Zenbook Pro UX580 is the newly introduced Asus product at Computex 2018. The highlight of this laptop is that the touchpad now acts as a second screen, called ScreenPad.
Asus is not the first to integrate the screen onto the touchpad, but on the UX580, the functionality of both the screen and the touchpad is really good, not half-hearted like the previous devices. Besides, this laptop also has a strong configuration, designed with high-quality materials and the price is not cheap: from 46.9 million VND for Intel Core i7 CPU version.
Parameter and price of two versions of Asus Zenbook Pro UX580 in Vietnam
The product in this review is a lower version, using Core i7 CPU.
High-end design, light and thin compared to the configuration
Machine with metal shell, light blue color
The ZenBook Pro UX580 has a slim and light, compact design compared to a 15.6-inch screen laptop. The weight of the machine is only 1.9kg, the thickest spot is only 1.9cm so when it is necessary to carry it to work, it is still quite light, easy to hold, but still stable thanks to metal material.
The aluminum part of the keyboard surface has scratches
The entire UX580 cover, key surface and cover are all made of aluminum. The machine has two colors, the one in the model has the Deep Dive Blue color combination of blue and black and the copper yellow contours look quite elegant. Through the process of use, it is certain that the aluminum shell will be scratched with chips, but the color helps to hide the scratches quite well.
The upper lid has a familiar Zen pattern, the shell is easy to attach to fingerprints
The top cover of the phone still uses the familiar concentric Zen pattern motif, not as impressive as the UX430's glossy lid. Unlike the 14-inch version (UX480) that uses the ErgoLift hinge, the UX580 uses a familiar and sturdy hinge structure, the screen doesn't vibrate much if you move it. With the opening in the front, the machine can almost use one hand to open the screen cover.
Fingerprint sensor is located below the keyboard, supports unlocking very quickly
On the connection side, it is equipped with 2 USB 3.0 ports, MicroSD card slot and headphone jack on the right side. On the opposite side are 2 TypeC / Thunderbolt 3 USB ports, HDMI port and power slot.
The connection ports of the UX580
In general, the connection port is quite diverse, suitable for both traditional devices such as keys, mouse, external drive … and new devices such as Thunderbolt screen, new smartphone … However, if Asus equips the device SD card slots are handy and true for content creators rather than current MicroSD cards.
The keyboard is full size, but the feeling of typing is not impressive
The keyboard of the device is full size, except for navigation keys. Due to the area is not enough, the machine is not equipped with the number keys, instead there is a row of function keys on the right. On this machine, the F-key cluster has built-in control functions, if you want to use it as usual, the user must hold the Fn button or switch back completely.
Below the hinge area are heat escape slots
The key journey of the UX580 is about 1.5 mm, which is also quite deep with thin laptops. However, the keystroke feeling is still ineffective because the key surface is slightly slippery, making fingers easy to slip and mistyping when typing fast. In return, the keyboard surface feels solid, does not sink much even when typing or emphasizing.
The touchpad on the UX580 is 5.5 inches in size, equipped with full control features using Windows Precision gestures. Fingerprint sensors in the previous generations are usually placed in a mobile tablet but at 7UX580 has been moved down to the bottom of the keyboard. Of course, the feeling of using the touchpad is not so important because its most interesting feature is … display.
ScreenPad sub-screen: Unique, useful feature, but still needs improvement
ScreenPad is the feature that Asus focuses on promoting on the UX580. The tablet is a 5.5-inch touch screen, Full HD resolution. Before the actual experience, I thought this would be just an extra feature, used for marketing and battery consuming. However, during use, this second screen proved to be quite useful.
Switch between simple modes with the click of a button
With the exception of the normal mobile function, touchpad on the UX580, there are 2 modes: ScreenPad is a mode that allows using the screen to perform additional functions, displaying options in support applications, and the Display Extension is mode allows to turn the table into a second screen. Switching between modes is easy with the F6 button.
ScreenPad function currently supports a number of features such as computer, numeric keypad, music control, YouTube, Spotify, quick open applications …
In ScreenPad mode, Asus has preinstalled some applications such as music control, computer, calendar … In addition, there is also a suite of applications for Microsoft Office. The company said it also opened a development kit so developers can create more apps for ScreenPad.
This function has a separate setting to adjust brightness, select a wallpaper for the small screen
The secondary display on the UX580 will most likely be compared to TouchBar on the Macbook Pro, but the actual way the two devices work is very different. TouchBar works contextually, ie when you have just done an action, the next options will appear.
ScreenPad supports some features on Microsoft Office suite
ScreenPad, on the other hand, displays fixed options, so users can have good options available for access. The writer has used and evaluated TouchBar more suitable for applications like Office, but when it comes to adjusting music and video, ScreenPad has the advantage of a larger screen.
With the Extension Display feature, users have an additional display screen, just like adding an external screen
The second feature, the Display Extension is the "worthwhile" point of this product. If you've ever used two monitors, you'll know there's a lot of work that will become more efficient when you have two screens at once, but the UX580 has a second screen built into it.
When the Extension Display is turned on, Windows will recognize that the device is "connected" to a second monitor, and allow it to be used with familiar modes such as Duplicate (two similar displays) or Extend (two displays). parallel). This screen has the same function as a normal screen, you can drag any content here.
You can display any content on this screen, such as surfing the web, movies, displaying image previews, videos, even games
During use, I often use the second monitor to support the work. When editing, I can "throw" the preview window down to the second screen to get more work space with the timeline. When I was drafting a PowerPoint report, I would let the slide show in the secondary screen and see the effects, the content I just made.
If I need to write a post and refer to the source, I can put the web window down to look up. Or if I am in working hours and want to … watch the Vietnam Olympic Games play with Korea, I can also open the match on the screen below. You can even drag games to this screen to play.
In general, how to use the second monitor depends on the person, but the Extension Display mode can really help you work and entertain better. Even so, there are some minus points for this second screen.
First, I noticed that the touch on the screen was not smooth, swiping from the top edge in ScreenPad mode sometimes the response was a bit slow. Besides, the application for this mode is not much.
However, the secondary monitor has poor display quality, and it is difficult to control it without plugging in the external mouse
The display quality is also a bad point. Because of its use as a touchpad, Asus did not use the protective glass on the phone, but covered with a matte layer on the screen surface. That makes the contrast, the viewing angle is much less if compared to a regular smartphone screen.
With 5.5 inch size and Full HD resolution, when making the secondary screen, the content will display very small, difficult to see. When I want the text to be clear and readable, I have to increase the magnification to about 300%. Fortunately, Windows 10 now sets the resolution, magnification for each screen, and for content like movies or pictures, this is not a big deal.
When you switch to sub-screen mode, you will not be able to control the touch, right on this screen, but to move the small mouse pointer to the screen below. Such control is a bit annoying if there are no external mice. The transfer speed between modes is also quite slow.
In general, the sub-screen on the touchpad is not a meaningless creation of Asus. On the UX580, it can help users increase their ability to work and play. However, the quality of the display and the control still have some improvements.
Good quality screen, wide viewing angle, small speaker
The main screen of the UX580 has good quality, wide viewing angle
The main screen of the device has Full HD resolution, IPS panel with wide viewing angle. According to Asus, they have tested and weighed the color of each screen from before leaving the factory to achieve the ability to display accurate color, less false color.
The brightness of the screen reaches nearly 300 nits. The screen of the UX580 is bright enough to be used indoors when it is bright, and in a normal office environment, the display is very bright and clear. The viewing angle of the screen is also very wide, this will be a plus if you need to edit photos, videos or watch movies and want others to watch.
Check with the device and dedicated software, can see the Asus screen parameters given quite standard
The color display capability of the machine has a very good color standard, expressed through the measurement results by specialized equipment. If compared to the parameters provided by the manufacturer (100% sRGB, Delta E <3), the real quality of the screen has been met. The most advanced version not only has 4K and touch screens, but also better parameters: 100% Adobe RGB and Delta E <2.
The speakers are located on the underside, the volume is quite small and the sound is slightly lacking in bass
The two speakers of the UX580 are located on the beveled side on the underside. The volume of the loudspeaker is not loud enough to hear when sitting in office, the surroundings are not too noisy, and if you use it in noisy places, you should probably use headphones. The loudspeaker has a wide soundstage, bright and natural sound, so it sounds good or light, but with many types of bass music is less impressive.
Powerful performance, not much affected by temperature
The UX580's hardware is very powerful, with Intel Core processor 8 6 cores, 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. This configuration is of course sufficient to meet most of the needs of a common content maker: tasks such as surfing the web, editing machine photos are very light.
The performance of the machine is sufficient to ensure quite heavy applications such as photo and video editing
For heavier jobs like video editing, creating 3D effects in videos … the machine is hotter, the fan runs noisier. Under normal office conditions, the UX580's fan is not annoying enough, but if working at home or in a quiet place, the highest level of fan can distract you.
The problem with thin, light and highly configurable machines is always a balance between temperature and performance. For testing, we gave an output video of VnReview with 11 minutes in 4K resolution. The device is tested in two conditions: unplugging, turning on maximum performance mode and plugging in the charger.
We use the Intel Power Gadget software to monitor machine performance, including noticeable parameters: CPU clock, power consumption and temperature.
The difference in speed, performance when exporting movie files when plugging in the battery and running the battery. When plugging in the charger, the clock is not affected too much from the temperature.
When running on battery, the clock of the device goes up and down continuously and very steadily, but when down to as low as 800 Mhz, the average clock rate in the whole process is 2 GHz. The maximum temperature at this time is about 85 degrees, maintaining an average of about 80 degrees. The average power consumption of the CPU is 18W, and the machine takes 15 minutes to output video.
Also with the same task but plugged in, the clock of the machine is up and down as if running on battery, but the machine can maintain the average clock rate of 3 GHz. Maximum temperature is about 90 degrees, an average of 80 degrees. The average power consumption of the CPU is 25W, and it only takes 10 minutes to output the video.
In terms of specifications, the Intel Core i7-8750H processor has a maximum clock of 3.9 GHz when operating all 6 cores. Thus, with a light and lightweight design, we evaluate that the machine is working smoothly, not limited much because the temperature is continuously operating for a long time, still maintaining the 3GHz level when plugging in the battery.
However, when the battery is removed, perhaps Asus is prioritizing battery life rather than speed, so the performance of the device is reduced quite clearly. The device is still capable of handling work, images or videos when working on batteries, but if Asus is equipped with more flexible adjustment capabilities, users also have more options.
For the software performance evaluation results, the ZenBook Pro UX580 achieved a score corresponding to the configuration of the machine, not much surprise.
CPU performance measurement results with Cinebench and GeekBench
Results of graphics performance evaluation with the Time Spy test in 3DMark
Because it is equipped with a mid-range GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, it can play most of the latest games in Full HD resolution, average image setting (or low for heavy games) and frame rate. over 60 FPS. This machine is not aimed at serious gamers but primarily on moderate gaming needs, as well as graphics cards to support video and animation programs.
The device met the PUBG game at medium graphics, 60 fps with light scenes
With CS: GO, the UX580 responds gently to over 100 fps
Perhaps the object of this machine is not the "try hard" gamers, but those who take the time to play the game, so there is no need to configure it too high.
The SSD in the machine is Toshiba XG3, connected via PCIe x4 interface. The drive's speed is very high, booting only takes a few seconds and copying data is usually very fast.
Results of SSD performance evaluation through CrystalDiskMark application
Battery life is not impressive
Although equipped with a battery capacity up to 71WHr, the UX580's battery life is not impressive. In my day-to-day work when I used my computer to edit documents, I opened about 10 tabs in the browser, processed images gently with two screens turned on, and the device used about 3 hours. If the screen is turned off, the usage time can be increased to 4 hours.
The battery of the device is not impressive, if I hold the phone to work for more than 1 day, I must bring the charger
With that time, when I go to work, I can't leave the charger at home. The charger of this machine has a high capacity of 150W, fast charging (just over 1 hour is full of battery) but slightly bulky to carry around. High configuration, low heat dissipation space and poor optimization from ScreenPad software are the main reasons why this laptop battery is only average.
When using laptops to work, many people tend to attach extra mice, monitors or external keyboards to increase usability. Asus has realized that idea by adding a screen to the portable part. If you haven't used it, you might think this is an extra feature to advertise, but in fact having two monitors will work in quite a bit of work.
Of course, integrating a second monitor into the device is not easy and in fact this screen has many limitations on hardware and software. If you ignore that feature, it still has a beautiful design, strong performance to meet most common tasks. The most significant minus point is the battery life, making the experience of use not yet complete.
With prices up to nearly 50 million, the UX580 delivers good performance and an enjoyable experience with the second screen. At this price range there are not many options, mainly gaming laptops with strong configurations but usually thick, heavier than the UX580. The 15-inch edition Pro 2018 Macbook is also a remarkable device, but its price is much higher than the UX580. Also, if the performance and screen are really good, you might also consider some workstation models.
+ Compact design, elegant color
+ Useful extra screen
+ The main screen displays beautiful and clear
+ Powerful performance
– Keyboard typing is not good
– Performance, mode conversion mode in the secondary screen is quite slow
– Battery is not impressive