C 2018
Notebookcheck

Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1050 Ti) Laptop Review

Svelte performer. The latest Zenbook Pro features an updated GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU alongside the same i7-7700HQ CPU and NVMe storage (not to mention a touchscreen). How have performance, battery life, and emissions been affected by the updated configuration?

A few months back, we evaluated the 2017 Zenbook Pro, which we praised (among other things) for its solid and attractive build quality, good performance, bright IPS screen, and reasonable battery life. Today, we’ll be taking a look at an updated configuration featuring an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and a 1920x1080 touchscreen—alongside the same Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU and 512 GB NVMe SSD. This unit retails currently for around $1,700. XOTIC PC has provided today's unit, but they assure us that no software or hardware modifications have been performed that would impact performance.

We’ll briefly recap our thoughts on the casing and other fundamentals, but the focus of today’s article will be what’s changed in the realms of performance and those items which are affected by higher-powered components: battery life, heat, noise, et al.

Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T (Zenbook Pro Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook) - 4096 MB, Core: 1493 - 1620 MHz, Memory: 7000 MHz, GDDR5, 21.21.13.7620 - nVIDIA ForceWare 376.20
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, 10-Punkt Multi-Touch, N156HCE-EN1 (CMN15E8), IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point, Intel Kaby Lake-H
Storage
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Realtek ALC295 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Klinkenanschluss, Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.9 x 365 x 251 ( = 0.74 x 14.37 x 9.88 in)
Battery
73 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 8 Zellen
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: VGA
Primary Camera: 0.3 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Quad-Speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.853 kg ( = 65.36 oz / 4.09 pounds), Power Supply: 580 g ( = 20.46 oz / 1.28 pounds)
Price
1700 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case, Connectivity, and other preliminary notes

We appreciate the aluminum casing and affiliated high-end aesthetics—but as before, although stability is good around the edges, the center of the base is susceptible to flex under moderate pressure. The display is held in place firmly by the central hinge, but conversely, it’s not possible to open it single-handedly. Fortunately, in spite of its relative thinness, the lid is quite rigid. Maintenance remains relatively easy (with 10 Torx screws securing the bottom panel to the machine), though options once inside are somewhat limited thanks to the soldered RAM and CPU/GPU.

Connectivity is good overall with not one, but two Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports, though the lack of a third conventional USB Type-A port will prove inconvenient to some users. As before, SD card reader transfer speeds as well as wireless networking speeds are good overall, but not among the fastest of the notebooks in this category.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
 
159.2 MB/s ∼100% +112%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
120.5 MB/s ∼76% +60%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
 
77.4 MB/s ∼49% +3%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
 
75.24 MB/s ∼47%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
 
23.59 MB/s ∼15% -69%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +169%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
 
234.4 MB/s ∼93% +149%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
 
93.96 MB/s ∼37%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
 
20.96 MB/s ∼8% -78%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼98% +3%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
630 MBit/s ∼95%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
594 MBit/s ∼90% -6%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
515 MBit/s ∼78% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼100% +31%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼89% +17%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
512 MBit/s ∼86% +13%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
498 MBit/s ∼84% +10%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
453 MBit/s ∼76%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
377 MBit/s ∼63% -17%

Independent journalism is made possible by advertising. We show the least amount of ads whenever possible but we intentionally show more ads when an adblocker is used. Please, switch off ad blockers and support us!

Accessories

Despite the higher-end GPU in today’s review unit, the included AC adapter remains the same 120 W model we saw previously, weighing in at 580 g. Apart from that, ASUS includes one of their signature cable ties.

Warranty

A 1-year limited global warranty (depot service) is included with the Zenbook Pro UX500VE.

Display

Whereas our previous Zenbook Pro featured a matte IPS 1080p display, today’s instead includes a glossy touchscreen display. The resolution remains 1920x1080, and it’s still an IPS panel—in fact, the same panel that we evaluated in the previous unit. Colors seems moderately vivid and brightness and contrast make an overall decent impression. The calculated PPI is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s sufficient nonetheless. Backlight bleed is virtually nonexistent on our review unit—just a very small amount on the lower right side of the screen.

Subpixel array, Zenbook Pro UX550VE
Subpixel array, Zenbook Pro UX550VE
Minor backlight bleed at bottom (exaggerated in the photo)
Minor backlight bleed at bottom (exaggerated in the photo)
288.4
cd/m²
295.1
cd/m²
295.9
cd/m²
245.9
cd/m²
288.2
cd/m²
257.7
cd/m²
222.9
cd/m²
265.2
cd/m²
230.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 295.9 cd/m² Average: 265.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 75 %
Center on Battery: 288.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 961:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 7.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
90% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 58.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.09
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
N156HCE-EN1 (CMN15E8), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Chi Mei CMN N156HCE-EN1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
IGZO IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Panasonic MEI96A2 , IPS, 13.5, 3000x2000
Response Times
17%
-11%
-49%
-7%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43.2 (20.4, 22.8)
29.6 (15.6, 14)
31%
28 (15.6, 12.4)
35%
57.2 (27.2, 30)
-32%
52.8 (25.2, 27.6)
-22%
Response Time Black / White *
32.8 (18, 14.8)
26.4 (15.6, 10.8)
20%
23.6 (15.2, 8.4)
28%
39.2 (23.6, 15.6)
-20%
30 (16.4, 13.6)
9%
PWM Frequency
25510 (29)
25510 (69)
0%
1351 (39)
-95%
961.5
-96%
Screen
12%
-20%
18%
44%
Brightness middle
288.2
300.9
4%
274.2
-5%
370.1
28%
385
34%
Brightness
266
285
7%
263
-1%
356
34%
372
40%
Brightness Distribution
75
92
23%
92
23%
87
16%
89
19%
Black Level *
0.3
0.24
20%
0.44
-47%
0.37
-23%
0.21
30%
Contrast
961
1254
30%
623
-35%
1000
4%
1833
91%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.5
5
9%
8
-45%
5.3
4%
1.6
71%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.3
10.2
10%
14.6
-29%
9.9
12%
4.5
60%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.9
7
11%
9.1
-15%
4.6
42%
1.5
81%
Gamma
2.09 105%
2.34 94%
2.24 98%
2.31 95%
2.22 99%
CCT
6559 99%
6578 99%
5020 129%
6284 103%
6502 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.5
59
1%
45.7
-22%
88.3
51%
64
9%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
90
90
0%
72.1
-20%
100
11%
95.9
7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
15% / 13%
-16% / -18%
-16% / 2%
19% / 36%

* ... smaller is better

We measured an average brightness of 266 cd/m², which is decent, as well as a brightness distribution of 75%, which is merely average. The lower quadrants of the display in our measurements were quite a bit dimmer than the top quadrants, but as usual, in daily use, it’s difficult to notice the difference. The contrast ratio of 961:1 is more positive, as is the corresponding low black value of just 0.3 cd/m².

The display can reproduce around 90 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and roughly 58.5 percent of AdobeRGB. This isn’t a bad result for general use, though it’s a far cry from the Dell XPS 15’s excellent 100/88.3 percent in those same categories.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Dell XPS 15-9560
vs. Dell XPS 15-9560
vs. Lenovo Yoga 720
vs. Lenovo Yoga 720

Our CalMAN 5 measurements reveal decent panel attributes out of the box, with ColorChecker and Greyscale DeltaE values of 5.5 and 7.9 (ideal: 0), respectively, alongside a Total Gamma reading of 2.09, and a CCT average of 6559 (ideal: 6500). A bit of calibration improves things further, but for general use, it’s really more optional.

Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 85 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 22.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 62 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 25510 Hz ≤ 29 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25510 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 29 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25510 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8689 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Response times are relatively slow, which renders the panel less than ideal for serious gaming purposes. PWM was detected at brightness settings of 29% and below, but the quite high frequency of 25510 Hz means that it’s unlikely most users will find themselves bothered by it.

Outdoors, the panel unsurprisingly struggles more than the matte display of our previous review unit—but it’s still perfectly usable in the shade. Viewing angles remain excellent thanks to the incorporation of an IPS panel.

In the sun
In the sun
In the shade
In the shade
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The CPU in today’s Zenbook Pro review unit—the Intel Core i7-7700HQ—remains the same as that of the previous model, but we do have a more powerful GPU accompanying it (which may prove problematic considering that our last review unit suffered from throttling under combined load). Likewise, we’re granted a new BIOS/firmware version of 303 which reportedly adjusts performance (the previous model was on 302), so it’s possible that may also affect how well the machine handles the load.

The i7-7700HQ is accompanied once again by 16 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and the same 512 GB NVMe SSD from Samsung. New to the equation is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which represents the biggest upgrade over September’s test unit. We’ll cover that in greater detail in a bit, but for now, let’s address the basics.

Before we continue, we performed a secondary run of 3DMark 06 on battery power to test performance while unplugged. The results were expectedly below those while on AC power with a result of just 18326—roughly 33% less. Meanwhile, unlike our previous review unit, we encountered no issues with DPC Latencies (as judged by LatencyMon) on the UX550VE machine.

CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
ComputeMark
ComputeMark
SPECviewperf 12
SPECviewperf 12
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

The Intel Core i7-7700HQ is a quad-core CPU with a base frequency of 2.8 GHz and a turbo clock rate of 3.8 GHz, and it’s been tested numerous times here at Notebookcheck previously since it’s one of the most popular current high-end mobile CPUs. It’s also the only processor currently offered in this Zenbook model.

Oddly enough, CPU performance was actually a bit below that of the previous review unit, though the differences in short-term burst performance weren’t significant enough to stoke any sort of concern. Our result of 153 points in Cinebench R15 single-CPU is below the average for this processor and around 6% below that of the Zenbook Pro UX550VD, but the multi-CPU score of 736 is virtually identical.

What’s perhaps a bit more relevant is the sustained performance, where today’s review unit fell short by nearly 5% over the long term. This may prove more relevant to those interested in real-world CPU capabilities; while the UX550VD managed scores averaging 739 points over the course of a few dozen back-to-back iterations, the UX550VE we have with us today only produced one result above 710 (the first one—736) before quickly dropping down into the 699 – 709 range for the remainder of the test period. That’s still a drop of only around 5 percent from peak performance, but it’s nevertheless a meaningful discrepancy. On the other hand, neither machine came anywhere close to the performance throttling we witnessed on the passively-cooled Surface Book 2, which was closer to 23% over the long term (after the first couple of consecutive runs).

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
177 Points ∼86% +16%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼78% +6%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼78% +6%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
157 Points ∼76% +3%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
153 Points ∼74%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
120 Points ∼58% -22%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼24% +1%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
739 Points ∼24% 0%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
736 Points ∼24%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
735 Points ∼24% 0%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
673 Points ∼22% -9%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
603 Points ∼19% -18%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
2.01 Points ∼86% +10%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.83 Points ∼78%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.78 Points ∼76% -3%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.77 Points ∼76% -3%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.36 Points ∼58% -26%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.18 Points ∼30% +1%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.14 Points ∼30% 0%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.1 Points ∼30%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
7.24 Points ∼27% -11%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
6.67 Points ∼25% -18%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
325 s * ∼4%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
275.4 s * ∼3% +15%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
236 s * ∼3% +27%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
214.927 s * ∼3% +34%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
921.1 Seconds * ∼4% -69%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
579.909 Seconds * ∼3% -6%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
545 Seconds * ∼2%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
522.024 Seconds * ∼2% +4%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
505.9 Seconds * ∼2% +7%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
68.48 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.1 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.83 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
104.51 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
736 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
153 Points
Help
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

Overall PCMark system performance scores were just a notch below those of the UX550VD model, but by dwelling on the difference we’d be seriously splitting hairs. Considering that the CPU, storage device, and RAM are all identical in this machine, it’s no surprise that results are within a couple of percentage points of each other. Perhaps the same forces which played into the slight slip in CPU performance above are also responsible for the minor discrepancies here.

PCMark 10 scored our UX550VE a very respectable 4552, which is actually a percentage point above that of the UX550VD.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5268 Points ∼81% +2%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5141 Points ∼79%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5028 (min: 5001, max: 5045) Points ∼77% -2%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4771 Points ∼73% -7%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4522 (min: 4500, max: 4528) Points ∼69% -12%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
4422 Points ∼68% -14%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
6408 (min: 6406, max: 6408) Points ∼67% +20%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6164.5 (min: 6164, max: 6165) Points ∼65% +16%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5328 Points ∼56%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5318 Points ∼56% 0%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
5114 Points ∼54% -4%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4698 Points ∼49% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4207 (min: 4206, max: 4213) Points ∼69% +1%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4184 Points ∼69%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4141 Points ∼68% -1%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3694 (min: 3691, max: 3696) Points ∼61% -12%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3670 Points ∼60% -12%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
3588 Points ∼59% -14%
PCMark 10 - Score
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4552 Points ∼59%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4486 (min: 4409, max: 4488) Points ∼58% -1%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4119 (min: 4106, max: 4190) Points ∼53% -10%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4184 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5328 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5141 points
Help

Storage Devices

The Samsung PM961 employed by our Zenbook Pro remains one of the fastest popular SSD choices among modern notebooks. AS SSD awarded it a total score of 3721, fueled by very fast sequential read/write speeds of 2207.5/1475.4 MB/s and comparably great 4K-64 Read/Write values of 1269.16/1160.32 MB/s.

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
AS SSD Copy Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
The internal NVMe SSD
The internal NVMe SSD
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
AS SSD
15%
-1158%
19%
-6%
Copy Game MB/s
477.15
889.32
86%
1081.99
127%
539.5
13%
Copy Program MB/s
294.56
336.44
14%
401.94
36%
411.54
40%
Copy ISO MB/s
1268.54
1677.53
32%
1666.02
31%
1272.4
0%
Score Total
3721
3731
0%
942
-75%
3756
1%
2810
-24%
Score Write
1421
1158
-19%
48
-97%
1468
3%
1022
-28%
Score Read
1541
1727
12%
646
-58%
1549
1%
1206
-22%
Access Time Write *
0.034
0.028
18%
4.15
-12106%
0.029
15%
0.034
-0%
Access Time Read *
0.054
0.031
43%
0.08
-48%
0.041
24%
0.034
37%
4K-64 Write
1160.32
870.35
-25%
15.3
-99%
1185.25
2%
788.85
-32%
4K-64 Read
1269.16
1430.2
13%
371.6
-71%
1228.73
-3%
961.61
-24%
4K Write
112.85
133.23
18%
1.2
-99%
127.63
13%
112.15
-1%
4K Read
51.03
53.95
6%
47.1
-8%
48.01
-6%
41.34
-19%
Seq Write
1475.4
1540
4%
311.7
-79%
1550.23
5%
1206.58
-18%
Seq Read
2207.5
2429
10%
2276.6
3%
2719.21
23%
2026.09
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Transfer Rate Minimum: 562.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 1408 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 1363.3 MB/s
Access Time: 0 ms
Burst Rate: 132.2 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.7 %

GPU Performance

The biggest upgrade to today’s review unit over our last test machine is the GPU. Whereas the UX550VD packed a mid-range NVIDIA GTX 1050, today’s UX550VE kicks it up a notch to the GTX 1050 Ti. This GPU is notably behind, say, the GTX 1060, but it’s also quite a bit more capable than the GTX 1050, generally posting scores around 30 percent faster. With clock speeds of 1493 – 1620 MHz (boost) and 4 GB of GDDR5 RAM, it also carries a somewhat higher (20 to 30 W) power consumption than the GTX 1050, coming in at around 70 W estimated consumption. It will be interesting to see whether such performance improvements are possible in the Zenbook Pro considering that the previous model was already among the slower of the GTX 1050 participants.

As it turns out, while overall the scores are significantly better, the UX550VE once again disappoints in context with its peers as to synthetic GPU performance. The 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics score of 7457, for instance, is well above the 6032 of the GTX 1050 model (a 24% improvement), but it’s still some 4% below the median in our database for this benchmark among GTX 1050 Ti machines. The same goes for 3DMark 11: although the score of 8503 is 15% better than the 7442 of the UX550VD, it is nevertheless 7% shy of the 9125 category median value.

None of this is terribly surprising given the thin profile of the Zenbook—chip temperatures climb quickly under load, provoking a slight reduction in clock rates until the cooling system can wrest control over them once more—and it must be taken in context with the results of the GTX 1050-equipped competition, where top-rated peers like the Dell XPS 15 are between 19 and 43 percent slower in these same tests. The Surface Book 2, which leverages a GTX 1050 in its actively-cooled keyboard base, also comes in around 22% behind the Zenbook in Fire Strike Graphics. Still, the nature of these synthetic results suggests that the performance limitations represent untapped potential of the upgraded GPU in real-world situations as well. In our Stress Test section next, we’ll witness the evidence for this.

3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 06
3DMark 06
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8873 Points ∼50% +4%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
8503 Points ∼48%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
7442 (min: 7434, max: 7459) Points ∼42% -12%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U
7304 (min: 7294, max: 7314) Points ∼42% -14%
1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
14450 Points ∼28% +56%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
9240 Points ∼18%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U
7483 (min: 7472, max: 7485) Points ∼15% -19%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
7461 (min: 7273, max: 7576) Points ∼15% -19%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11261 Points ∼28% +51%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7457 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
6074 Points ∼15% -19%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
6032 (min: 6004, max: 6035) Points ∼15% -19%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
5885 Points ∼14% -21%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U
5787 Points ∼14% -22%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
48597 Points ∼26%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
37388 Points ∼20% -23%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
37128 (min: 36802, max: 37178) Points ∼20% -24%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
32344 Points ∼18% -33%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
31274 Points ∼17% -36%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U
29376 Points ∼16% -40%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
146935 Points ∼20%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
84368 Points ∼12% -43%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
64188 Points ∼9% -56%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U
30327 Points ∼4% -79%
3DMark 06 Standard
27473 points
3DMark 11 Performance
9125 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
104111 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20838 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6564 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
3518 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
2373 points
Help

Gaming Performance

As we have come to expect from the GTX 1050 Ti, the UX550VE handles most games at native resolution (1920x1080) on high settings or below with ease. As shown below in our benchmarks, even Ultra settings are a possibility as long as the user is all right with a little bit of a performance hit.

Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
37 fps ∼26%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
58 fps ∼41% +57%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
33 fps ∼23% -11%
Doom - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
54 fps ∼27%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
48 fps ∼24% -11%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
92.3 fps ∼46% +71%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
53.8 fps ∼27% 0%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
39 fps ∼24%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
31.1 fps ∼19% -20%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32 fps ∼20% -18%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
64.1 fps ∼40% +64%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
32.9 fps ∼20% -16%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32.4 fps ∼20% -17%
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
24 fps ∼21%
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
20 fps ∼17% -17%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
23 fps ∼20% -4%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
39.4 fps ∼34% +64%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
19.8 fps ∼17% -17%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
21 fps ∼18% -12%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 24fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 37fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 39fps
Doom (2016) 54fps

Stress Test

Our previous Zenbook Pro review unit struggled to maintain CPU frequencies for more than a minute or two when CPU stress was combined with GPU stress. We’ll be interested to see how the UX550VE, with its newer BIOS version and even more powerful GPU, manages this.

CPU stress by itself is handled slightly better by this latest configuration, with temperatures climbing to around 86 °C and clock rates stabilizing between 3.0 GHz and 3.1 GHz (with occasional spikes to 3.2 GHz). GPU stress, meanwhile, eventually results in clock rates near the base frequency of 1493, with occasional dips below as well as short spikes. Temperatures are stable at 80 °C, which appears to be the firmware-limited maximum for the GPU.

Combined CPU and GPU stress sees chip temperatures of 79 °C and 80 °C for CPU and GPU, respectively, with the GPU maintaining average clock rates in the 1400-1500 MHz range, which mostly amount to frequencies below the base clock rate of 1493 MHz (and thus qualifying as throttling). CPU frequencies are between 1.5 and 1.6 GHz, which is well below the base frequency of 2.8 GHz.

This is synthetic stress, so it’s helpful to be able to discern how much harsh conditions might actually affect real-world performance. A secondary run of 3DMark 06 immediately following full system stress resulted in a score of 26807, only slightly shy of the 27473 we received initially. That’s because it isn’t necessarily high temperatures which are limiting the machine’s performance, but rather moderate temperatures amounting to around 80 °C on average across CPU/GPU and associated power limits. We also monitored clock rates and temperatures during an hour of The Witcher 3 (ultra settings) as a part of our newer Witcher 3 sustained stress test, and though we saw a slight decline in frame rates over the course of the hour, it was only around 1 fps overall (from 24-25 fps down to 23-24).

These two final “real world” assessments of sustained performance potential do seem to confirm a small negative influence on overall performance—but the bottom line is that the upgrade to the GTX 1050 Ti does still yield tangible benefits, even if they aren’t as great as they might have been given better cooling or less restrictive thermal and power limits.

Full CPU stress
Full CPU stress
Full GPU stress
Full GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
Combined CPU + GPU stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 - 3.1 - 86 -
FurMark Stress - 1493 - 80
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.5 - 1.6 1400 - 1500 79 80
012345678910111213141516171819202122232425Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Emissions

System Noise

The dual-fan cooling system
The dual-fan cooling system

Noise levels were a bit higher than the UX550VD across the board, but the Zenbook Pro still isn’t really any louder than the competition. We measured an idle average of 31 dB(A)—and a maximum of 31.2 dB(A)—which is just slightly above the 28.3 dB(A) ambient noise level. Under load, the noise readings swelled to 46.2 maximum and 43.3 dB(A) average, well above the 39.6 / 38.3 dB(A) values we measured from the UX550VD. Again, though, with max readings from the other three competitors also in the 46-47 dB(A) range, none of this is unreasonable.

We should mention that our review unit exhibited a conspicuous rattling from one of the two dual fans that resembled a bearings failure. This obviously isn’t something which affects all units, however.

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 31 / 31.2 dB(A)
Load
43.3 / 46.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.3 dB(A)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Noise
7%
6%
-2%
-2%
off / environment *
28.3
29.4
-4%
28.2
-0%
28.8
-2%
28.4
-0%
Idle Minimum *
30.4
29.4
3%
28.2
7%
33.1
-9%
29
5%
Idle Average *
31
29.9
4%
28.2
9%
33.1
-7%
29
6%
Idle Maximum *
31.2
29.9
4%
28.2
10%
34
-9%
32.2
-3%
Load Average *
43.3
38.3
12%
39
10%
37.2
14%
47.1
-9%
Witcher 3 ultra *
46.2
39.8
14%
46.1
-0%
52
-13%
Load Maximum *
46.2
39.6
14%
46.3
-0%
47.1
-2%
47.1
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

With slightly higher noise levels comes slightly lower temperatures than it predecessor, even in spite of the more powerful GTX 1050 Ti GPU (part of this is a discrepancy in ambient room temperatures of close to 3 °C, so that should also be noted). We measured averages on top and bottom of 33.9 °C and 37.8 °C, with hot spots in the 40s °C, all located across the back edge of the machine (this is compared with 35.6 °C / 38 °C on the UX550VD). The palm rest and touchpad remain cool to the touch under all circumstances, which is a commendable accomplishment by the manufacturer. The center of the keyboard gets quite a bit warmer, but we can’t expect too much from such a slim machine.

Max. Load
 36.4 °C
98 F
41.8 °C
107 F
43.2 °C
110 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
42 °C
108 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
 28.2 °C
83 F
26.8 °C
80 F
28.4 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 43.2 °C = 110 F
Average: 33.9 °C = 93 F
43.8 °C
111 F
49.8 °C
122 F
41 °C
106 F
34.8 °C
95 F
42 °C
108 F
34.6 °C
94 F
31 °C
88 F
32.6 °C
91 F
30.6 °C
87 F
Maximum: 49.8 °C = 122 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  46 °C = 115 F | Room Temperature 20.2 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
Top of base unit, idle
Top of base unit, idle
Underside, idle
Underside, idle
Top of base unit, load
Top of base unit, load
Underside, load
Underside, load

Speakers

The left speaker grille
The left speaker grille

The Zenbook Pro impresses with quality audio for its size especially. We measured 75.21 dB of volume—which is certainly sufficient—and the shape of the sound is fairly linear to boot. Of course, low frequencies are lacking, but overall, the audio from the quad-speaker setup is pleasant and well-balanced.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.135.538.12534.833.134.83133.132.933.1403431345033.530.133.56330.933.130.98033.230.233.210040.728.940.71254727.74716053.227.953.220053.126.453.125055.225.855.231556.525.456.54005924.55950057.124.857.163055.82455.880056.323.656.3100059.123.659.1125063.623.163.6160067.323.267.3200064.22364.2250064.722.764.7315061.922.461.9400062.822.362.8500060.122.460.1630062.223.162.2800065.722.365.71000064.922.364.91250062.822.462.81600058.72358.7SPL75.235.275.2N362.436median 59.1median 23.2median 59.1Delta3.81.43.840.938.634.735.83434.833.632.833.331.73534.831.83531.742.53049.628.657.127.152.626.949.426.65425.857.525.456.624.466.12469.224.162.223.861.523.565.123.265.323.463.823.270.923.370.723.263.123.263.823.265.423.163.823.165.523.26735.978.62.643.3median 23.8median 63.81.84.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71TDell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75.21 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 17% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD) audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70.93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 76% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 12% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idle power consumption was once again very low on the Zenbook Pro GTX 1050 Ti configuration, with an idle average of just 7.9 W. Meanwhile, we recorded a load maximum of 102.4 W, which is oddly enough below the measurement of 120 W we have in our database from the UX550VD. This is likely due to the proclivity of the system to throttle at conservative temperature limits; either as a result of BIOS differences or the temperature of the machine upon the start of the power consumption test, today's review unit likely began the throttling behavior earlier than our previous test machine.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.3 / 7.9 / 8.1 Watt
Load midlight 84.9 / 102.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD, IGZO IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
-8%
-14%
-82%
-60%
Idle Minimum *
6.3
5.05
20%
8.3
-32%
14.5
-130%
11.9
-89%
Idle Average *
7.9
8.2
-4%
10.2
-29%
17.3
-119%
17.1
-116%
Idle Maximum *
8.1
12.2
-51%
10.4
-28%
17.4
-115%
17.3
-114%
Load Average *
84.9
82
3%
67.5
20%
93
-10%
94.7
-12%
Load Maximum *
102.4
120
-17%
117.2
-14%
122
-19%
Witcher 3 ultra *
96.3
93.1
3%
96.5
-0%
128.8
-34%
104.8
-9%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Battery life was, rather unsurprisingly, essentially identical to that of the Zenbook Pro UX550VD. The machine lasted 8 hours and 52 minutes in our web surfing benchmark, which is notably better than most of the competition, with the exception of the passively-cooled Microsoft Surface Book 2 (which managed 11 hours and 3 minutes. Top-rated competitors like the Dell XPS 15 yield more than an hour less in terms of battery runtimes in this test.

Meanwhile, under minimal load, the device lasted for 17 hours and 3 minutes, whereas the Battery Eater Classic Test (heavy load) lasted for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Battery life, web surfing
Battery life, web surfing
Battery life, Classic Test (heavy load)
Battery life, Classic Test (heavy load)
Battery life, Readers Test (minimum load)
Battery life, Readers Test (minimum load)
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 03min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 52min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 10min
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 73 Wh
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 73 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 72 Wh
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 65 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 97 Wh
Microsoft Surface Book 2
8650U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 75 Wh
Battery Runtime
2%
11%
-37%
3%
80%
Reader / Idle
1023
1061
4%
1066
4%
386
-62%
831
-19%
1469
44%
WiFi v1.3
532
535
1%
484
-9%
232
-56%
434
-18%
663
25%
Load
70
70
0%
96
37%
75
7%
103
47%
190
171%
Witcher 3 ultra
68
230

Pros

+ aesthetically-pleasing aluminum case
+ great portability for its class
+ impressive speakers
+ versatile port selection
+ strong short-term/burst performance
+ good battery life
+ relatively easy maintenance

Cons

- combined CPU + GPU stress results in throttling of both
- good GPU performance, but GTX 1050 Ti full potential cannot be tapped
- poor webcam
- noisy/rattling fan on our review unit
- PWM below brightness level of 30%—though high frequency

Verdict

In review: Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE. Rreview unit courtesy of XOTIC PC
In review: Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE. Rreview unit courtesy of XOTIC PC

The $1,700 ASUS Zenbook Pro UX550VE, with its GTX 1050 Ti, improves upon the performance of the GTX 1050-equipped UX550VD with very few associated drawbacks. We’re granted the same attractive unibody aluminum case, which provides reasonable weight and size as well as a versatile port selection (though the latter, which substitutes two conventional USB Type-A ports for Thunderbolt/Type-C, may be slightly ahead of its time). The device also manages strong performance in short bursts (as well as for general application use) all while maintaining battery runtimes which fare well against those of the competition. On top of it all, the machine is relatively easily maintained via the removable back panel.

Overall, the Zenbook Pro nevertheless remains a compelling package, without any major negatives apart from some unfortunate performance throttling under sustained load.

Returning complaints from our previous review unit include CPU and GPU throttling under combined load, as well as the fact that the GTX 1050 Ti never shows its full potential in the Zenbook Pro even when stressed independently. Performance is still well above the GTX 1050 model—as well as most other competitors of comparable size in its class—but it could have been even better with a bit more aggressive cooling. Noise levels were also quite a bit higher under load (as measured via today's review unit, which, of course, was hobbled by what appeared to be a bad cooling fan), so that's another potential shortfall versus the previous model. Apart from this, a few other minor grievances apply—such as the poor webcam and the use of PWM (albeit, high frequency) at brightness settings below 30%, but that’s really the only other significant negatives.

Sturdier cases, better input devices, and higher-quality screens can all be had on pricier competing notebooks as well. Some worthwhile alternatives include—among others—the Dell XPS 15 9560, Lenovo Yoga 720, MSI GS63VR, and Microsoft Surface Book 2. But overall, the Zenbook Pro nevertheless remains a compelling package, without any major negatives apart from some unfortunate performance throttling under sustained load.

Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T - 11/23/2017 v6
Steve Schardein

Chassis
86 / 98 → 88%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
65 / 20-67 → 95%
Battery
91%
Display
79%
Games Performance
87 / 85 → 100%
Application Performance
93 / 92 → 100%
Temperature
89%
Noise
82 / 95 → 86%
Audio
86%
Camera
25 / 85 → 29%
Average
78%
87%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1050 Ti) Laptop Review
Steve Schardein, 2017-11-29 (Update: 2017-11-29)
Steve Schardein
Steve Schardein - Review Editor - @othersteve
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY—Triple-S Computers—which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.