Asus Studiobook ProArt 16
Price: $1,999 (starting)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5900HX
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 (6GB of VRAM)
Storage: 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display: 16-inch, 4K OLED HDR (16:10)
Size: 14.3 x 10.4 x 0.8
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Don’t call Asus a “generic” laptop brand. Some people like to lump the company in with others, but the Taiwanese laptop maker routinely pushes the envelope. While Apple earns plaudits for its blistering chips, Asus is tinkering away, finding creative ways to adapt the laptop into something custom-tailored to specific groups of users. It’s how we got the marvelous
and why I’m typing this review on a laptop with a dial built into the palm rest. ZenBook Pro Duo
With the ProArt Studiobook 16, the audience is creative professionals, specifically photo and video editors. What sets it apart from the likes of the
Dell XPS 15 or MacBook Pro is a rotary dial embedded in the deck below the keyboard. Positioned to the left of the touchpad, the dial gives users a tactile input to access a customizable array of tools and settings. It’s a real joy to use and a boon for photo and video editors subscribed to the Adobe suite. Before you get too giddy, you should know that as of November 2021, the dial only supports four Adobe CC apps. So the appeal is limited until more devs add support for their programs. More concerning, however, are the hardware flaws I encountered with multiple review units sent to me by Asus. So sadly, as good as the Studiobook 16’s screen, keyboard, touchpad and performance are — and they are all damn good — I can’t in good conscience recommend buying this notebook.
Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 review: Design
The ProArt Studiobook 16 trades Asus’ traditionally vibrant color palette for a handsome blue suit (it looks black in darker lighting conditions). Asus’ commitment to this stealthy aesthetic earns it points; everything from the centered ProArt logo on the lid to the touchpad, dial and keys are coated in an inky dark navy hue.
The look is bold and gives the ProArt Studiobook 16 the buttoned-up refinement you’d associate with a business executive who drives a Mercedes sedan. Or a mysterious hitman. I’m usually a sucker for color, but I appreciate how this deep blue chassis will fade into the background as you show your beautiful (or in my case, grotesque) artwork to friends or colleagues.
Clad in aluminum, the ProArt Studiobook 16 feels expensive. And yet, I’m not convinced this chassis could survive a beating. Hell, I’m not even sure it can withstand being shipped from a retailer to your house. Two laptops Asus sent me either sustained damage or were improperly constructed. On both units, the thin strips of metal framing the top and bottom of the ports were bent…