The AsusPro put up solid performance numbers in various benchmarks, though it wasn't as powerful as some competitors when I put it through real-life testing. I had 20 tabs open (one of which was streaming a 1080p clip from "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on YouTube), and the computer started lagging when I began switching tabs. The vents started pushing out hot air with just seven tabs open.
On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the AsusPro notched a score of 7,238, which is on a par with the XPS 13 (Core i5-7200U, 7,287) and surpasses the ultraportable average (6,929). The X1 Carbon (Core i7-7600U) outperformed the pack, with a score of 8,751.
The AsusPro completed our OpenOffice spreadsheet macro test (pairing 20,000 names and addresses) in 4 minutes and 2 seconds. That's faster than the 5:58 average and the EliteBook Folio's 4:21. The XPS 13 and the ThinkPad x1 completed the task more quickly.
The speakers on the AsusPro aren't the loudest, but they were better than I expected for a laptop that's so thin. I had to pump up the volume almost all the way to fill our midsize meeting room while listening to Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue," but it did the job. The vocals, guitar, drums and violin were clear, but I couldn't make out the bass at all.
I tried switching between profiles in the ICEpower AudioWizard app, and I found there were two means of improvement. Gaming mode added a little more oomph on the low end, while I got more volume and clearer guitars on movie mode. (I stuck with the latter.)
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on the AsusPro takes some time to get used to. First of all, it's on an angle. Although that may be comfortable on the wrists, it's not the type of experience I expect from a laptop. With 1.4 millimeters of travel, the keys feel shallow and didn't provide the responsive tactile feel I like, even though they require a heavy 70 grams of force to press down. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 108 words per minute (just over my 107-wpm average), but my error rate was 7 percent, up from my usual 2 percent.
The screen on the AsusPro is on the cool side, with a slight blue tint. When I watched a 1080p trailer for Justice League, the faces of characters such as Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and the Flash were slightly off from their actors' skin tones, though the bright red in Cyborg's armor still stood out. The screen is sharp, though, and I could make out all of the scales on Aquaman's suit.
The panel covers an excellent 103 percent of the sRGB color gamut, surpassing the ultraportable category average of 95 percent as well as the XPS 13 (84 percent) and the EliteBook Folio (72 percent). The X1 Carbon is slightly more vivid, at 104 percent.
But jeez, the screen is inaccurate. It registered a disturbingly high Delta-E score of 6.7 (0 is ideal), far above the average of 2.4. The X1 Carbon had a score of 4.4, and the XPS 13 (1.3) and EliteBook Folio (0.6) were more precise.
The panel measured an average of 291 nits of brightness, falling below the average (301 nits) and the XPS 13 (302 nits), but it was brighter than the 104-nit X1 Carbon and the 288-nit EliteBook Folio.
Security and Durability
Asus claims that the AsusPro is MIL-STD-810G tested against shocks, severe temperatures and drops, so it should be more than able to withstand business travel. The company also says the keyboard is spill-resistant. For security, the laptop has a fingerprint reader that's compatible with Windows Hello to let users log in with a touch. Additionally, it comes with vPro for remote management.
The Asus Business Manager app has a File Shredder tool to permanently delete files from the recycle bin.
Design: Ready to Travel
At first glance, the AsusPro isn't much to look at. It's a gunmetal-gray, magnesium-alloy computer with Asus' logo in silver on the lid. But when you open the laptop, you see a bit of ingenuity: The lid is slightly longer than the base of the laptop, which causes the keyboard to be slanted up a few degrees when it's open. You'll also find the 14-inch, 1080p nearly bezel-less display, as well as a Chiclet-style keyboard.