The Asus Zenbook NX500 is an Ultrabook with a 4K screen
It's basically a powerful all-round computer in a thin and portable chassis
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Asus Zenbook Ultrabooks have always been among the most popular for enthusiasts, mainly for their speedy under-the-hood performance and dashing design. With the Zenbook NX500, the tradition of powerful hardware in a slim chassis continues, and there is another highlight to add to the list: a 4K, ultra-high definition screen.
We’ve already reviewed one notebook that has a 4K screen (the Toshiba Satellite P50t), and we’re a little torn between the usefulness of such a high-density screen in so few inches. On the one hand, the picture looks stunningly clear when watching content made to take advantage of the resolution, but on the other hand, simply using Windows at the native size of the screen is close to impossible.
Just like Toshiba’s laptop, which is 15.6 inches (but not an Ultrabook), the 4K panel in the Asus Zenbook NX500 is also 15.6 inches, and we presume that Asus will set it up so that the text and icons will be magnified greatly by default. The native resolution is 3840x2160, and it’s an IPS panel, which should make for comfortable wide-angle viewing.
Mainly, this laptop should be ideal for photographers and video producers who want the extra editing space that the 4K resolution can provide in a portable product. Some consumer cameras are available that can capture 4K content, such as Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH4 hybrid stills and video camera, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone, and Sony’s Xperia Z2. The screen on the Zenbook NX500 will show the output from those cameras as it was intended. Furthermore, 4K content can be created in the form of timelapse videos shot with stills from cameras with at least an 8-megapixel sensor.
An Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics adapter with 2GB of video RAM drives the 4K panel, and it’s joined in the engine room by an Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU. Storage options include a fast SATA 3 RAID 0 array (or a PCIe x4 solid state drive), while memory can be up to 16GB. The stated weight of the unit is only 2.2kg, and it has a thickness of 19mm. Wi-Fi is 3-stream, 802.11ac via a Broadcom chip. The battery is six cells and has a 96 Watt-hour rating.
What’s your take on the latest Zenbook? Will you buy it? Australian availability and pricing is not known yet.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.