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Asus ProArt PZ13 hands-on: A serious rival for the Surface Pro?

The Asus ProArt PZ13 pictured from the side

Just like the new Microsoft Surface Pro, Asus’ ProArt PZ13 detachable comes with Qualcomm silicon inside

Following hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Qualcomm-powered Surface Pro 11th generation and Surface Laptop  7th generation at Build last month, Asus has unveiled its own hybrid detachable with Qualcomm’s new X Series chips inside.

The Asus ProArt PZ13 is a hybrid Windows tablet detachable, just like the Microsoft Surface Pro 11th Generation, and it is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Plus chipset, running at 20W. This slimline, ultralight machine launches alongside the more conventional Asus ProArt P16 and convertible Pro Art PX13 laptops, both of which are powered by AMD’s recently unveiled AMD AI Ryzen 300 series processors.

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Asus ProArt PZ13 hands-on review: Specifications

  • 13in 3K Asus Lumina OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus 20W processor
  • 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD
  • 9mm thin, 850g (tablet), 350g (keyboard case)
  • IP52 rating
  • 70Wh battery
  • Price: From £1,200 inc VAT
  • Availability: 2nd half of 2024 from the Asus website

Asus ProArt PZ13 hands-on review: Key features and first impressions

As well as being powered by a Qualcomm ARM chip, the Asus ProArt PZ13 is one of the first laptops to bear the Copilot+ branding – a new category of laptops announced alongside Microsoft’s new Surface machines last month.

Like its ProArt siblings – and all other Copilot+ laptops – it comes with the Copilot key to bring Microsoft’s AI companion to life in double quick time. It also benefits from several enhanced AI features that run on local hardware instead of the cloud, such as the ability to generate AI images locally and scroll back through your viewing history.

The Asus ProArt PZ13 pictured separated from its keyboard case against a black background

Ignoring the AI element for now, this is certainly a well-made machine, although at 9mm it isn’t the slimmest tablet I’ve ever picked up. Still, it’s reasonably light at 850g, while adding the magnetically attached keyboard only adds 350g to the overall weight.

The ProArt 13 is nicely designed but doesn’t slavishly follow the same design as Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It has a detachable rather than an integrated kickstand, keeping the weight of the tablet down when you want to use it on its own.

It’s IP52 rated, giving it light dust and water resistance and, perhaps more importantly for a device that’s nominally targeted at creative professionals, it has a decent array of physical inputs and outputs, including a full-sized SD card slot, which sits beneath a flap on the tablet’s left edge.

I spent a few moments with the laptop at the launch event, and the keyboard, in particular, stood out as being a fine example of the breed, with plenty of travel and good firm feedback on each keystroke. The OLED screen should be good, too – it’s one of Asus’ 120Hz 3K Lumina OLED panels, which have performed well in our tests on previous Asus laptops – and it supports the Asus Pen 2 stylus as well (not included).

But the key question here surrounds the PZ13’s Qualcomm chip. If Qualcomm’s claims about performance and battery life are true, Asus should have a potent ultraportable on its hands.

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Asus ProArt PX13: AMD to the fore

  • 13in 3K Asus Lumina OLED display
  • 360-degree hinge
  • AMD Ryzen AI 300 series CPU
  • Up to 32GB of RAM, up to 2TB SSD
  • Up to Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU
  • Weight: 1.3kg
  • Price: From £2,000 inc VAT
  • Availability: Pre-order from 3 June 2024 from the Asus website

Launched alongside the PZ13, the Asus ProArt PX13 is a more powerful machine but continues the non-Intel theme. Instead of a 14th Gen Intel CPU, it’s powered by the latest AMD Ryzen AI 300 series CPUs, comes with up to 32GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and an Nvidia GPU as well.

Unusually, for a laptop aimed at creators, this laptop has a 360-degree hinge so you can fold the screen back and over, and use it in tablet, tent and stand modes, in addition to the normal clamshell laptop configuration. Despite that – and the beefy components, the PX13 is remarkably lightweight, tipping the scales at a mere 1.3kg.

The Asus ProArt PX13 pictured in “tent” mode on a white surface

That’s not much heavier than a MacBook Air 13.6in and yet it offers a good deal more power than Apple’s eponymous portable.

As for usability, that looks pretty solid to me so far. The keyboard is nice to type on and the touchpad is sizeable. Plus, as you’d expect from a laptop in this class, there’s plenty of connectivity here, with two 40Gbits/sec-capable USB 4 ports, an HDMI output and a MicroSD card reader for convenient photo and video file transfers.

Asus ProArt P16: A lightweight powerhouse

  • 16in 4K OLED display
  • AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 CPU
  • Up to 64GB RAM, up to XXTB SSD
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU
  • Clam-shell design
  • 14.9mm thin, 1.85kg
  • Price: From £2,500
  • Availability: Pre-order from 3 June 2024 from the Asus website

The Asus ProArt P16 is the powerhouse of the new range, but it’s also the least interesting from a design point of view. It has a large 4K 16in OLED display but it’s mounted in a traditional clamshell laptop chassis.

It’s quite light and slim (14.9mm, 1.85kg) for a machine in its class and feels nicely put together. However, it does feel just a tad boring next to the other two new ProArt laptops.

The Asus ProArt P16 pictured on a white plinth at Asus HQ in Taipei.

Inside, just like the PX13, the P16 is powered by AMD’s latest Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 CPU, which is backed by a chunky 64GB of RAM and both USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Asus ProArt PZ13, PX13 and P16: Early verdict

It’s an exciting time in the world of laptops right now. The introduction of Qualcomm’s latest chips and now AMD’s new AI-focused silicon promise greater competition for Intel in laptops than at any time in recent memory.

We don’t know how well all this new tech is going to fare when it gets out into the real world just yet but the stream of new laptops – in particular from Asus this Computex – is certainly whetting our appetite.

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