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Asus Unveils Zenbook ZX500 Notebook With 4K IPS Display

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Asus' new laptop will come with a four-lane M.2 SSD and a 4K IPS display.

Asus has announced a new notebook, the Zenbook NX500, in time for Computex, Taipei. This notebook is a new addition the the Zenbook series, though it brings a lot more to the table than routine refreshes – it brings a new level of display quality, manufacturing quality, and storage speeds.

This is a 15.6-inch laptop with a body crafted out of aluminium. Physically, this makes the laptop very solid, attractive and tough but it isn’t what sets it apart from the crowd, as there are already laptops like this on the market. What sets this laptop apart is the hardware found inside the elegant chassis. The Zenbook NX500 comes packed with up to Intel Core i7 processors, and will pack up to Nvidia GTX 850M graphics. Alongside this is an M.2 PCI-Express based SSD which runs off a grand total of four lanes – two more than most M.2 solutions. On certain configurations you might find SATA3 SSDs in a RAID0 array.

The hero feature of this laptop is really the display. The laptop carries a 4K panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 and is built using Asus’ VisualMaster technology. This means it's an IPS display capable of covering 108 percent of the Adobe RGB colour space and a massive 146 percent of the sRGB colour space.

Pricing for the laptop remains unknown, as does availability.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Add your comment Display 14 Comments.
  • 1 Hide
    vmem , June 2, 2014 8:56 AM
    While clearly marketed for graphic professionals, until Adobe gets their hi-DPI support together this thing will unfortunately be close to useless.

    This is coming from a Lenovo yoga 2 pro owner with the 3200x1800p screen that I end up downscaling half the time just to see the buttons on adobe software
  • 1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , June 2, 2014 10:51 AM
    ROFL@4k on a 15.6in. You won't be gaming in native on this and as vmem said, print will be so small it's pointless for pros also. I don't know who keeps coming up with ideas that are basically impossible to sell to people.
  • 0 Hide
    laststop311 , June 2, 2014 12:49 PM
    i love the asus zenbook i got the dark blue one with gorilla glass lid and its been a lovely ultrabook. I want this.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , June 2, 2014 1:17 PM
    Quote:
    ROFL@4k on a 15.6in. You won't be gaming in native on this and as vmem said, print will be so small it's pointless for pros also. I don't know who keeps coming up with ideas that are basically impossible to sell to people.


    It's called Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling. Works great.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , June 2, 2014 1:18 PM
    Quote:
    While clearly marketed for graphic professionals, until Adobe gets their hi-DPI support together this thing will unfortunately be close to useless.

    This is coming from a Lenovo yoga 2 pro owner with the 3200x1800p screen that I end up downscaling half the time just to see the buttons on adobe software


    Adobe has fixed this and it will be out soon. providing your a paying Adobe Creative Cloud Customer. It was Demo'd at the Surface Pro 3 Event.
  • 1 Hide
    The3monitors , June 2, 2014 1:23 PM
    I am looking to get rid of my Toshiba 15" at a mind blowing resolution of 1780 x 970 I am happy to get another option for a 4k resolution that isnt macintrash. I just want an i7 with 16gb of mem.. The availablility to plug in an ssd that I already have. Plus at minimum 4 USB 3.0 ports. Oh I am one of those crazy graphic designers that will use that display to the max.
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 2, 2014 2:05 PM
    That's NX500, Tom's, not ZX :p 

    This thing is pretty amazing. It has a GDDR5 version of GTX 850M, unlike G550JK and N550JK. It has SSDs (Asus is notorious by now due to REFUSING to put SSD anywhere except top G750 and ZenBook configs, which is a shame in case of laptops like N550... and most of their machines don't even have mSATA or M.2 to add your own without throwing HDD out!), it has a HUGE (96 Wh) battery (specs: http://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/Notebooks/News/_nc/asus_nx500chi_10.jpg). In a way, it's everything I wanted my N550JV to have improved. However, I am disappointed that Ethernet jack has been removed, and same can be said about subwoofer jack (which is absolutely needed for proper music enjoyment). Happy that NumPad has been removed, NOT happy that arrow keys became those stupid half-height ones. Not happy that the screen became touch - that will just increase the price (to hell with touch anyhow) pointlessly AND it made the screen glossy. It better have the brightness of 350+ cd/m2 to make up for it.

    In a way, this is the best balanced non-workstation laptop on the market right now. But from the other side, removal of the above-mentioned features is just annoying. It's the same case as N550, there's enough space for RJ45 and subwoofer jack. Scumbag Asus can't ever get EVERYTHING right as much as I love their N series.
  • 0 Hide
    MasterMace , June 2, 2014 5:27 PM
    The 850M is a major boner killer
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , June 2, 2014 7:46 PM
    I can't see the point of having a fast discrete GPU in a ultrabook form factor. How good is the heat dissipation? I suppose the machine will be throttled a lot due to heat built up when gaming?
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , June 3, 2014 8:32 AM
    Quote:
    I can't see the point of having a fast discrete GPU in a ultrabook form factor. How good is the heat dissipation? I suppose the machine will be throttled a lot due to heat built up when gaming?


    This is not an ultrabook form factor, Asus is lying. It's the same case as N550JV (slightly thicker than 15'' MBP Retina), and I play Battlefield 3 online multiplayer on mid-high settings and Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on highest (both at 1080p of course), and remember that N550JV has a worse card - GT 750M with DDR3 VRAM. Notebookcheck tests revealed CPU throttling during high load on both CPU and GPU but it doesn't actually happen during gaming. In N550JK, which has the same CPU and GTX 850M (DDR3 version, ugh) the throttling is gone since GTX 850M is a cooler-running card, it seems.

    This case's cooling is not ideal - the bottom of the screen's frame is almost blocking the exhaust vents, like on the new MBPs. However, there are two fans and although the top of the case (next to the screen) gets pretty hot, it does not have any impact on gaming.

    I imagine that NX500 will use exactly the same cooling and that the GDDR5 version of GTX 850M isn't running considerably hotter. Therefore I conclude that this laptop is fully capable of playing a LOT of modern games on high settings at 1080p. It's not designated for gaming, but if you just want a stylish laptop with good soudn, kickass screen, powerful CPU/SSD combos and good battery life, capable of SOME gaming, this is as perfect as it gets.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , June 3, 2014 10:48 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    ROFL@4k on a 15.6in. You won't be gaming in native on this and as vmem said, print will be so small it's pointless for pros also. I don't know who keeps coming up with ideas that are basically impossible to sell to people.


    It's called Windows 8.1 DPI Scaling. Works great.


    You're talking windows itself. As you noted in your other post with Adobe fixing the problem, it's a per app fix and devs have to do that. Games have the same problems. I'm not saying they won't get it all perfect one day, just for now it is definitely not and I don't know anyone running win 8/8.1 that hasn't removed it ;)  Myself included.

    DPI scaling doesn't fix the fact that you're pushing a massive amount of pixels either. Gaming at 4K with a single 850m? It's called a "Slide show". Works terrible. ;)  Every game will require you to mess with settings, resolutions etc. I prefer to run NATIVE, Maxed in everything and buy gpu's/monitors to get to that point. I have this issue with my 5850 on my 1920x1200 dell for years now. I hate that. My next purchase will be 1600p (unless forced to 1440p) and when I can't run native in a game on that with maxwell (or whatever is best at 20nm with a gsync type tech, I require this feature or AMD's if it works at some point), I'll drop it over to my 24in 1200p dell. I do the same now if it can't run at 1200p I drop to my 22in 1680x1050 to play maxed out and in many games the 5850 can't even pull that off...LOL.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , June 3, 2014 1:44 PM
    This is excellent computer to run excel and other office programs in 4K resolution. I am sure that it makes eyes less tired than screen with less sharp image. Not a gaming monitor... well maybe glorious minefield machine....
  • 0 Hide
    BranFlake5 , June 3, 2014 5:43 PM
    The problem with 4k in any mobile application is that you will never be able to power it while dealing with mobile chips and a low heat threshold.

    Oh, and we still don't have brand name 1440p monitors <$300
  • 0 Hide
    The3monitors , June 22, 2014 6:45 PM
    I want a 4k monitor @ 31" for crying out loud.. That's what I am waiting for. I will buy 3 of those bad boys.
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