During the recently concluded Computex 2019, Asus announced its latest Nvidia Quadro RTX powered laptops that are aimed at creators. As part of the lineup, the company launched the Asus StudioBook W500, the Asus StudioBook S 700G3T, and even the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo comes with RTX cards. After the announcement, the company even put the laptops on display at the Computex 2019 show floor giving attendees a chance to experience its latest mobile workstation laptops. Asus initially announced its predecessor, the Asus StudioBook S W700 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 back in January with its plan to enter the mobile workstation market.
Asus also revealed that the StudioBook W500 will go on sale starting from the third quarter which means that there is still some time before the mobile workstation is widely available in the market. However, we are not sure about the exact pricing or availability details at the time of writing. The unique selling point of the Asus StudioBook W500 is the option to get one with Intel Core i7 processors along with Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU for heavy workloads like industrial design, 3D modeling and more than regular cards can’t really handle. So, without further delay, let’s jump in on the hands-on first impression for the Asus StudioBook W500.
Top of the line internals
Even though we have already discussed the two main components that will power the laptop, I thought it was a good idea to provide a recap of what all buyers will get with the Asus StudioBook W500. This will give you some idea about how much power this mobile workstation actually packs. So to begin, the Asus StudioBook W500 comes with a 15.6-inch display with NanoEdge technology for thin bezels, UDH display resolution, and professional-grade Pantone calibration out of the box.
Moving to rest of the specifications, on the processor front, the workstation will run ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H with a hex-core processor, and Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU along with up to 48GB DDR4 RAM. Users will also get the option to pack up to 4TB PCIe 4.0 SSDs in RAID 0 setup. Talking about the battery, the Asus StudioBook W500 will come with a 76Wh battery to power the laptop. According to the company, that will provide about 6 hours of battery backup which is not really enough but that is the cost of a creator-focused workstation with a Quadro RTX card.
In terms of connectivity, users get a DC-in port for charging, an RJ-45 port for internet connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, an HDMI port, three USB Type-A ports, an audio port combo, a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port, and a lock slot. For people curious, Asus has not added ScreenPad 2.0 or ScreenPad Plus for a secondary screen on the laptop. That technology is only limited to the Asus ZenBook, VivoBook, and ZenBook Duo lineups for 2019. Last but not least, the laptop will weigh about 2KG which is not really light but sufficient for all the internal hardware that the laptop features.
Functional design and impressive build quality
Taking a look at the design the Asus StudioBook W500 comes with a decent design that is by no way bland. Asus has added a graduated textured finish on the top of the keyboard along with a capacitive power button that is flushed with the surface with no boundaries or separation like other traditional buttons in most laptops. The edges of the laptop are quite box-ey instead of more rounded ones that we get with most commercial or work-focused laptops.
Taking a look at the air ventilation ducts on both sides, the back, and the bottom, we can easily guess that like most ROG laptops, this one will be well cooled to prevent throttling. The top of the lid of the laptop will come with a brushed metal finish with the Asus logo in the center. Talking about the build quality, the laptop is built like a tank with almost no flex around the keyboard area or around the fins. We are not sure about any durability certification that this laptop will come with but out of the box, the package seems to be built to last.
Entering the creator-focused world
Now that we have talked about the design, let’s talk about the creator-focused computing landscape that is really either dominated by Apple with its Apple MacBook Pro devices or devices from Dell, HP or Lenovo. Asus is known for making capable computing machines on the consumer end so it is no surprise that the next logical expansion was the creator-focused landscape. In addition to this, the company is also focusing on the commercial space with the consolidation of its enterprise-focused computing division. So, overall, the company is ready to expand and take on its competition in almost all segments. This even includes taking on the Apple MacBook Pro and other offerings in the Windows ecosystem.
The Asus StudioBook W500 is part of the new Nvidia RTX Studio lineup of laptops that a number of companies launched during Computex 2019. With this, Nvidia and other laptop makers in the Windows ecosystem want to take on the Apple and its MacBook Pro devices while advertising workstation-grade performance. With my brief time with Asus StudioBook W500, I was impressed by the machine both in terms of the power it advertised as well as the design and build quality.
However, we will have to wait to see how the market, especially the creators react to the latest Asus-branded mobile workstation machine along. In addition to this, we will have to wait for our complete review to text its performance claims as and when StudioBook W500 launches in India. In the meantime, it is good to see a laptop maker venturing in new segments with an impressive package like the StudioBook W500.