Great power and upgradability at a reasonable price.
Asus recently launched a bevy of “creator-friendly” laptops in the Indian market with prices starting as low as Rs 74,990. The list includes the top-of-the-line ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED, the mid-range VivoBook Pro 16X OLED and VivoBook Pro 14X OLED, and entry-level VivoBook Pro 15 OLED and VivoBook Pro 14 OLED.
We have already reviewed the VivoBook Pro 16X OLED and found it to be a “creator-friendly laptop that gives the MacBook Pro a run for its money.” It should be more than sufficient for a vast majority of creators, especially those on a tight budget.
The ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED, that we are reviewing today, is for people who want more— a no-holds-barred machine if you will. A high-res display, gobs of power, upgradability, a fine selection of ports, and a laundry list of features all designed to make that hardware sing. All this and the ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED, still, undercuts the pro MacBook in pricing.
It starts at Rs 1,69,990 for a version with AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800H chip, dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD. The maxed-out version with AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HX chip, RTX 3070 graphics, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD—we have for review—will set you back by Rs 2,19,990. There are two more options available. One with the Ryzen 9 5900HX chip, RTX 3060 graphics, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD for Rs 1,79,990 and another with the Ryzen 7 5800H chip, RTX 3070 graphics, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD for Rs 1,99,990.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED display
We have to say, it’s becoming a habit to start these reviews with the display (and not build or design as we would normally) because Asus has been doing some fantastic work with laptop screens off late. The company has launched more OLED-toting laptops in the last one year or so, than any other brand we can think of. Obviously, the StudioBook 16 has an OLED display.
It’s not just about putting an OLED panel and be done with it, either. Asus has, also, gone the extra mile to maximise its lifespan. The laptop comes with multiple optimisations to minimise burn-in, a common issue with OLED screens. The list includes pixel shift, a feature that moves pixels on the screen—ever so slightly so as not to be noticeable—to avoid showing static images for long, custom screen savers, and Windows taskbar tweaks. To know more about them, be sure to check our full review of the VivoBook Pro 16X OLED here.
The panel itself is high-quality. It’s large at 16-inch, high-resolution at 4K 3840 x 2400p, has a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, and supports HDR. It gets plenty bright, too, at up to 550nits. It’s glossy, yes, but not very reflective. Colours onboard are nice and crisp and fine-tuned just about right (Delta E <2) right out of the gate. Asus also gives you an option to check and tune it, per your preference, provided you have an external colourimeter at your disposal. The panel supports 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, is Pantone validated, and TÜV Rheinland Eye Care-certified. So, all good stuff there.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED design and build
The design of the StudioBook 16 is very minimal and understated. More minimal and understated than the VivoBook Pro 16X OLED. Some might say it’s boring to look at, too. The body is made of metal, comes in all-black with a soft matte finish, and uses some plastic to complete the package. There are noticeable plasticky bezels around the screen, but the good thing is, Asus has put it to good use by including a 720p webcam with Windows Hello facial recognition support and a dedicated privacy shutter.
The laptop weighs quite a bit at around 2.4 kg and then when you factor in the bundled 240W “brick” charger, you’re basically left with a lot of heft to deal with if you plan on carrying it around. There is no getting around this fact. For what it’s worth, Asus has done well with the ergonomics. The build quality, though it is not as premium and polished as the MacBook Pro, is still good. There is no weird flex, or any loose ends. The lid opens with one finger and the hinge is solid.
The same level of attention has been given to the keyboard. It’s full-size, backlit and includes a numpad as well as a fingerprint reader —this is on top of the power button and was hard to find initially since there are no visual clues. The arrow keys are textured which makes them stand out. There is also a programmable shortcut key, which is a nice touch. Individual keys are spaced well and offer 1.4mm travel. Typing has been an absolute pleasure on this laptop.
Below the keyboard deck, on the left side, lies this laptop’s party trick—the jog dial. The VivoBook Pro 16X OLED mimics it virtually but here, it’s all live and kicking—and way more satisfying. We had reservations about the dial interfering with day-to-day keyboard tasks, initially, but Asus has given a lot of thought to it. It doesn’t come in the way, at all, unless of course you’re very finicky about it. If we were to nit-pick, though, the (press and hold) mechanism could have been tighter.
The dial is largely fun to use and very useful, at least with the apps that it is compatible with (at this point). All core Adobe apps including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Photoshop Lightroom Classic, and After Effects are supported. By default, you can use it to toggle screen brightness and volume.
The trackpad, adjacent to it, comes with its own surprises. For starters, it does not have a physical click, per se (you can still tap, drag and drop, and stuff though). In line with the spirit of giving users more control, the StudioBook 16’s trackpad gives you three buttons (for left, right, and middle click) actions) that creative pros would appreciate (on the flip side, more casual users might find this polarising). This trackpad, also, can take stylus input which is another “pro” feature for creatives. For some curious reason, Asus doesn’t bundle a stylus in the box which is a bummer.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED hardware, performance, and battery life
The StudioBook 16 with its 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX chip and dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics is one of the most powerful laptops at its price point today. It performs like one, too—in benchmarks and in real world use cases. It can get quite toasty when stressed (but not alarmingly so) and its dual fans, also, can rev up quite a steam when pushed hard.
|Geekbench 5.3 CPU Multi||9657|
|Geekbench 5.3 CPU Single||1559|
|Geekbench 5.3 OpenCL / Compute||111009|
|Cinebench R23 Multi||13226|
|Cinebench R23 Single||1450|
|Cinebench R23 Multi (30 minutes)||13194|
At the outset, this is an out-and-out creator’s paradise with ample power and great scope for upgradability. The configuration we have for review comes with 32GB RAM which is expandable by up to 64GB through dual DDR4 SO-DIMM slots. The storage, too, can be upgraded. The laptop comes with a 1TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD by default.
The port selection, also, is very generous. There are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (supports display/power delivery), an HDMI 2.1, Gigabit ethernet, SD Express 7.0 card reader and 3.5mm audio jack. Expectedly, there is no Thunderbolt support—and Asus doesn’t sell an Intel version of this laptop at this point in India.
Battery life is great. Asus claims 8.5 hours which is close to (8 hours) what we’ve been averaging on this laptop.
Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 OLED | Should you buy?
The StudioBook 16 is bustling with power. But it’s not just about power and power alone. It’s got features galore tailor-made to make the most out of all that power. It’s not just about features alone, either. There’s lots of futureproofing in this laptop, also. You can upgrade it to your heart’s content, something that’s not very commonplace among Windows laptops, at least not without breaking a bank. It’s got a great display. Loud stereo speakers. Great battery life. Sober looks. Basically, everything you could ever ask from a laptop of its class, and then some—which is to say, the StudioBook 16 comes highly recommended.
But only and only if you’re heavily invested into creative workflows which is to say, your future depends on it, must you go buy one. The great thing about Asus’s current portfolio is that there is a very compelling option at almost every perceivable price point. As we mentioned earlier, the VivoBook Pro 16X OLED should suffice for most users. For those seeking the ultimate power and upgradability, at relatively reasonable prices, though, the StudioBook 16 comes as a no-brainer.
| Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED review: Creator-friendly laptop gives MacBook Pro a run for its money
|Gorgeous 4K display||Boring design|
|Fast performance||No Thunderbolt port|
|Excellent keyboard and trackpad||Heats up under stress|
|Great battery life|
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