There is a section in the designer community that supports desktops, while the other section supports the idea of a laptop form factor. Obviously, there are no winners here, but I know the Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED is a powerful mobile workstation that could change the idea of “pro” Windows laptops. This is a serious laptop that focuses on the laser to get the job done. That’s why Asus priced the StudioBook 16 OLED accordingly. I used the flagship laptop from Asus for a few days, and here is my take on the ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED price in India (as reviewed): Rs 219,990
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED review: Design and aesthetics
The StudioBook 16 has a traditional form factor that serves this purpose. I mean, this machine is designed for creative use cases like CAD work or video editing. There is a subtlety in the design, but this is what a laptop intended for a professional audience should look like. It is not very light at 2.4kg nor ultraportable but it will fit easily in a large backpack. But I have to say the AC adapter is slightly bigger, adding more weight to your bag. The laptop is sturdy and well built, made of aluminum. With MIL-STD 810H compliance, it means the laptop can withstand bumps and drops.
As a professional grade laptop, the ProArt StudioBook 16 has numerous ports and connectivity options. You will find two USB A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two USB C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, an HDMI 2.1 connector and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The card slot is SD Express 7.0 which means it supports speeds up to 985MB / s which is useful when transferring large amounts of data from a card. camera. A 3.5mm headphone jack is also present, along with a fingerprint reader and a Windows Hello compatible 720p webcam. The webcam is good, but looking at the 16in MacBook Pro and its 1080p camera, the one seen on ProArt StudioBook looks hideous. Wireless connectivity options include the Intel AX200 card offering Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
Perhaps the Asus Watch face is a brilliant solution that adds real value to the user by introducing a design element that is integral to functionality. A rotating bezel is placed between the keyboard and the touchpad at the left end of the space bar. When pressed, it can be used to control speaker brightness and volume. But the dial comes to life when used to access a range of features through an app called ProArt Creators Hub. Currently, the Asus Dial only works with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, After Effects, and Premiere Pro, but the company says support for other programs will be added in the future.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED review: screen and speakers
The ProArt StudioBook has an incredible display, a 16:10 4K OLED panel (3840 x 2400 pixels) with a peak brightness of 550 nits. Business users are likely to like the display, as you can accurately color HDR videos and photos. It supports 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, has a VESA HDR True Black 500 certified display for high contrast and is Pantone validated for color reproduction.
While these numbers don’t matter for average users, for professionals, a high-quality display is important. The resolution combined with striking colors, deep blacks, crisp whites and excellent contrast ratio gives you picture quality comparable to that of a high-end 4K TV but with a screen size of 16 inches. For ordinary people like me, it means the colors stand out when you watch movies and TV shows. This kind of display on a laptop computer makes a huge difference if you know the benefits of a 4K HDR OLED display. A high refresh rate display could have been a plus, but that’s okay.
Audio is a highlight on the ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED. Harman / Kardon speakers are way better than any other Windows laptop I’ve tested this year. They produce a lot of powerful and rich bass, so you don’t need a Bluetooth speaker to listen to music and watch movies at home or on the go.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED review: keyboard and touchpad
I think the keyboard on all Asus laptops has improved a lot this year. The ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED does not disappoint. The keys are large enough for a satisfactory trip. Bloggers, writers, and other content creators will love typing it. The trackpad is also excellent and has three physical buttons underneath. The left and right do what you expect, while the middle one is designed to be used for panning, orbiting, or rotating, common functions applied when using CAD software. Interestingly, the touchpad can function as a graphics tablet when used with a stylus. Although, unfortunately, Asus does not provide the stylus with the laptop.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED review: performance and battery life
Powered by a 3.3GHz octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, Nvidia RTX3070 GPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1TB of SSD, the ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED is blazingly fast. It’s much more powerful than an average user like me needs for basic computing tasks. Developers, coders, graphic designers or video editors would need a laptop of this caliber. This computer is capable of running Photoshop, Lightroom, Indesign and other “pro” programs. It has enough RAM to run programs without stuttering or crashes. Plus, a dedicated graphics card makes a big difference, although this laptop is no substitute for a dedicated gaming laptop. If you like to code or export and constantly browse programs, you will enjoy this notebook. Keep in mind that you can access the two SODIMM slots and the two SSD slots in case you want to upgrade to the maximum of 64 GB of RAM and 4 TB of storage.
The StudioBook’s 90Wh battery is pretty good, even with a 4K HDR OLED display and the specs it has, around 6.5 hours. Well, it’s not revolutionary, but it’s actually good for a laptop that delivers desktop performance in a portable form factor.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED review: should you buy it?
For a casual user, I probably wouldn’t recommend watching the Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED remotely unless you have extra cash to spend. The base model starts at Rs 169,990 and the model I tested costs Rs 219,990. If you want a laptop for checking emails, watching movies, or just browsing the web, you can get a computer. powerful laptop for much less. If you are a programmer, designer, developer or video editor, you need a device like this. It is a professional tool, a computer that offers the best of Asus. Overall, the ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED is an investment, a laptop that combines portability and power. But I have to say, you’ll appreciate the raw power of this laptop, along with a terrific 4K OLED display, fantastic speakers, unique Asus dial, plenty of ports, and a great keyboard and touchpad.