REVIEW
ZenBook Pro UX550 offers superior value
Why this laptop outperforms other PC laptops in the $1,500 - $2,000 price range.

The last two years have marked a significant spike in the market for so-called “ultrabooks.” An ultrabook is a laptop that is both thin and powerful. Recent tech advances, including more affordable solid-state drives and low-power quad-core processors, have made it possible for the PC industry to deliver these elegant machines to us for under $2,000. With the announcement of the 2017 ZenBook Pro, Asus now offers the most powerful ultrabook relative to its price.

ZenBook Pro UX550 Offers Superior Value

This laptop immediately grabs my attention with its slender form factor and brushed dark blue and gray color options. At only 3/4ths of an inch thick and just under 4 pounds, you might forget you even have a laptop along with you. As a music lover, I appreciate the Harman Kardon quad speaker sound system. As a designer and editor, I am delighted that it packs a powerful Intel i7 7th-gen processor and super-fast PCIe SSD. As of today, this the best $1,700 PC laptop you can buy.

Lighter Weight, But For a Price

The Microsoft Surface line of laptops are just as elegant looking as the ZenBook Pro, and they come in a much wider spread of specs, with models ranging from $1000 to $2,200. They are just over a pound lighter than ZenBook, which is nice. Other than that, these laptop rivals are quite similar in function – except for their price. To get a Surface Laptop with specs like the new ZenBook Pro UX550, you’ll have to pay about $400 more. The legacy Microsoft name and low weight may be worth it to some, but me? I’ll pass.

Cool Name For a Laptop That Gets Hot

Razer is a brand know best among PC gaming enthusiasts, and the “Blade” laptop is one of their flagship products. With a sleek, professional-looking form factor, it has the look and feel of a MacBook Pro. Razer Blade boasts a GTX 1060 graphics card, which gives it smoother performance for demanding games. That spec has a tradeoff, though. When you push this laptop to the max, it gets very hot and somewhat noisy. The screen is also an inch smaller than the ZenBook Pro. Don’t get me wrong, Blade is an excellent high-performance laptop; its specs are just targeted at a narrower niche of PC users.