- 15.6" Touch IPS 4K Ultra-HD display, 3840 x 2160 resolution
- Powerful Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Quadcore CPU (turbo to 3.5GHz). Nvidia GTX960M GPU
- 512GB SSD with transfer speeds of 1400MB/s and 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 1x Thunderbolt III (via USB TypeC), 1x Gen 2 USB 3.1 TypeC, 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI.Bluetooth 4.0, SDXC reader, 802.11ac WiFi
- Windows 10 (64 bit) Signature Edition. 1 year International Warranty with 1 year Accidental Damage Protection.
Asus ROG gaming laptops have been my pick the last few years; best feature value, power and price. My approach was to wait about 6-8 months and get almost $1k off during seasonal sales. I even stopped building custom PCs since I could not build that much cheaper compared to the performance and portability gained from the ROG laptops. But as I get more into portability, I am looking for similar gaming power with less bulk. I really like the Razer Blade Stealth ultrabook for portability and price at around $1k, but it lacks portable gaming chops. At home, I can plug the Stealth into the upcoming Razer Core external GPU for desktop gaming graphics. Or I could move up to the new Razer Blade laptop with its GTX970M graphics, but I pay a premium and lose portable recharging due to high power draw.
During my laptop research, I came across a beautiful compromise of both gaming power and sleek design. The Asus Zenbook Pro does what Asus does best. Giving the consumer top features at a reasonable price. The design and size is nothing like the heavier gaming laptops, yet the Zenbook Pro boasts GTX960M graphics and almost the same component specs. I have come to realize there is no reason to buy a bulky oversized 17 inch gaming laptop anymore since most all my serious gaming is done in the evening, docked to my external monitor, keyboard, mouse and USB hub. The size of my ROG laptop is cumbersome enough to keep it docked unless I need it for remote work. I took it cross country once, and my sore shoulder told me not to do that again.
So portability can be definitely obtained from the 13″ Stealth ultrabook or compromise with the larger sleek Zenbook Pro at 15″. For $500 more the Zenbook Pro is better in everything compared to the Stealth $1K version and is $100 cheaper than the Stealth at the same resolution and SSD…with more RAM, faster CPU and much better graphics. I have not tested portable recharge ability with the Zenbook Pro but I assume the current draw may be too much with the internal GTX GPU. However the Zenbook Pro is a perfect partner for the upcoming ROG XG2 external GPU…the Asus answer to the Razer Core.
The Zenbook Pro may be the best value in the mid range gaming laptops…sleek, powerful and a price per feature that can’t be beat.
The Zenbook Pro specs are closer aligned to the Dell XPS 15 laptop. But as the video reviews above show, a same spec-ed XPS 15 will run about $600 dollars more for just a better screen. Not worth it for me, especially when I hardly use my laptop screen, at work or at home. I did post some refurbished XPS 15 prices below in case you want one…almost the same price as a new Zenbook Pro. Not sure if the upcoming ROG XG2 will be compatible with the XPS 15, but the internal GTX960M should keep you gaming on high for a couple years. The benefit of the Razer Core or Asus ROG XG2 is the ability to upgrade to desktop level graphics via an external GPU. We will know more once both are released. The Zenbook Pro may be the best value in the mid range gaming laptops…sleek all metal, powerful and a price per feature that can’t be beat.
The Asus Zenbook Pro is the best value for feature laptop on the market today. Portability, price and power.