The release of a new ASUS notebook often creates a certain amount of “buzz”. People are asking questions over the Internet, some clearly entertaining the idea of buying that laptop if it meets their criteria. Well, the ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX) would probably meet anybody’s criteria: it has one of the most powerful processors, ridiculous amount of RAM, a huge solid-state drive and real gaming card too. But the price, oh the price is very high, so it makes sense to stop for a second and think if you really need so fancy laptop… Below is our opinion if such a blazing notebook would be really worth it!
Does it work with software X?
To answer the above question, most likely yes. ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX) has excellent performance, mainly because of the brilliant Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor. It belongs to the i7 series, the high-end chips meant for professionals and demanding software – the i7-4720HQ offering four cores at 2.6GHz clock speed and 3.6GHz turbo frequency. It’s in different league than the processors you find in regular home laptops; to give you an idea let’s see CPU Mark grades of Intel’s processor families: mobile i3 ~2500, mobile i5 ~3500 and i7-4720HQ over 8100 points. The difference is huge, and you might wonder why? It’s because the i7 in question doesn’t rely on low voltage technology like the others – this translates to superior performance but higher energy consumption and possibly heating.
Another thing in ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX) that makes it brilliant is the memory. There’s 16GB (DDR3L 1600MHz) of it, and sixteen gigabytes also seems to be the maximum supported RAM. Frankly, most users won’t ever need that much, I’ve spoken to some of my hardcore gaming friends and they said 16GB is often a good idea. Well, now you have that, and you don’t have to worry about running out of memory, ever.
The list of excellent components continues. The storage drive is not a hard drive, no, it’s a solid-state drive with 512GB storage capacity. So I’d say you get both great performance and quite a big size at the same time. You don’t need to do the famous “HDD to SSD” upgrade here, you can enjoy the SSD speed right away. Somebody even commented this computer boots up in five seconds, considering the fast drive and Windows 10 I believe it’s true.
And how about games?
There’s no keyword “gaming” in the name ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX) but fear not. This thing is still fully capable of running games smoothly. There’s a real graphics card called GeForce GTX960M inside, featuring 2GB GDDR5-type memory. To be completely transparent, it’s not a beast, but still an unit players would call a “gaming card”. Here are some games and frame rates you might expect:
– Grand Theft Auto 5 – high @ 1080p – 50FPS
– The Witcher 3 – high @ 1080p – 30FPS
– Battlefield 4 – max @ 1080p – 35FPS
– Minecraft – fancy, 20 chunks – 100FPS
Is the screen a decent one?
The 15.6″ glossy display comes with all the sweet features: touch support, 3840×2160 resolution and IPS panel. The 3840×2160 (4K) resolution means icons and text are small, but you can switch to Full HD to combat this issue. On the other hand, for things requiring a lot of screen estate (multimedia editing) such a resolution might be great. The panel type IPS stands for In-Plane Switching, it usually offers more accurate colors and viewing angles than regular TN panels do. So in short, you can pretty much do anything with this display, be it basic web surfing, text/photo editing or gaming.
What peripherals can I connect?
You can hook up all the essential gadgets to ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX), but there are some nice little things to note. For example, all three USB ports are type 3.0 – in cheaper notebooks, one or two ports are always USB 2.0 but not here indeed. And in addition to the regular HDMI output, the notebook also sports a Thunderbolt port which can be used with several devices, including supporting monitors.
One of the drawbacks, if you will, is the lack of an optical drive. It was a conscious choice from the manufacturer, them knowing that many people favor Internet over discs these days for downloading and installing programs. Well, that might be so, and if you need optical drive you can always get an external DVD burner and connect it to the laptop’s USB 3.0 port.
It should be easy to find and connect to your home/office/whatever network with the built-in dual band 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. Specifications also say 100Mbps RJ-45 port is available if cable is what you prefer.
The ASUS has SD/SDXC card reader on the right hand side, you can put in a memory card there and conveniently upload data between the card and the laptop.
If you want to keep in touch with your friends – or record some YouTube videos – there’s a 1.2MP front-facing webcam at your disposal.
Any other things to keep in mind?
Carrying the laptop around shouldn’t be tough, ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX) weighs 5 pounds which is the same than average 15.6″ laptop is. The runtime should be around five hours with the 6-cell 96Whr battery (which the power hungry components will still drain rather quickly).
The body is made of aluminum. Windows 10 (64-bit) is the operating system. This model also includes a backlit keyboard and 10-key pad.
In ASUS UX501JW-DH71T(WX), there’s a plenty of goodness for demanding use: the i7 processor and 16GB memory can take any single application you throw at them – and the system won’t slow down even a little. The 512GB solid-state drive will increase the performance further and considering most SSDs are 128-256GB, the storage size isn’t bad either. Gaming is also a piece of cake with GTX960M card, any triple A title wouldn’t be a problem at all. Nevertheless, I’ve been talking about good things which are plentiful in this unit – there aren’t many disadvantages I can spot, but the laptop is indeed very expensive. So what to do? It’s rather obvious: if you can find use for all the great features the laptop offers, especially gaming (the dedicated card ups the price quite a lot), go for it. That is the best advice I can give.