Thursday, 18 November 2021 02:27

LAUNCH VIDEO: Asus challenges PC and Mac competitors alike with new Pro laptops for creators, launches Creator Xchange platform

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Asus is gunning for the premium creator market at price points from $1499 with the Vivobook Pro 15, right up to "from $9,999" and beyond with the ProArt StudioBook Pro 16, with all models in the creator range featuring 4K OLED displays, with Intel and AMD processor choices, NVIDIA graphics, and the promise of performance and powerful cooling features to attract premium buyers who want what are arguably the best creative PCs on the market, while aiming to even tempt Mac users into switching.

Asus has been on a very creative streak over the past few years, with dual-screen laptops, high-end gaming laptops in both the TUF and ROG brands, and impressive features, designs, keyboard angles, cooling features and design that set it apart from competitors - while also launching the ASUS Creator Xchange hub, billed as "an open source online platform built for local and global creatives to collaborate and share work and ideas in an exciting new way."

Of course, Apple has been very busy too, as evidenced by its new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, along with its new MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models, which reviewers from across the Internet praising as mind-blowingly fast, while restoring MagSafe, HDMI, and an SD Card reader, along with delivering fast charging and three Thunderbolt 4 ports and the new "notch" that houses a 1080P webcam.

The new MacBook Pros are very impressive, and deservedly so, but Asus hasn't been waiting to see what Apple would do and has obviously been beavering away to deliver all of these new models, including physical and virtual dials that work with Adobe and other apps, while the ZenBook Pro Duo's second screen can be configured with dials, buttons and sliders to control a range of software.

Indeed, with Intel, AMD and NVIDIA still powering the majority of the world's PCs and graphics solutions, and PCs in aggregate outselling Macs by a wide margin, it's great to see competition as strong as ever not only for consumers, but the premium creator market that is not afraid to spend a lot more money than that spent on computers costing anywhere from $500 to $1000 and up.

This competition not only pushes Apple to do better, but pushes PC competitors to continue evolving and innovating, and taking the market as far forward as possible, all while working to deliver improved new models, seemingly every year - although many Mac and PC models can stretch up to a couple of years or more between refreshes.

So, what did Asus launch yesterday, on the 17th of November, 2021?

Well, let's start with the ASUS Creator Xchange launch video, with great demonstrations of the new models, and demonstrations and explanations from three great "mentors" you'll see in the video and read about below, along with the details from the Asus media release.

So, in short, which we'll expand upon below, Asus has unveiled an advanced ecosystem of creator laptops suitable for every level of expertise, including professional, advanced and casual creators, and at the same time has unveiled the ASUS Creator Xchange, “an open source online platform built for local and global creatives to collaborate and share work and ideas in an exciting new way.”

Asus wants its Creator Xchange to grow into a digital community that “champions the free flow of ideas and furthers creativity through the digital technology creators use – especially those designed to protect and highlight the artist and their work, like NFTs – while introducing artists to new audiences, putting attribution, recognition and remuneration at the centre.”

As part of the launch event ASUS showcased artwork from three local Australian artists, each using a different ASUS device to design their unique creations.

Artist, designer and musician, Serwah Attafuah; artist, Jess Johnson; and multi-disciplinary artist, Dave Court, have each used one of the new ASUS creator devices to craft a unique design to coincide with the launch of the ASUS Creator Xchange.

The designs were revealed alongside local device pricing and availability at the launch.

Here’s the rest of the Asus media release:

Creators get creative

ProArt Studiobook laptops fulfil the extreme performance and stability needs of professional creators, who are leaders and innovators in their respective creative industries, whether they work with audiovisual content, engineering, or science.

Creator Xchange mentor Artist, designer and musician Serwah Attafuah used the ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED to design a unique piece for the Creator Xchange called Catacombs of Consciousness 2021, a mesmerising piece about the depths of consciousness and exploring visual dreamscape of the right side of the brain.

Speaking of her time with the device, Attafuah says “the ASUS ProArt gives me all the processing power I need to run programs like Blender and Octane easily, and with the ASUS Dial, I don’t have to break my flow to switch between apps and tools.

“Digital art is like this weird blend of creativity and tech, but you don’t want the tech to ever hold you back or slow you down. By integrating technology like the ProArt into my creative process, I'm able to create things I wouldn’t have been able to.

“It helps me iterate ideas faster because the beauty of technology means I can easily undo and redo things whereas when I was painting it was almost impossible to go backwards. I can create more freely this way as I'm not limited by physical space, materials or conditions out of my hands.”

AU / NZ pricing and availability is available for the following devices:
ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (W7600) - From AUD $9,999. Available in 2022.
ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED (H5600) - From AUD $4,399. Available in 2022.

The innovative and stylish ZenBook Pro is aimed at highly mobile advanced creators who appreciate the latest performance-enhancing technologies – they spend their busy lives creating content and being productive on the move, frequently working in multiple locations, from studios to offices and public places.

Creator Xchange mentor artist Jess Johnson used the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 15 to design a unique piece for the Creator Xchange called Mems – a visual experience that incorporates Matryoshka Dolls, clones, mechanics of a planetary clock, hourglass, and ant farm.

Speaking of her time with the device, Johnson says ”I had been hand drawing the world for around four years before I met Simon who helped me move it into the digital realm. Since then, my drawings have evolved.

“Making the human hand visible in digital works gives it something akin to a life-force, so balancing free hand work and digital in my artwork is an important part of my creative process. I was able to do this with the Zenbook Pro Duo as I used the ScreenPad Plus and stylus pen to refine my pen and paper work. It felt just like drawing on paper, and the colour accuracy of the 4K OLED screen gave me a great idea of the final piece.”

 

AU / NZ pricing and availability is available for the following devices:
The Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582) - From AUD $4,499. Available now
The Zenbook Due 14 (UX482) - From AUD $2,999. Available now

The Vivobook Pro series offers great performance and features for a new generation of aspiring creators, like social influencers, live-streamers, vloggers, budding artists, young musicians and more – those who create to explore their talent and express themselves.

Creator Xchange mentor and multi-disciplinary artist David Court used the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED to design a bespoke piece for the Creator Xchange called Open Studio 001 that is a window into David’s studio – a place of exploration with material and process, an abstract composition made up of flowing handstyle gestures, filtered and altered through a digital lens, and situated in a 3D modelled recreation of the studio space, inviting collaboration, exploration and experimentation with this work and the larger project it is a part of.

Speaking about his time with the device, Court says ”the 4k OLED display makes photo and video editing nicer, more accurate and a much smoother process.

My aspiration is to continue making interesting things and working with good people and technology helps me with this. By providing new and evolving tools like the Vivobook Pro to experiment and create new outcomes, as well as continually improving ways of connecting and communicating with people and collaborators, ASUS is helping me towards these goals.”

AU / NZ pricing and availability is available for the following devices:
Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (K3500) - From AUD $1,499. Available from Dec 2021
Vivobook 15 Pro OLED (M3500) - From AUD $1,499. Available from Dec 2021
Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (M7600) - From AUD $2,799. Available from Jan 2022

Exceptional Design and Performance

All ASUS creator laptops in the lineup feature superb 4K OLED HDR displays across the entire range, with 16:10 aspect-ratio versions that offer a larger visual workspace. They include the world's first VESA DisplayHDR 600 True Black certified laptop displays, and are factory-calibrated for colour accuracy to meet PANTONE Validated standards, with additional ASUS-first Calman Verified certification for ProArt Studiobook models. A cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut delivers ultra-vivid colours, and for maximum eye protection during long creative sessions, the displays are also TÜV certified for eye care.

Graphics-intensive creative applications demand powerful graphics processors, so selected ASUS creator laptops are validated as NVIDIA Studio laptops. NVIDIA Studio laptops feature powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX or NVIDIA RTX GPUs with real-time ray-tracing and AI-augmented features, supported by NVIDIA Studio drivers that deliver the outstanding stability, maximum performance, rock-solid reliability and wide software compatibility required by professional creators. These professional-grade GPUs are combined with high-end components to create platforms that can deliver all the performance professional creators need.

The design of traditional laptops can introduce big pain points for creators, ASUS has studied their real-world needs and work practices to introduce features that genuinely benefit the creative process. Zenbook Pro 15 OLED and Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED users can enjoy advanced creative control with ASUS ScreenPad or the full-width 4K ScreenPad Plus, unique secondary touch screens that make creative workflows and multitasking more efficient.

The ScreenXpert 2 software, which brings the secondary screens to life, features customisable virtual controls, including a dial, buttons and sliders, on ScreenPad Plus models, making it easy to adjust parameters in popular Adobe creative apps.

ProArt Studiobook and Studiobook Pro take control to the next level with the innovative ASUS Dial, the first ever physical rotary creative control on a laptop . This groundbreaking device is configured via the intuitive new Creator Hub app, and gives creators precise fingertip control of parameters in Adobe creative apps including After Effects, Photoshop Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

ASUS Dial improves control, reduces the need for cursor movements, and improves overall ergonomics. For lifestyle creators using Vivobook Pro 16X laptops there's the new ASUS DialPad, a virtual touchpad-based implementation of ASUS Dial that's also configured via the ProArt Creator Hub app.

Creator Line-Up Specifics

ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED – is powered by a 3rd Generation Intel Xeon workstation processor (W7600) that makes light work of super-complex, heavily multithreaded photorealistic rendering, visualisation, simulation or analysis applications. The ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED uses powerful AMD Ryzen 5000 series (H5600) with GeForce RTX 3070 offers outstanding driver stability, using NVIDIA Studio Drivers to ensure maximum performance, rock-solid reliability, and wide software compatibility.

For professional-grade visuals, ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED and ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED are equipped with up to a 16-inch 4K OLED HDR 16:10 550-nit display that provides a large visual workspace for content-creation apps. These fast 60 Hz displays are perfect for colour-critical 2D and 3D visual applications, with a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, PANTONE Validated and Calman Verified certifications, along with factory-calibrated Delta-E < 2 colour accuracy and VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black accreditation for a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

ASUS Dial is a completely new physical rotary control that lets users interact with creative apps in the most natural and immersive way possible. This intuitive controller gives instant and precise fingertip control over parameters in compatible Adobe creative apps, including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Photoshop Lightroom Classic, and After Effects. The new ProArt Creator Hub app is a centralised, easy-to-use control panel that allows access to many laptop settings and customisations, including ASUS Dial settings.

Both laptops feature dual ultrafast PCIe SSDs, up to 64 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM, and high-speed connectivity including the latest Thunderbolt 4 (W7600/H7600) or USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, HDMI 2.1, and an SD Express 7.0 card reader.

Zenbook Pro: Mobility for advanced creators – highly mobile creators looking for compact, thin and light laptops are catered for with Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED (UX582). The recipient of a prestigious CES 2021 Innovation Award, is a high-performance 15.6-inch laptop that introduces the new tilting ASUS ScreenPad Plus, a full-width 14-inch secondary touchscreen that works seamlessly with the main touchscreen for effortless multitasking.

ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED delivers outstanding performance, with up to an Intel Core i9 eight-core processor and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 discrete graphics to make light work of demanding creative tasks. ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED has comprehensive high-performance I/O capabilities including two ultrafast Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports supporting up to 40 Gbps data-transfer rates along with DisplayPort functionality.

Vivobook Pro: Style and performance for casual creators – Hobbyist and aspiring creators can kick off their creative journey with the new 16-inch Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (M7600) or the 15.6-inch Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (K3500 / M3500).

Vivobook Pro 16X OLED the ultimate powerhouse for next-generation creativity, giving users the speed and accuracy needed to realise their creative vision, and featuring the innovative ASUS DialPad, a virtual interface on the touchpad that puts users in full control of adjustments in compatible Adobe creative software, allowing them to stay fully focused on the task at hand. For visuals that are beyond the ordinary, there's up to a 16-inch 4K OLED HDR 550-nit 16:10 display and the ultrawide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut ensures vivid colours. These are the world's first laptops to achieve VESA DisplayHDR True Black 600 certification .

They are also PANTONE Validated for professional-grade colour accuracy, and TÜV Rheinland-certified for low blue-light emissions. Effortless creative power is provided by an AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series Mobile Processors, up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, up to 32 GB of RAM, a dual-fan cooling system with ASUS IceCool Plus technology, and up to a 96 Wh high-capacity battery. A full-size smooth-textured touchpad, built-in fingerprint sensor on the power button, and a backlit keyboard are convenient productivity-enhancing touches, and USB-C ports offer versatile connectivity. There's also a wide choice of stylish colour options, including Comet Grey, Meteor White, 0° Black, and Cool Silver.

The Vivobook Pro 15 OLED weighs just 1.65 kg and has a FHD OLED display and awe-inspiring Harman Kardon-certified audio. It's powered by the latest 11th Generation Intel H Series CPU (K3500) or AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series Mobile Processors (M3500) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, a dual-fan cooling system with ASUS IceCool Plus technology, 16 GB memory, a 1 TB PCIe SSD, and an ultrafast WiFi 6. The tasteful Quiet Blue and Cool Silver colour options reflect a positive and diverse outlook. The convenient optional webcam shield, fingerprint sensor on the power button, and backlit keyboard ensure uncompromised productivity.

ROG Zephyrus devices keep streamers in the game – ensuring gaming creators are covered as well across the full Creator line up, the 17-inch ROG Zephyrus S17 gaming laptop, the 16-inch ROG Zephyrus M16 gaming laptop also appear in the portfolio.

ROG Zephyrus S17 – a premium gaming laptop with a rising optical mechanical keyboard that enables superior cooling. It delivers top-of-the-line performance for gaming and more in a slim package with the style for any occasion. With an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H CPU capable of using up to 90W of power in short bursts, plus up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU that reaches 140W with Dynamic Boost, Zephyrus S17 delivers exceptional performance. Bolstered by ROG Intelligent Cooling technologies, these components provide an unrivalled platform for gaming and content creation.

The innovative AAS Plus cooling system lifts the keyboard at a 5° angle, opening wide vents that allow the new Arc Flow fans to quietly pull cooling air into the laptop. Combined with liquid-metal thermal compound on the CPU, these enhancements let users enjoy powerful computing in a machine that’s slim, quiet, and cool to the touch.

A spacious 17” screen provides an immersive experience with two panel options: a WQHD display with Advanced Optimus and G-SYNC for higher frame rates, or a 4K option with greater detail and Adaptive-Sync. Both offer high refresh rates, brilliant colors and out-of-the box color accuracy. Powerful six-speaker audio lets users travel with high-fidelity sound. Storage options including a three-drive HyperDrive Ultimate SSD RAID array offer lightning-fast access to games and media. The optical-mechanical keyboard delivers precise and responsive input, while the configurable Multiwheel puts a wide range of useful functions within reach.

ROG Zephyrus M16 – is a gaming laptop that fits an immersive 16” display and a powerful new Intel processor inside an ultraslim 15” chassis.For fluid, richly-detailed visuals in games, the 16” display combines a high WQHD resolution with a fast 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and Adaptive-Sync. It’s also primed for content creation thanks to a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, PANTONE-validated colors across 100% of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color gamut, and Dolby Vision support for richer visuals.

The latest processors up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H drive high-refresh-rate gaming and high performance in content creation. Up to a GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU delivers high frame rates and RTX technologies in the latest games. And ROG Intelligent Cooling keeps the M16 cool under the user’s fingers while ensuring high CPU and GPU performance.

Zephyrus M16 offers true portability, with a slim and light body that’s only 19.9mm thin and 1.9kg. With an Off Black tint and lustrous Prismatic Film visible through CNC-milled perforations, it looks both stylish and professional in any setting.

Zephyrus M16 is also available with the new GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, which makes the RTX experience more accessible than ever. And the RTX 3050 family of GPUs is coming to other ROG gaming laptops, including the Flow X13, Strix G15/17, Zephyrus G15, and Zephyrus G14.

The M16 has a starting RRP of AUD $2,699, and the S17 has a starting RRP of AUD $5,399. Both devices are available now in AU and NZ.

Here’s more information on all the new models:

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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