New Laptop! Introducing the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW

UPDATE: I’ve since made a video review of the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW. Check that out over here on YouTube!

Hey guys! So after being intensely frustrated at the antiquity of my computer for the better part of the last year (since I started video blogging, really) I decided to spring for a new power house computer. I’ve always been the kind of techie who built custom desktop computers with the latest “best bang for you buck” components available at the time, but this time, I decided to go a different route. While I still get rather giddy at the idea of building a computer from individual components, I’ve decided that I have new goals in life. Namely, I want to minimize the amount of stuff I have, along with the size of all that stuff. A full desktop is just too big! Secondly, I think laptops have come such a long way since I built my last desktop over 5 years ago. Laptops today can easily be wicked powerful, wicked small, wicked light, and look sexy while adding the key feature of mobility to the bag.

What really sent me over the edge was the fact that I can’t use some of my new camera’s best capture settings. My GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition can take 4K video, my drone can take 2.7K video, and my vlogging camera can do 1080p 120fps. These are all very intense capture settings and my old computer just couldn’t keep up. For the past year, I’ve been artificially keeping those settings low to make editing and processing easier, but that’s ridiculous! Why have such nice cameras if I can’t even use them to their full potential?

About 3 weeks ago, I started researching what the best laptop would be. Of course, the MacBook Pro came up for a hot second in my mind, but I’m just not a Mac guy. I’ve grown up with Windows, I’m extremely comfortable with it, I love the compatibility with basically everything, and if I need a Unix-like environment, I can always install VirtualBox and run a Linux virtual machine. I also like not paying all that extra money to Apple. After going through reviews and spec sheets for several other Windows laptops, I finally decided on the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW. To be honest, when I discovered this laptop, I was almost immediately blown away.

The laptop has a single configuration: a 6th Generation Intel Core i7 6700HQ CPU (Skylake) @ 2.60GHz,16GB of memory, 500GB SSD storage, and dedicated Nivdia GTX 960M GPU . It also boasts an impressive 4K display in a 15″ form factor. It’s housed in a brushed silver aluminium shell and is beautiful to gaze upon.

In benchmarks that others have done, this laptop easily rivals two of the main competitors in this class of laptop: the Dell XPS 15 and the Apple MacBook Pro. Here’s one of the comparison articles I used: Scrolling through that, you can see the ZenBook ties or beats the MacBook in many substantial categories.

Alright, ready for the best part? This beast of a laptop runs for just $1500. The comparable MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 15 in similar configurations run $2500 or more! OUTRAGEOUS.

I’ve only had the laptop for about half a day now, but within the hour that it was in my hands, I quickly unboxed it, set it up with a new universal docking station I picked up from Sabrent, and proceeded to install all the software I’d need to have it begin replacing my desktop. So far so good! I just finished syncing up my video scratch space, and ran some quick tests to see how editing and playback of those high capture setting files performed, and let me tell you, it’s amazing. So much better!

I’m pretty nervous about replacing my desktop with a laptop, but honestly, this ZenBook blows my old desktop out of the water. Could I have built a more powerful desktop? Sure. Might it have even been a little cheaper? Sure. But I would lose those other aspects I was going for (mobility and minimalism). I’m excited to try out this new workflow where I can take the full power of my desktop with me wherever I go!

UPDATE: I’ve since made a video review of the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW. Check that out over here on YouTube!