Asus has announced two new entries in its ProArt Studiobook range of high-end, creator-focused laptops. The Studiobook 16 and 16 Pro both deliver a premium design and top-of-the-line specs, but Asus has a trick up its sleeve with these latest releases.
That’s because both feature the new Asus Dial, a rotating physical controller built directly into the body of the laptop. It allows you to precisely control various elements within four of Adobe’s most popular Creative Cloud apps – Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Photoshop Lightroom Classic and After Effects. This covers the likes of saturation, volume, brightness or layer opacity, as well as a quick way to undo the last action.
There are over 70 functions in total, meaning the Asus Dial can be fully customised to suit your workflow. It's located in a seemingly natural position just below the keyboard, allowing you to use it in tandem with the stylus-supported trackpad and customisable keys on the keyboard.
We haven’t seen anything quite like it before, so it’s no wonder Asus is describing the Dial as ‘the world’s first physical rotary control on a laptop’. The one big caveat is that only those four Adobe apps are supported for now, but hopefully other software will also be able to take advantage of it in the future.
Elsewhere, the ProArt Studiobook 16 and 16 Pro feature everything you’d expect from a premium creator-focused laptop in 2021. They use AMD’s latest Ryzen 5000 H-Series, chips specifically designed for demanding tasks, with a choice between the Ryzen 7-5800H and Ryzen 9-5900HX. Both also have discrete GPUs, but the regular model uses an RTX 3070 while the Pro device uses the high-end RTX A2000. Combined with 32GB of RAM and 1TB or 2TB SSD, all your performance needs will likely be met.
In terms of display, the 16in screen is available in either 4K OLED or 2.5K LCD – the latter is significantly more affordable. Both use the increasingly popular 16:10 aspect ratio.
Other features of note include a generous port selection, complete with 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, HDMI, SD card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack and ethernet port. There’s also a solid 90Wh battery, while both devices weigh in at 2.4kg.
Asus offers a choice between Windows 10 Home and Pro, but both will get a free upgrade to the corresponding version of Windows 11.
That’s an impressive array of features by anyone’s reckoning, but you’ll pay for the privilege. The cheapest model of the regular ProArt Studiobook 16 costs £1,999/US$1,999.99, while you’ll pay at least £2,099/US$2,499.99 for OLED versions of the 16 Pro. The first devices will be available from the Asus website in November, but you’ll be waiting until early 2022 for others.