Laptops, ultrabook, notebooks, whatever you would like to call them, are becoming more and more efficient, good looking, thinner, lighter, and offer a greater user experience with every generation. Tody, we thought of comparing two 15-inch devices, the MacBook Pro with Retina display and the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501, to see which one seems to be the most powerful, and which one would be a better choice for you to buy. They are both premium laptops, but obviously, one of them will better suite meet your needs than the other.
People usually either love or hate the MacBook, it seems to be no middle road there. Although the design of the device didn’t change much over the past generations, many laptop users still consider the Pro a good-looking device with a premium design and feel to it. The MacBook Pro has a slim, metallic body, it measures 358 x 247 x 18 mm (14.1″ x 9.7″ x 0.7″), and it weighs about 2.04 kg (4.49 pounds). This is quite impressive because it hides a lot of power under the hood and it is difficult to build slim laptops with great power and battery. The 15.4-inch Retina LED-backlit display with IPS technology display of the MacBook has a 2880 x 1880 pixels resolution and 220 ppi density, so the images displayed will be quite accurate and realistic.
The MacBook Pro is powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.2 or 2.5GHz, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics GPU. The 512GB version also includes an AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching. As far as memory goes, the Pro includes 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory and 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, configurable to up to 1TB. The MacBook has one MagSafe 2 power port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports, one HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SDXC card slot. The laptop also has a 720p FaceTime camera for video calls.
The keyboard of the MacBook Pro is a full-size backlit keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys (inverted “T” arrangement) with ambient light sensor. The Force Touch trackpad was created with efficiency and accuracy in mind. It offers a precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and Multi-Touch gestures. The stereo speakers of the laptop deliver a great sound, so the great visual experience is doubled by an equally good audio experience as well.
The built-in 99.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery of the MacBook Pro is able to ensure up to 9 hours of web surfing and video playback and up to 30 days of standby time. It runs on the latest version of Apple’s OS X, El Capitan, ensuring a great user experience with a lot of new features compared to the previous version of the operating system. The price of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display starts from $1999 for the 256GB version and $2499 for the 512GB version.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display specs
- 15.4-inch 2880x1800p LED Retina Display
- 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
- Intel Iris Pro Graphics
- 16 GB of DDR3L RAM
- up to 512GB of PCIe-based internal storage
- 720p camera
- 95 Wh battery (9 hours of web browsing)
- 35.89×24.71×1.8 cm
- 2.02 kg
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501
Asus’s ZenBook Pro is just as good looking as the MacBook Pro if not even better looking. It has a premium metallic body, that will definitely impress customers due to its beautiful color, and the stylish ripple-effect pattern laser-engraved on its surface. It measures 383 x 255 x 21.3mm (15.1 x 10.0 x 0.8 inch), so it is a little bit chunkier than the MacBook Pro, but it is almost as light as the MacBook, weighing 4.5 pounds. The 15.6-inch Auto IPS UHD display offers an impressive 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution and 282 ppi pixel density, which is higher than the one offered by the MacBook Pro, so the images delivered by the ZenBook Pro will be sharper and more accurate than the ones delivered by Apple’s Pro.
Just like the MacBook Pro, the ZenBook Pro is powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. In terms of graphics, the ZenBook is equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM, so the video experience offered by the Asus laptop will be a high-quality one. The laptop includes up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB internal storage, so users can store all their favorite games, music and videos on their laptop. Users will be able to connect a number of other devices to the laptop, due to its three USB 3 ports, one HDMI port, one Thunderbolt port and its headphone-out jack. The laptop also has a microSD card slot and a 1.2MP web camera for video calling.
The keyboard of the ZenBook is similar to the one of the MacBook Pro, but there is a major difference between the two: the fact that the keyboard of the Asus laptop also has a num pad, which can come in handy when the laptop is used for work. I personally prefer to have a numeric pad on the keyboard of my laptop. The trackpad of the ZenBook Pro is a large glass-coated multi-touch touchpad that is designed to be as accurate and intuitive as possible, and it supports Smart Gestures, which works with a great number of applications. The speakers of the Asus laptop will deliver great sound due to the SonicMaster Premium software.
The battery of the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 is slightly smaller than the one of the MacBook Pro. The 96 watt-hour battery is able to ensure up to 6 hours of video playback and web browsing, which is quite disappointing compared to the 10 hours offered by Apple’s laptop. When it first appeared, the ZenBook Pro was running on Windows 8.1, but now users can upgrade to Windows 10 for a more advanced user experience. The price of the Asus ZenBook Pro starts from $1499, so it is more affordable than the MacBook Pro.
ASUS ZenBook Pro specs
- 15.6-inch 3840x2160p IPS display
- 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 2G GDDR5 VRAM GPU
- 16 GB of DDR3L RAM
- 512 GB of PCIe-based internal storage
- 1.2 MP camera
- 96 Wh battery
- 38.35×25.4×2.03 cm
- 2.27 kg
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX 501 just seems to offer more for the money, so it would be our choice between the two presented devices. It looks great, has a lot of power, great graphics and it is almost $1000 cheaper than the MacBook Pro that offers the same internal storage. Unfortunately, the battery of the ZenBook is lower-capacity than the one of the MacBook, but it might be worth giving that up if we consider the price difference between the two. The Asus ZenBook Pro is powerful enough to be a great laptop for work and even for gaming, and let’s not forget that its display is a lot more impressive than the Retina display of the MacBook Pro.