The Asus Zenbook Pro 15 UX580: A Better Alternative to MacBooks

As a company, Apple has been catering to the creative market for most of its history. This is one of the reasons you'll find so many photographers and video editors using Apple products including the MacBook. More recently it seems Apple has been moving away from creator-specific products and many in the industry are starting to notice.

In my latest video, I take a look at the Asus Zenbook Pro UX580. As someone who's been using a MacBook Pro for much of my career, I have to say I'm very impressed with the Zenbook. In terms of sheer performance, the laptop does a fantastic job, especially when it comes to editing 4K video and high-resolution images. As with most laptops, there is an upper limit as it's not meant to serve as a powerhouse device. Instead, this laptop offers some incredible features at a much cheaper price point when compared to a similar spec MacBook Pro. Personally, I think the most incredible feature of this laptop is not the screen/touchpad but the main screen instead. The reason I say this is because the main screen is a 4K touchscreen with 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage. This makes this laptop one of the best options currently available for photographers that edit on the move. 

Check out the full video and let me know what you think.

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Previous comments

Precisely. Any closed environment, like an animation studio, can use whatever OS they want. Once you try to collaborate with other independent creatives on a project, you need to run the prevailing OS—mostly.

Johnny Rico's picture

"Color, fonts, software options, general transportability of files with no surprises..." What are you talking about? The only real case here is if you work with an Mac OS only software, which are few.

Michael Comeau's picture

Absolute crap? Really?

Windows may be your preference but that doesn't make Apple products suck.

Usman Dawood's picture

Apple make apple products suck. I like MacOS, but apple doesn’t care about the creative market. They don’t even support Nvidia anymore I mean what the heck?

Michael Kormos's picture

I have once owned an Asus laptop, for about 15 minutes before returning it. No thanks.

You should look at the Lenovo P1, can be spec'ed up very nicely and at a price point my nicer than a top end macbook

antoine amanieux's picture

buy a a cooling pad FOR $18 YOU WILL RENDER FASTER (cpu and gpu do less throttling down due to overheat) and it will make less fan noise (the high spin fans in the laptop will spin slower because the huge fan of the cooling pad is lowering temperature and for the same airflow a bigger fan spins slower and makes less wind noise)

1) Transcode your footage from its camera format (usually mp4, or mxf) to prores or Avid dnx...anything other than mp4! That one small thing will change your life.
2) Create a RAID array in your desktop of regular fast hard drives (minimum of 4 with redundancy included) or even simply use a 500Gb SSD (PCI-NVME preferably) and move your transcoded footage to & from this edit source drive.
3) If you haven’t done it yet, switch to BMD Resolve. Premiere just needs rewriting big time.

If you go to Laptop magazine, and look at their comparison of this Asus laptop and a MacBook, they come out fairly evenly. The magazine found no reason to call one "crap," or say that one or the other "sucked."

Why then the hype? It is great that Windows users have good laptops to use. But this article misrepresents the situation. (The MacBook for instance gets higher marks on overall performance).

Peace out.

John Skinner's picture

It's pretty funny when people that were in the 'apple culture', and under 35 years old, have their awakening.

Dass Ala's picture

Usman Dawood If you really want a very high-end laptop I would recommend DELL Precision Mobile Workstations I use these machines for almost 10 years and always have the best speed, robust and just warranty I love it, I can break a laptop today and Dell send me one replacement in 48hrs or less, anywhere in the world (159 countries), really a big plus for my business. Some Specs i9 or Xenon Processors, 64GB of Ram, 2 or 4 hard drives (SSD or NVMe) RAID inside by hardware, Nvidia Quadro Cards, 100% RGB at 4K, Many ports, and more stuff to add the best thing you can customize on the way you want.

Peter von Reichenberg's picture

Again. How many times did we hear that? It could be made of pure gold - but if it’s running on Windows, it is not even close to be real alternative. Strength of Mac is not in design, nor in the fanclub - it’ s in co-operation between HW and dedicated SW. I understand that Final Cut is not for everyone, but that’s same for Premiere, DaVinci and others. Terrible performance of Lightroom (for example) on both platforms doesn’t show any advantage for any Win based comp. After many years of rejecting Apple I switched to Mac 4 years ago - and my life became easier. Especialy its part sitting at the comp and editing videos.

Usman Dawood's picture

Windows is significantly better than MacOS in so many areas. Both have their own respective advantages and disadvantages. To try and describe MacOS as some all powerful OS which is better than everything is nonsense. I mean the OS doesn’t even support laptops/iMacs from 2014 anymore due to Nvidia graphics cards. The software is extremely limiting because you’re garden fenced into apples eco system. Hardware limitations on their systems is now part of the whole deal.

Also there’s no way to officially build a fully custom MacOS system. If you want a MacOS computer you’re stuck with the overpriced stuff made directly from apple and they don’t even have a dedicated high end computer system. No refresh since 2013. Yes MacOS is great and I do miss certain things about it but it’s not better, it’s different.

Finally the adobe suite software which most people use doesn’t work any better on macs so you paying all that money for something which is less than in specs without any of the optimisations therefore Adobe software ends up performing worse due to the worse relative specs.

With respect to your video and experience with Asus; If Asus work for you, great. My experience with their ZenBook Pro was great until the SODIMM socket suddenly stopped recognizing RAM. Less than 2 years after I bought it. My story is here; I am not trying to spam or misdirect your readers. I just want you and your readers to know that not everything is rosy with Asus. Thank you.