As a photographer and a nerd with 35 years in IT under my belt, I’m often asked what my recommendation is for a laptop by my photographer pals. The genre of machines built specifically for gaming may seem like the logical off-the-shelf solution, but that is not always the case. What makes the best gaming platform doesn’t always translate well for the needs of photographers.
While looking into a couple of potential machines for a friend today, I learned about the ASUS NX500JK-XH72T. This is a monster of an UltraBook in a very sophisticated little .7” thin aluminum uni-body package. What this beauty lacks in heft, it more than makes up for in must-have features and pure power.
This is a high end UltraBook mobile computer, and I believe it is the best laptop out there for photographers. Featuring the World’s First 4K2K Quantum-Dot Touchscreen Display, it has the highest resolution (3840×2160) of any laptop I have reviewed to date. Photoshoppers and video editors alike will appreciate the IPS display with 4k resolution. The NX500 delivers industry-leading color reproduction, allowing you to work with more than 16 million colors and fully utilize 100% of the RGB, sRGB and NTSC color spectrum. In fact, The color space available exceeds 108% of the larger Adobe RGB gamut! The screen is factory color calibrated so you’re ready to go right out of the box.
With the Intel Core i7 quad-core 4712HQ processor, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM memory and a super fast 512GB Solid State Drive, your Zenbook will start up in seconds, open large programs and files in a snap, and have you happily editing away, right away. As if the processor, memory and solid state hard drive weren’t enough to outperform all but the most over-the-top custom gaming rigs, the NX500 is capable of handling even performing the most demanding tasks with the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M graphics that includes a fast and ample 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Adobe Photoshop, and future versions of Lightroom will take advantage of this graphics engine and offload some of the work to the graphics processor, so large files and intensive operations can be executed with ultimate speed.
The list of impressive features doesn’t end with the marquee hardware innards. If you have ever used a backlit keyboard, you know it’s very hard to live without it. Standard on this model. The premium sound is delivered with quality and precision via audiophile caliber Bang and Olufsen speakers. That screen I mentioned earlier? Yeah, that’s a touchscreen. And not just any ordinary touchscreen. This screen features 10 points of precision. What does that mean you ask? Well, it means that with over 10 million pixels on the screen, you’ll be able to easily touch the individual pixel you need, even with big ‘ol sausage fingers. Even wifi performance has been improved. Marketed as “5G”, the 3 by 3 802.11ac wireless promises Ethernet-like speeds 3 times faster than wireless-N standards. The battery is nothing short of amazing for such a compact design too. Seven hours on a full charge and a 2 week standby time is as good as it gets today. A one year Accidental Damage warranty gives you protection against drops, spills and electrical surges. Asus has long been a favorite of mine, and I have confidence in their free 24/7 technical support line. If you ever need to send it in, they have 2-way free standard shipping for repairs.
Laptops have always been about compromises. For too long, photographers have been forced to choose from an awkward array of ill-fitting solutions. With the NX500, today is a new day. This one is for us.
List Price: $2,699.00
Sale Price: $2,249.99
ASUS NX500JK-XH72T 15.6-Inch Laptop (Silver Aluminum). Touchscreen 4K2K Display, Touchscreen UHD Display, 3840 x 2160 Resolution Display. World's First 4K2K UHD Display with 3M's Quantum Dot Technlology. Intel Core i7-4712HQ 2.3GHz (Turbo up to 3.3GHz), 16GB DDR3L (1600MHz), 512GB SSD PCIe + TPM, Nvidia GTX850M 2GB GDDR5, 802.11AC, 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, Bluetooth, Windows 8.1 Professional.