Apple’s latest MacBook Pros weren’t quite right for pros, and Windows laptop manufacturers have been gleefully taking advantage of Apple’s stumble ever since. Now, Asus has announced a laptop that looks to positively leapfrog the MacBook Pro in some rather professional ways — most notably fitting a 17-inch, 16:10 aspect ratio, color-calibrated, Pantone validated, 97-percent DCI-P3 color gamut, 180-degree layflat screen into a notebook small enough that it’ll fit into bags designed for thin 15-inch laptops.
The Asus StudioBook S can hold up to 64GB of memory and 4TB of PCIe SSD storage alongside a hexacore Intel Xeon E-2176M processor and Nvidia Quadro P3200 graphics. It’s not quite as small as a 15-inch MacBook Pro — roughly 1.25 inches wider and 1.75 inches deeper — nor as high resolution with a 1920 x 1200 panel instead of a Retina-class display, which is a shame. But it does come with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, plus way more ports than the Apple competition. You’ll need to use the included USB adapter if you want Ethernet, but dongle hell is at a minimum:
Plus, Asus says its two specially-designed fans and five heatpipes can keep those chips “library-quiet”: under 35dB even when running at full speed.
Oh, and it’s got this crazy touchpad that lights up to become a numpad for some reason:
“NumberPad solves the age-old problem of the lack of a numeric keypad on compact laptops. Tap the NumberPad icon at the top right corner of the touchpad, and an illuminated numeric keypad appears,” reads the company’s description. I guess that could be handy for data entry, but I feel like I’d have a hard time getting used to the placement.
Asus tells The Verge that the StudioBook S will launch in late Q1. Pricing is yet to be announced.