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Asus' ZenBook Pro packs a powerful punch in a slim body

Equipped with Intel's Core i7-7700HQ and Nvidia's GTX 1050 TI discrete graphics, the Asus ZenBook Pro UX550 is a beast.

Watch out Razer, Asus is gunning for your Blade buyers -- and its new ultrabook, the ZenBook Pro UX550, might just be the machine to win them over.

Announced at the company's press event at Computex in Taipei on Monday, the new UX550 is a beast, packing Intel's seventh-generation Core i7-7700HQ processor, fast DDR4 RAM and discrete graphics in the form of Nvidia's GTX 1050 Ti.

You'd expect a laptop packing such specs to be thick and chunky, but the ZenBook Pro UX550 is just 18.9 mm (0.74 inches) thick. It weighs 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) and sports Asus' signature ultrabook design. It's certainly a looker, and you will love touching its 15.6-inch 4K touchscreen display.

Even though it's slim, Asus wants to make sure you have plenty of connectivity with the laptop. It sports two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, two USB Type-A 3.1 ports, a microSD card reader, a full-sized HDMI 1.4 and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

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The ZenBook has normal USB ports as well as the new Type-C ones.

Aloysius Low/CNET

One thing I didn't like about the laptop, as beautiful as it is, is it's a fingerprint magnet of epic proportions. The laptop gets smudged easily, and its elegance will be tarnished if you don't wipe it often. Also, I tried a little bit of typing on the Pro, and found a little bit of flex that I didn't quite like.

Since it has a bit more space, Asus has added more keys to the side of the keyboard. But that shifts the balance to the left, making typing a little odd at first. It seems like something you could get used to, though.

Asus says the battery will last all day, with about 14 hours of life, and if you run out, you can quickly get back up to 60 percent charge in just 49 minutes.

To keep temperatures down, Asus is using a new dual-fan setup (most laptops only feature one internal cooling fan) that uses three heat pipes to draw heat away from the CPU and GPU.

The ZenBook Pro will have a starting price of $1,299 (roughly £1,010 or AU$1,750).

Key specs

  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor
  • Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 TI discrete graphics
  • Up to 1TB SSD
  • Up to 14 hours of battery life
  • Quad speaker audio
  • $1,299 (roughly £1,010 or AU$1,750)

Check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2017 coverage here.

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