the principle display fiddly. I resorted to prodding the touchscreen, and whilst the usage of a mouse could also be an choice, it sort of feels counter-intuitive to need to set one up only for occasions when the touchpad is differently engaged.
All this famous, the speculation at the back of ScreenPad is intriguing — however I will be able to’t lend a hand questioning if it is one thing of an answer on the lookout for an issue.
The primary 15.6-inch touchscreen sits in a reasonably slim bezel. My top-end overview pattern had a three,840-by 2,160-pixel panel that, at 100 p.c, was once extraordinarily vivid. Viewing angles are excellent, and video streamed superbly. Alternatively, the display could be very reflective, which makes operating in some stipulations — akin to outdoor, in rooms with side-windows and on trains — difficult from time to time.
Two speaker grilles sit down at the underside of the chassis, and whilst they output good-quality audio, desktops and clothes can muffle and deform the sound. I might a lot want the audio system to be peak fastened.
The prime display solution, plus the wish to stay the tough elements and the ScreenPad going, have a certain impact on battery lifestyles. Asus says the ZenBook 15 UX580GD’s 71Wh Eight-cell lithium-polymer will stay it going for as much as nine.five hours, however my enjoy suggests that is constructive. In my first battery take a look at I left the display brightness at its default 40 p.c environment for battery-based paintings. I used to be on wireless the entire time, and did some writing right into a internet app and a good bit of streaming and internet surfing. The battery depleted to 25 p.c in 3 hours.
In a 2nd take a look at with brightness at 25 p.c (which was once completely usable) and the usage of the similar paintings trend, the battery depleted to 53 p.c in 3 hours. Do not be expecting all-day battery lifestyles from this pc except display brightness is became proper down and workloads are gentle.
The keyboard is at ease to make use of. With a pleasant bounce-back and various area between keys, there was once not anything to forestall me contact typing at complete velocity.
My top-end overview pattern ran on an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor with 16GB of RAM and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. It is a aggregate that makes for a powerhouse of a pc. In case your bedget does not stretch to £2,199 (inc. VAT), you’ll go for a Core i7 with the similar discrete graphics, and both 8GB (£1,699) or 16GB (£1,899) of RAM. All 3 of those fashions have a 512GB SSD and a UHD touchscreen, and run Home windows 10 House. I did realize reasonably slightly of noise from the fan from time to time, so take into account in case you paintings in a library-quiet workplace.
There are two USB Three ports at the proper facet, at the side of a MicroSD card slot and a three.5mm headset jack. The left facet has an HDMI port and two USB Sort-C connectors with Thunderbolt. If you wish to have stressed Ethernet, should use the supplied dongle, which takes up some of the USB-Three ports.
The fee connector is a small round-pin unit, because of this that each USB-C ports are loose when you find yourself charging the pc. That is almost certainly a nice factor for the reason that you might be more likely to wish to recharge relatively incessantly. The charging brick itself is among the chunkiest I have noticed shortly — one more reason this pc is not likely to be the cell skilled’s first selection.
Safety is catered for via a fingerprint scanner at the wrist leisure and a webcam with Home windows Hi enhance.
The Asus ZenBook Professional UX580GD is huge and heavy, as is its AC adapter, and battery lifestyles is not nice. All of because of this that this 15.6-inch pc will spend maximum of its time deskbound. At the plus facet, the display is very good, and there is various CPU and GPU energy on be offering.
The oddity this is the ScreenPad. With its display mirroring and unbiased purposes it can be a winner, however Asus must consider the way it handles touchpad purposes when the ScreenPad is presenting a mini model of the principle display or its personal purposes, and in addition to place extra effort into discovering compelling makes use of for it.
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