ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 gets Core i9 upgrade and high-end screen

ASUS has quietly launched a new performance laptop, the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15, squeezing a six-core Core i9 processor into a super-slim chassis. Latest of the 15.6-inch notebooks to bear the ZenBook Pro 15 name, the new laptop also finds space – and battery power – for a discrete NVIDIA GPU.

On the CPU side, at the top of the tree is the Intel Core i9-8950HK, an unlocked hexacore chip. ASUS is also offering another six-core option, the Core i7-8750H, together with a Core i5-8300H quad-core.

Over in graphics, meanwhile, there's NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. That gets 4 GB of its own GDDR5 memory, to go with the 8 GB or 16 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM the system has to play with. Storage is courtesy of an SSD, with ASUS offering up to 1 TB configurations.

What's a continued surprise with the ZenBook Pro 15 range is just how much power ASUS fits inside – and keeps cool – while still keeping the notebook slim. Within the 18.9 mm thick, 4.1 pound chassis there's a custom cooling system, with twin fans and a trio of heat pipes that are shared by both the processor and the graphics chip.

The 15.6-inch display will come in three forms. On the one hand there's a 4K Ultra HD touchscreen, which ASUS says has 100-percent coverage of Adobe RGB and 95-percent NTSC color. It's also calibrated at the factory to DeltaE

Ports include two Thunderbolt 3 and two USB 3.1, together with HDMI and a microSD card reader. There's 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, plus Harman Kardon stereo speakers ASUS claims are 1.4x louder than before and have a 1.6x wider frequency response, and a fingerprint scanner. ASUS claims the 71 Wh battery is good for up to 9.5 hours of use, and will fast-charge to 60-percent in 49 minutes.

It's all wrapped up in a Deep Dive Blue aluminum unibody chassis, with rose gold diamond-cut edges. So far, ASUS hasn't confirmed pricing for the ZenBook Pro 15 UX550GE, though the laptop has shown up on the company's Philippines site.

[Update: ASUS is using a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, not the 1050. Thanks Jo!]