The disassembly of the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX550 is pretty straightforward and easy – the bottom lid and the screws that hold it are the only things getting in the way.
ASUS ZenBook Pro UX550VE
1. Removing the bottom plate
Removing all the Torx screws around the bottom will release the panel and then you can easily take it off with the help of a thin plastic tool, for example.
The storage configuration is simple – it has only one M.2 SSD slot. In our case, the notebook shipped with a Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD with 512GB capacity. The 2.5-inch drive is missing from all configurations of the ZenBook Pro UX550.
3. Memory, battery and Wi-Fi
Unfortunately, the motherboard holds only 8GB of DDR4-2400 soldered memory and configurations go as high as 16GB of RAM without being able to upgrade in the future.
The Wi-Fi adapter can be found near one of the cooling fans and it’s Intel 8265NGW.
The battery takes up a big space inside the chassis and it’s rated at 73Wh.
4. Cooling system
The cooling design is similar to some gaming-oriented notebooks and at first glance, it seems pretty solid – two heat pipes going across two huge heat sinks and connecting both cooling fans. Unfortunately, though, our stress tests show insufficient cooling performance to keep the hardware cool under load.
The ASUS ZenBook UX550VE is a no-brainer if you are looking for an affordable Dell XPS 15 or Apple MacBook Pro 15alternative but obviously, you will have to deal with some setbacks along the way like insufficient cooling capabilities, always running cooling fans and a bit flexible interior. In addition, you are stuck with only one M.2 SSD and no RAM chip slots – you have to deal only with the soldered memory. This is also true for the MacBook Pro 15 but we expected more from ASUS, come on…
Anyway, if we put aside these inconsistencies, we are mostly impressed by the premium feel of the machine, excellent input devices, great IPS display (with practically no PWM) and outstanding battery life. The all-aluminum chassis with chamfered edges and brushed surface give the ZenBook Pro UX550VE a distinct look and feel while the long battery life will let you enjoy your favorite movies and almost get you through a full workday on a single charge. However, we strongly recommend that you consider our custom profiles as they improve color accuracy, gamma and color temperature.
So at the end of the day, if you are willing to spend a little bit more on such laptop, the XPS 15 or the MacBook Pro 15 are better choices but if you are not so pretentious and can overlook some of the issues (especially if you are not going to play demanding games or use it for continues heavy workload), the ZenBook Pro UX550VE is actually the smarter choice.
- Generally good build quality
- Light and portable for a 15-inch device
- Good input devices
- Excellent IPS display
- No PWM above 85 cd/m2 (29%) brightness
- Outstanding battery life
- Two Thunderbolt 3 connectors
- Relatively affordable compared to some of its rivals
- Poor cooling solution
- Cooling fans run even when the laptop is idle and during normal office work
- No availble RAM slots (only soldered memory)
- There’s a noticeable flex on the interior
- There are no configurations with 2.5-inch HDD/SSD slots