ASUS has announced new laptops belonging under two series geared towards creatives of all types. From the Studiobook series, the ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED and ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED, designed for the most consummate professional. And from the Vivobook series, the Vivobook Pro 14X/16X OLED and 14/15 OLED models.
When it comes to laptops specifically meant for artists and creators, there really aren’t many choices available on the market. It is partly due to how laptops, with their less freeform controls of touchpad and keyboard, seem ill-suited to the fine precision and dynamic tweaking that creatives need. Compared to desktop computers with big, vibrant monitors, and compared to tablets, with their lightweight portability and intuitive touchscreens, laptops just don’t seem like the ideal tool for professionals.
This is because a laptop’s strength lies in its versatility in terms of function, about to be a jack of all trades with it comes to gaming, watching videos, illustrating, video editing, graphic design, and more. And being able to do all that while being relatively portable is invaluable. This is why laptops have become a mainstay of modern life, with some people even opting to do away with desktop computers and working exclusively with a laptop.
Creatives, however, with their specific needs and wants when it comes to their devices, may find that most laptops just aren’t specialised or designed to meet their demands. As such, many of them stick to their sturdy, reliable desktop computers to ply their trades.
Yet, with the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many creatives find themselves having to work on the go, and tablets may not be powerful enough to deal with this increase in workload hoisted upon them. As such, ASUS has decided to address this problem.
All the models boast OLED screens, which yield vivid, vibrant colours that seemingly pop out of the screen. This is a display that will spoil users’ future expectations for other devices. The Studiobooks, especially, designed for professional-grade creatives, hold both PANTONE Validated, which the Vivobooks also possess, and Calman Verified certifications. This means that all the new models boast an immaculate level of colour accuracy, a necessary feature for a device meant for creative work.
ASUS also understands that it is not possible to pin down the full range of definitions for what being a “creative” entails. There are too many different creative pursuits out there each with their own requirements. As such, the Studiobooks and Vivobooks offer a range of processors and GPUs for buyers to choose from. From the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series Mobile Processors to Intel Core i9 processors, and from NVIDIA RTX A2000 to GeForce RTX 3070, creatives will likely be able to find the right fit for them.
The biggest innovation with the laptops, beyond the bespoke design, is the Dial. The ASUS Dial, built into the Studiobooks, is a new physical rotary control that came about as a way to fix a pain point for creatives who have long experienced annoyance with fine calibrations when it comes to controlling parameters. For example, tweaking layer opacity and brush size in Adobe Photoshop, which tends to be clunky at the best of times, and infuriating at the worst. The Dial allows users to get tactile feedback with each fine tick of the parameters, and is a much more intuitive and easier way to control many of the features in creative apps.
The Dial is currently usable with compatible Adobe apps, such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Photoshop Lightroom Classic, and After Effects. There will be more apps that the Dial will be compatible with as ASUS work together with relevant software developers to give the Dial a wider software reach.
The Vivobooks do not possess a physical Dial, and instead have a DialPad, a virtual Dial on the touchpad. It takes cues from the innovative control interface of the physical Dial, and gives users the same type of delicate tweaking right at their fingertips.
All that new productivity and creative freedom afforded by the Dial can be customised through the Creator Hub app, where the specific control scheme for the Dial can be programmed, and different control profiles can be set for different apps, which ensures that the convenience the Dial provides is constant, and not restricted to a single app at any one time.
Finally, the laptop can become an extension of the artist’s body.