A Portable Editing Workstation: We Review the ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16

This unique laptop from ASUS offers more than just a powerful computer. Let’s see how the ProArt StudioBook 16 can help your post-processing and retouching workflow.

In recent years, major tech brands have focused on creating devices (computers, monitors, laptops and mobile phones) for use by creatives. This includes photographers, graphic designers, filmmakers, colorists, and video game creators. These devices often come with enhanced graphics capabilities as well as unique features that could ease the workflow of the users they were designed for. The ASUS ProArt sub-brand entered the market for the first time with various professional-grade monitors featuring remarkable color accuracy among many other features. However, in recent years the brand has extended this to an entire ecosystem of creative-friendly devices and this laptop is one of the latest to join that range.

External characteristics, construction and size

The ProArt StudioBook 16 comes in an all-black casing with an anti-fingerprint matte finish that’s different from ASUS’ usual circular brushed steel aesthetic. This black slate is topped with a simple chrome ProArt logo right in the middle. This 16-inch laptop weighs 2.40 kilograms with a relatively slim width of 0.78 inches when closed. All this in a 14.5 x 10.3 inch package. This US military-grade version is quite large compared to most Creative laptops, although that’s mainly due to the 16-inch screen. The only downside for photographers would be having to use a larger camera bag (since most camera bags have compartments for laptops up to 15.5″) or using a laptop bag completely separate laptop.

Connectivity and Ports

For a portable device to be considered a mobile workstation, it must at least offer most of the connectivity options that a creative would need. The ProArt Studiobook 16 features various connectivity ports on both sides for additional hardware, AV input and output, and storage media. The left side includes a security lock, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-A port, the DC port in the middle, an HDMI 2.1 compatible port, a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, and another USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port capable of power supply, DisplayPort and VR support. On the right are an RJ45 1Gbps Ethernet port, another USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, a 3.5mm combo audio input/output jack, and a full-size SD Express 7.0 card reader .

Both sides are also equipped with three large vents for the ASUS Icecool Pro thermal solution which is optimized for heavy graphics usage to keep the device as cool as possible. Inside, the laptop is also equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi 6 2*2 and Bluetooth 5.2.

Display

The 16-inch 4K OLED display contributes the most to this laptop’s size. It comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio with a glossy glass surface. Peak brightness is 550 nits. This OLED display can display 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, has a VESA HDR rating of 500 with a contrast ratio of 1M:1 and a response time of 0.2. This display has both Pantone validation and Calman verification for color accuracy which is rated Delta E <2. Although this rating signifies superior color accuracy, such accuracy is of course still achieved with constant manual calibration. Unlike other designer laptops, the screen is neither touch sensitive nor compatible with a stylus.

Internal

The ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 is available in several variants depending on the processor and GPU installed, among others. This particular model is the H7600H which can be considered the entry level of the ProArt Studiobook 16 line.

This particular model uses an 11th Gen 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core I7 processor (an I9 option is available), along with 1TB of storage (available up to 4TB) and 32GB of DDR4 RAM ( available up to 64 GB). This device also features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 laptop graphics processor with NVIDIA Studio driver optimization for a wide selection of photo, video and 3D processing software.

creative tools

The ProArt Studiobook 16 is not only a computer with significant graphics processing capabilities and a reliable display. Also, it has some unique hardware features that photographers might find useful for editing and photo editing workflows.

The ProArt Dial is a fully customizable shortcut that can be used for editing functions as well as system related settings. This physical dial sits on the top left corner of the trackpad and is integrated into the bottom frame, making it non-obtrusive to close the laptop. The dial simply needs to be turned to scroll through selections and manipulate the sliders and pressed once to select specific functions. The ProArt Dial can be customized to include functions from a wide selection of compatible editing applications and is especially optimized for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere. Function customization is done through the Asus ProArt Creator hub which gives full access to dial functions and other custom buttons available on the keyboard.

Next to the dial is a relatively larger-than-usual touchpad. Although it apparently looks like a normal function touchpad, it has some unique features. For one, it has an additional button that can be customized for additional functions. On top of that, this touchpad doubles as a portable graphics pen tablet. With a sensitivity of 1024 levels of pressure, the touchpad is compatible with various versions of the ASUS Stylus. This pen function can be very useful for making local adjustments and retouching photos when the photographer is outside of the usual office or studio environments. Although the size of this built-in tablet is not equivalent to the function and ergonomics of a full-size graphics tablet, having it on the go can be beneficial.

The additional creative features on the touchpad and dial certainly provide plenty of workflow benefits for photographers and other creatives, especially when working on location. With the extra space available on the surface of the laptop, it might be a good idea to add a few more customizable buttons next to the dial. While pen compatibility is definitely a huge plus, it would also have been great to have a pen storage slot on one side or bottom of the laptop.

Application

Using the ProArt Studiobook 16 for photo editing and post-processing certainly has its benefits both in terms of software performance and overall ergonomics. This particular variant, H7600H, is the unofficial base model of this series with an Intel I7 processor, 1 terabyte of storage, and 16 GB of RAM. However, using it for photo editing, raw processing and retouching, the performance is definitely more than enough for what is needed and the supposed GPU acceleration offered by the optimized NVIDIA Studio drivers provides a smooth and smooth experience. without lag. GPU acceleration is also felt with processes such as creating panoramas, merging HDR images and enhancing raw files (increasing size and resolution) with the “enhance detail” function. from Adobe. I also tested performance on rendering 360 panoramas, which resulted in about a 30-50% decrease in total processing time.

The combination of ProArt dial and hybrid touchpad provides extra efficiency when working on the fly. The dial provides an easily accessible shortcut to most (if not all) of the functions needed for global settings as well as shortcuts to system related functions. The trackpad gives a certain level of precise input when it comes to retouching and manual composite work in Photoshop. Considering that it comes with a 16-inch OLED display with significant color accuracy, this laptop can be seen as a mobile workstation worthy of photographers.

What I liked :

  • Powerful computer for post-processing
  • Customizable dial for more efficient editing
  • Pen-compatible touchpad
  • 16-inch 4K OLED display with delta E <2 color accuracy
  • Good collection of I/O ports

What can be improved:

  • Screen not touch or compatible with a stylus
  • Additional customizable buttons can be placed below the ProArt dial
  • No pen storage

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