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  • Cheryl Tan

Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED Review: The Laptop For Content Creation

So Asus has been doing really interesting things lately and this honestly surprised me, I totally did not expect this. This laptop has a dial, a physical dial, and it feels really nice.

So let’s get right into it. This is the all-new ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED from Asus and as you can already tell from the name, Asus is pretty much setting this up to be the go-to laptop for content creation.

We’re talking Ryzen 9 5900HX, GeForce RTX 3070, 32GB of RAM and even dual 1TB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSDs in RAID 0. Of course, you have the option to go with a different configuration, but if you want the best of the best with this particular model, that’s what you can get.

So we now know it has pretty powerful hardware, but what ties that all together is the display and as you might have guessed from the name, it’s an OLED panel and a really gorgeous one at that.

This is a 16-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3,840 x 2,400 at 60Hz. And because it’s OLED, you get 100% DCI-P3 with a Delta E of less than two, Calman Verified and Pantone Validation as well as HDR500 True Black.

The display is really amazing, especially if you’re someone in creative media. Photos, videos, graphics, print, you name it. Anything you do that would require that amount of colour coverage and accuracy, this display will deliver. And even if not, it’s plenty great for casual use and especially so for consuming content.

Personally, I very much enjoyed watching anime on this display. Everything just looks so much better; OLED really brings it to the next level. The same can also be said for games, Genshin Impact looks amazing and Resident Evil 3 is so much more immersive.

Now we’ll dive a little deeper into the performance and temperatures in a moment, but now let’s talk about what makes this laptop unique. The dial.

This is something I never knew I needed.

At first, you might be concerned with the position of the dial, because it is located right where your hand would usually rest, especially if you’re gaming. But thankfully, I can say that it’s not an issue. Because the dial is recessed in the keyboard deck and just between the two halves of the keyboard deck, it’s well out of the way.

But yet, it’s close enough that you can comfortably use it with your thumb while your fingers are still resting on the keys. It has actually been more intuitive than I thought and well, it does take some time to get used to it, but I would say it becomes second nature within a week or so.

Now the default function of the dial is volume and brightness, which is nice, but it can do so much more than that and the main reason for that is that Asus has actually built this to work nicely with Microsoft. So this dial works on the same parameters as the Microsoft Surface Dial.

This pretty much means you can rest assured of full Windows support and functionality. Asus has also already taken a step further by including customisable functionality through their ProArt Creator Hub software.

So if you use a creative suite like Adobe and say Photoshop, you can assign various functions or tools that are unique to Photoshop onto that dial. So you can do things like changing brush size, changing opacity, so on and so forth. It is essentially an extra tool you can have in your creative arsenal and it is really nice.

Now, support for more software will come in the future, but for now, it is already pretty sweet.

But apart from that dial, Asus has also implemented one more thing with the trackpad. Instead of just two buttons, you now get three. For most of us, this probably isn’t important. But for those of you who use a laptop for stuff like CAD, this might be a game-changer for you in a pinch.

In those software applications, you would usually use the middle mouse button to orbit around the 3D space. If you have a mouse, that’s fine and easy. But in the times that you don’t have a mouse for whatever reason, be glad to know that you can do it on this laptop.

As for the rest of the laptop, design-wise, it’s really minimalistic and simple. Professional looking and I like it. The only thing to note is that it isn’t that light, at about 2.4kg, roughly 5.3lbs but it is Military Standard 810H certified. As for the keyboard and trackpad itself, they feel great to use, no complaints there.

Ports-wise, you do get quite a decent amount split between both sides of the laptop, including two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support display / power delivery / VR, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support display / power delivery. There's also an HDMI 2.1 port, 3.5mm combo audio jack and the important thing to note here is that you do actually get RJ45 and a crazy fast SD Express 7.0 card reader that can achieve almost 1GB per second.

Now let’s jump back to performance. Through the ProArt Creator Hub, you get access to three main performance profiles: Normal, Rendering and Rendering with Full Fan Speed.

In Cinebench R23, the Ryzen 9 5900HX performed admirably, although it is actually a little shy of the average across the competition with this same CPU. Rendering with Full Fan Speed surely gave the best performance but we would say the trade-off in noise is not worth it at all. Just the standard Rendering profile is ideal.

The same can be said for DaVinci Resolve. That Ryzen 9 5900HX easily renders the 1080p and 4K projects without a sweat.

For gaming, it has pretty fantastic performance and is well expected given the use of an RTX 3070 capable of up to 110 watts. 1080p is of no issue and you’ll achieve really high frame rates. But if you want to really enjoy that 4K, that’s actually doable as well. Resident Evil 3, for instance, can still achieve 60 frames per second at 4K on Ultra settings no less. All in all, solid performance.

Ray-Tracing performance is great as well, especially for 1080p. This is also another way to enjoy the latest games. Where it starts to fall short is Ray-Tracing at 4K. Even with DLSS, performance isn’t up to par though I guess it’s to be expected.

As for temperatures, in both creative and gaming applications, you’ll see that Ryzen 9 5900HX topping out around 95 degrees celsius and that RTX 3070 staying much cooler, well below 80.

As for battery life, the laptop comes with a 90-watt hour battery and it gets by decently given the amount of power it has. You can expect roughly five hours or so of casual use.

Overall, it’s a solid laptop that is really catered towards content creators. You have the performance, you have the visuals, you have the unique dial, the extra button for the trackpad and a versatile set of ports.

It is one complete package and it really performs great. Of course, it might burn a hole in your wallet. But even so, I’m really liking this and this might just really be the laptop that most creators should get.


Content by Soon Kai Hong


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