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ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 hands-on: Half the price of a ZenBook Pro Duo

By Kenny Yeo - 28 Jul 2021

ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 hands-on: Half the price of a ZenBook Pro Duo

The ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 is the half the price of ASUS' flagship ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582 but it certainly isn't half the notebook.

15 inch notebooks are making a comeback

More people are searching for 15-inch notebooks these days.  I think much of the reason why is because most of us are working from home these days and a 15-inch machine offers the right blend of portability and practicality. Can you imagine staring at a 13-inch screen the entire day? I can’t. But at 15 inches, yes, the extra two inches makes it a lot more bearable. Sometimes size does matter.

In the world of 15-inch notebooks, the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX582 sits right at the very top. Its dual displays and very high specs make it a dream notebook for productivity and even gaming. Naturally, it comes with a price tag to match. At just two dollars shy of five grand, it’s out of reach for most people. That’s where the recently launched ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 comes in.

The 4K display is sharp and has nice colour reproduction. ASUS says it supports 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space.

The first thing you need to know is that even in its most pricey configuration, the ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 is just half the price of the ZenBook Pro Duo UX582. 

The unit I have has the following specifications and it's S$2,498.

You can save $200 if you ditch the 4K display and go for a Full-HD display. But if you ask me, I think the premium for the 4K display is well worth it. ASUS says it supports 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space and it looks pin sharp. Colours look fantastic and the bezels are fairly thin. The only minor niggle is that maximum brightness is just 350 nits which might not be bright enough if you happen to find yourself in a place with harsh lighting.

There's a single USB-C port which supports transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps but not power charging.

Portability is reasonably good. This is by no means the slimmest or lightest 15-inch notebook but at 18mm thick and weighing 2kg, it’s isn’t overly portly either. Remember, this notebook has a powerful Core i7 processor and discrete graphics.

Connectivity is a bit of a mixed bag. On the left side of the notebook is a USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and an SD card reader (a rarity these days). On the right, you have a 3.5mm audio combo jack and a USB-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port (10Gbps). An extra USB Type-A or Type-C port would have been nice.

On the left is a USB-A port (up to 10Gbps), an HDMI 2.0 port, and an SD card reader.

Unfortunately, the USB-C port doesn’t support power charging which is understandable given that this machine has discrete graphics and requires 150W of juice to get going properly. Still, the option to charge through the USB-C port would have been nice and would make it a much more portable machine seeing that the provided 150W adapter is quite bulky. On the wireless front, this notebook supports Wi-Fi 6.

The keyboard and trackpad are decent. Fans of full-size keyboards will be happy to know that this notebook features a numpad. It has backlights and the key feel is generally positive and has an adequate amount of feedback. The trackpad is also of a good size and uses Microsoft Precision drivers so it’s pleasantly responsive and accurate.

The keyboard and trackpad are pleasant items.

The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 makes a good first impression. The 4K display is beautiful and the notebook has pretty nice specifications. Users with lots of files will appreciate that it has a separate 1TB HDD on top of its 512GB SSD, and gamers will rejoice that it has a respectable mid-range discrete GPU (albeit a dated one) for gaming. The only shortcomings that I can see in my time with it are its slightly dated (but still powerful) processor and lack of USB-C charging. If these don’t bother you, the S$2,498 ZenBook Pro 15 UX535 is a very solid 15-inch notebook.

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