So… the Studiobook Pro X… it’s basically like a fantasy test bed for me, ever since way back when that I learned about the existence of a different set of graphics cards for creative professionals, this is actually the very first time that I get to test one of them and an RTX Quadro 5000 at that!
You see, workstation class notebooks have been existing ever since the need for them had any traction. They often came with a hefty price tag, of which the StudioBook Pro X is not an exemption, because of the technology that lies within their graphics card… and a truckload of certification that comes from content development programs which have such high demand for hardware so that the workflow is maintained at its most efficient and lag free state.
In order to properly evaluate what good this machine would do for me, if and when I get one for myself, there really is only one real test for it – a real, actual project, one which I am currently working on and am already rendering in another setup… one that absolutely pales in comparison to this 17″ package which is actually a pretty small package all things considered… You see my very first laptop computer was a 17″ device – a Toshiba and it was huge! The StudioBook Pro X, not so much – with the NanoEdge technology, Asus engineers had been able to put a 17″ screen on a 15″ body and that’s great for mobility… it is quite heavy though, about the same as that earlier one of mine, weighing in at a whopping 2.5kgs.
The heft of the StudioBook is nothing to be discounted, if you try and place it on your lap, you likely won’t last 10% of the battery and you’d be looking for someplace to rest it on instead.
There’s no RGB here, only a stark white light that shines from below the keys with three levels of intensity. Seriously though, professionals wouldn’t have the time to fiddle around with the Armoury Crate to get to their specific shade of blue… our would they?
There is a keyboard shift to the left due to the presence of the full sized numpad which takes no time at all to acclimatize to. The typing experience on the StudioBook felt so natural to me that I actually preferred it to the pseudo-mechanical keyboard that I’m using especially for extended writing sessions. The numpad is absolutely integral for precise variable inputs which one can actually develop into muscle memory over time.
The lid is designed so that you could practically lay it flat on the floor if you’d need to show something to a group that is huddled around the StudioBook, something the might happen in an actual site meeting. Indicator lights are all in the front of the device, where the lid is pried up so it’s easy to see. No need to shift the laptop of to the side to learn if something was working or not.
The side firing speakers are very powerful and can definitely fill up a room(even two at max setting, making it a fantastic and immersive visual and auditory experience perfect for presentations with which the StudioBook would, without a shadow of doubt, be a part of. Despite the fact that the StudioBook costs almost similar to the ROG Mothership, this form isn’t really designed as a desktop replacement; you’d more than likely be bringing it around as well with you on meetings and on-the-go content creation because well… you can and quite frankly, you’d want to.
The responsiveness of the trackpad (in trackpad mode) is a mixed bag, it’s smooth so navigating with it doesn’t see any issue, however, and this is very apparent especially when coming from a sleeping state, swipes do not immediately register; it’s as if the StudioBook is relisting all the devices it has connected to it which results in maybe a second or two of lag. Now the unit that was loaned to me did not have its Windows 10 for Workstations activated yet so maybe there’s something there… but I really see myself using a mouse with it – note that during my short stint with the StudioBook Pro X, I connected it to a graphic pen tablet instead.
The SSD on the StudioBook is an absolute joy to use. Installations and transfers were swift and general program responsiveness also has been impacted. Of course the onboard 64GBs of RAM carries a significant influence as well but the proof is in the pudding, or so they say, and with a Quadro RTX 5000 under the hood, things that I normally do like final renders perform pretty spicy!
I did not have the time to transfer an actual set from my current workload so the real world test scenario was performed with the Lumion software – it is a third party scene development platform that has a significant library of assets and utilizes the Unreal game engine to create photorealistic scenery typically at the touch of the render button – something previously unheard of in the visualization sphere. The thing with CUDA computation is that it is actually very fast you won’t be able to keep track with the visual progression, unlike that of CPU rendering – the typically slower but much more refined process, once it’s triggered. Lumion shows it to the user in patches, and seeing them appear one by one this fast provides a level of comfort and reliability when deadlines are looming about. I was able to render out a 10 second scene just a little over two hours that is of the best quality at 30fps for context here’s some quick math:
240 minutes, 600 frames that equates to about 2.5 minutes each 1080p frame with full computations on diffuse, illumination, shading, shadows, reflections, bump, displacement, occlusion, smoothing, and anti-aliasing… that is no joke. Without the help of a card, a single frame with everything set to maximum would easily require nothing under 40 minutes, and that is with recent hardware too, this conjecture is based off of actual render runs I’ve personally made. Just imagine the time saved up on that.
Synthetic benches below for comparisons to the other gaming line, sure it’s not the fastest but its efficiency is without question.
To quickly demonstrate the power difference we’re talking about here, this is a direct comparison to the 1080 that I am using at this time for CUDA rendering tasks:
Now 300k is never an easy ask, but the presence of a single workstation class computer within an office environment can easily offset the cost of much slower machines (yes with an S) attempting to create the same output over a much longer timeframe. Beyond simply being a machine to perform lighting calculations, the Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro X comes in with an aesthetic that is so unlike workstation units that came before it.
Not to mention having all the ports that you would ever need (probably not) to better streamline your workflow instead of fiddling around to find a hub.
There’s its soft steel blue color, there’s texture on the lot which is also used to highlight the arrow keys, there’s gold trims, bevels on the chassis, it’s more than just a tool – it’s proof that the professional lifestyle isn’t just about the output.. there is passion in the process too.