Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 review

Seeing double.

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The ZenBook Pro certainly has plenty of power on tap, but our tests suggest that this doesn’t necessarily translate into sustained performance. While the laptop could run all of our benchmarks fairly easily, repetitive tests resulted in lower scores, presumably due to the i9 processor not being able to cool down quickly enough to maintain optimal performance.

The three internal heat pipes and two fans certainly get to work hard, but they don’t seem to be efficient enough to allow the machine to reach its full potential. The air vents are also located behind the display, so you need to make sure these are clear at all times. If you were hoping to squeeze as much as you can out of the i9 processor, this is certainly not the chassis to do it with.


Here’s how the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 performed in our suite of benchmark tests

3DMark: Sky Diver: 23661; Fire Strike: 7962; Time Spy: 3361
Cinebench CPU: 1051 points; Graphics: 120.14fps
GeekBench: 5349 (single-core); 19400 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Extended Test): 5103 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 16 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 4 hours and 25 minutes

While you can enjoy gaming on the ZenBook Pro, here again we noticed a few performance issues. After firing up Witcher 3 we initially experienced smooth gameplay, but after about half an hour we noticed the occasional frame drop, presumably due to a combination of the 1050Ti graphics card and the processor getting too hot. We'd be interested to try the i7 variant with a different graphics card, just to see if that would improve things when it came to cooling.

It’s also worth noting that your upgrade options are limited strictly to storage – the 16GB of RAM is soldered on, so there’s little you can do here. The 1TB PCIe SSD does pull through with some good read/write speeds, and should offer enough storage space for essential projects.

For heavier tasks we cycled through Viewperf 12.1 and SPECwpc v2.1, along with 30 iterations of the Cadalyst Benchmark Test. The results were initially quite good, but as we looped through the tests a few performance drops were again noted, especially when rendering large projects in AutoCAD.

This suggests that while the ZenBook Pro can handle large-scale projects, continuous rendering will cause the i9 processor to drop in performance due to cooling issues. Rendering a one-minute 4K MP4 file from Adobe Premiere took around eight minutes, which might be improved on with a stronger CPU/GPU combination.


The ZenBook Pro’s 15.6-inch display is worth gawping over, simply for the effort that Asus has put into ensuring this screen meets the strict requirements for editing professionals. Our review unit was equipped with the 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 resolution) touchscreen variant, although as previously mentioned you can scale this down to a Full HD display. 

You might struggle to use the ZenBook Pro in bright environments or in direct light, as the screen can seem quite reflective in those scenarios.

The display is Pantone-validated and supports an exceptionally wide color gamut, with 100% Adobe RGB and 132% sRGB coverage. It also has a Delta-E value that’s less than 2.0, which ensures the colors you’re seeing on screen are as accurate as possible.

What this means is that for photo and video editing you can’t get any better than this, especially if you’re working on the go and don’t have the time to connect an external display. We found the screen was excellent for color work in Photoshop, reproducing colors more accurately than those of other laptops, while video editing in Premiere Pro was similarly straightforward, with little to no screen adjustment needed.

The touchscreen is responsive should you need to use it, and with support for Asus Pen – or any active stylus – you can design and edit directly using the touchscreen. It feels slightly awkward using a stylus on a device that’s not a tablet, but if you’re used to editing content in this manner you’ll appreciate this extra effort from Asus.

Battery life and audio

Depending on how you’re using the ZenBook Pro, battery life can vary greatly. For general non-intensive applications, such as Office and web browsing, you’ll get around four and a half hours of battery life (with ScreenPad on and set to 50% brightness). 

Throw in a bit of gaming or a spot of video editing and you’ll soon be reaching for your power adapter. Asus says the ZenBook Pro can charge up to 60% battery life in approximately 49 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a laptop of this caliber.

For occasions when you need to use the built-in speakers, you’ll find that they’re actually quite loud, thanks to some fine-tuning from Harman Kardon. They’re certainly loud enough to enjoy an impromptu personal movie screening from the comfort of your bed, but for more detailed audio you’ll have to resort to headphones. 

The speakers are located on the underside of the laptop, so when you place it on a flat surface you get a decent amount of bass and volume, although if the speakers are covered in any way the audio quality suffers greatly.

Final verdict

There’s no question the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 is a powerful machine, although its sporadic i9 processor performance won’t please users who want to wring out as much power as possible during demanding tasks. The screen, meanwhile, is perfect for photo and video editing, and the option to expand your workspace to additional external monitors is a huge bonus.

Then there’s the ScreenPad – what we initially thought would be just a gimmick turns out to be something that’s actually useful. Yes, there are still a few issues to be ironed out with it, but it’s still early days, and we really hope that other developers will see the potential this feature has.

If you’re in the market for a sturdy workstation-level laptop that can breeze through photo and video editing, then you’ve met your perfect match in the ZenBook Pro 15. It’s got enough bite to handle 4K projects with ease, and the color accuracy it exhibits means you’ll get perfect results every single time.

Nick Rego

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys reviewing PC components, 3D Printers, projectors, and anything shiny and expensive. He can also be found baking up a storm in the kitchen, which we are more than happy to encourage.