The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 is a sleek and powerful creator laptop with a gorgeous OLED display and some interesting design touches.

All product photography by DL Cade

The Asus Studiobook 16 OLED is one of the best creator laptops we've had the chance to review. Not because it has a next-generation CPU (it doesn't) or the most powerful GPU (wrong again). It doesn't sport a super bright miniLED display, it's not HDR certified, and the AMD Ryzen version we're testing here doesn't even have Thunderbolt.

So why do we love it so much?

Because it delivers a balance of performance, build quality, portability, affordability, usability, and creative design that you just don't find in most 'creator' laptops on the market today. There is very little we didn't like about this well-rounded laptop, earning it the first 5 star rating we've given a PC since we started reviewing computers last year.



Key specifications:

Speaking of the few things we don't like, shopping for an Asus laptop is one of them. Since there's no Asus store where you can customize your build (understandable, but inconvenient) it's really difficult to figure out what model comes with what specs, or how much any given combination of specs is likely to cost.

The ProArt Studiobook 16 comes in OLED and non-OLED versions, with either 11th gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs, a variety of possible enterprise and non-enterprise NVIDIA GPUs, and can support up to 4TB of PCIe 3.0 NVMe storage and 64GB of DDR4-3200 MHz RAM. All of them qualify as "NVIDIA Studio" laptops – so they all meet a certain standard of performance and screen quality and come with NVIDIA's Studio drivers pre-installed – but there's are still a lot of options to choose from.

If we limit our search to the versions with an OLED display, there are four main model numbers – two with consumer GPUs and two with enterprise GPUs – with a variety of possible configurations available for each. In the table below, any specs that say 'up to' can be downgraded for more affordable SKUs, while the rest of the specs are set in stone for each model:

Intel Version AMD Version Intel Enterprise Version AMD Enterprise Version
Model Number H7600 H5600 W7600 W5600
CPU Up to Intel Core i9-11900H AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Up to Intel Xeon W-11955M AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

Up to NVIDIA RTX 3070

8GB VRAM

Up to NVIDIA RTX A5000

16GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX A2000

4GB VRAM

RAM Up to 64GB DDR4-3200

Up to 64GB DDR4-3200

Up to 64GB DDR4-3200

Up to 64GB DDR4-3200
Storage

Up to 4TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD

(2 x 2TB)

Up to 4TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD

(2 x 2TB)

Up to 4TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD

(2 x 2TB)

Up to 4TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD

(2 x 2TB

Display

16-inch 4K OLED Display

100% DCI-P3

16-inch 4K OLED Display

100% DCI-P3

16-inch 4K OLED Display

100% DCI-P3

16-inch 4K OLED Display

100% DCI-P3

Pricing is a bit more difficult to pin down, because there are several possible configurations for each model number.

In general, it appears that the non-enterprise versions range in price from about $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the display type, the GPU, the amount of RAM, and the amount of storage that comes pre-installed. The version we're testing sports an AMD Ryzen 5900HX, NVIDIA RTX 3070, 32GB of RAM and 2TB of NVMe storage (2x 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSDs), and our contacts at NVIDIA – who provided this computer for review – told us this configuration will run you 'about $2,200.'

In general, the non-enterprise versions range in price from about $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the type of display, the GPU, the amount of RAM, and the amount of storage that comes pre-installed.

However, pricing for the various OLED and non-OLED versions can range anywhere from $1,600 for an affordable 'Amazon-only' version to $5,000 for a fully loaded enterprise model with an Intel Xeon processor, NVIDIA A5000, 64GB of RAM and 4TB of storage.

All in all, the consumer pricing is extremely competitive. It makes competitors like Razer's Blade 17, MSI's Creator 17, Dell's XPS 17 and, of course, Apple's new MacBook Pro 16 look pretty steep by comparison. Each of these competitors is better than the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 in some categories and worse in others, but I'd argue that none of them can match the Asus once you factor in price.

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Design, build and usability

Asus made some creative choices in the design of the ProArt StudioBook 16, including a three-button trackpad and a physical dial.

Given its affordability, we expected the ProArt Studiobook 16 to sit somewhere in the middle of the 'build quality' pile. A little deck flex, middle-of-the-road trackpad, and a thicker design is par for the course if you're selling these kinds of specs for so little money. That is not what we found.

The Studiobook 16 is extremely well built, with practically no deck or screen flex and a surprisingly thin design given the number and variety of ports that Asus managed to include. On the left-hand side of the computer is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, the barrel plug for power, an HDMI 2.1 port that can support up to 4K 120Hz output, and two USB 3.2 Hen 2 Type-C ports with support for display and power delivery. On the right is a gigabit ethernet port, an audio combo jack, another USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and an SD Express 7.0 card slot.

The only thing missing from our model is Thunderbolt, but that's a limitation of every AMD-based laptop currently on the market. If you go with one of the Intel models, one of the USB Type-C ports is Thunderbolt 4/USB-4.

On the left-hand side, you'll find a Kensington lock, a USB Type-A port, an AC power plug, an HDMI 2.1 port, and two USB Type-C ports with display and power delivery.
On the right-hand side, you'll find an SD Express 7.0 card slot, an audio-combo jack, another USB Type-A port, and a Gigabit ethernet port.

Design and usability only gets better from here. Moving on to the keyboard deck, the Studiobook 16 has an excellent low-profile, full-sized keyboard with nice large key caps and a responsive glass-topped trackpad that feels great to the touch. In addition to these must-haves, Asus has also added two interesting features that make the Studiobook stand out: three physical buttons below the trackpad, and a mechanical dial.

The Studiobook 16 is extremely well built, with practically no deck or screen flex, and a surprisingly thin design given the variety of ports that Asus managed to include.

The middle button on the trackpad is meant to control things like pan, rotate or orbit in 3D applications. That probably doesn't apply to our audience, but it's nice to have the option. The mechanical dial, on the other hand, is extremely useful for both photo and video editing. Press it, and a context menu will pop up that shows you some of the controls available to you in whatever app you happen to be using.

The default desktop controls are just Volume and Brightness, but once you're in an application like Photoshop, the menu expands to offer everything from zoom and rotate, to navigating layers, to adjusting brush size, opacity, and flow. I found it very handy inside Photoshop, especially when paired with a drawing tablet, and it has a very satisfying click and press mechanic.

The Studiobook 16 features a three-button trackpad for 3D applications and a physical dial that can be used to adjust everything from brightness to brush size in Photoshop.

It's rare that a company gets a 'gimmick' like this right. Apple notoriously missed with the Touch Bar, and Asus have made some mistakes of their own in the past, but this is a home run. A physical addition to the keyboard deck of a laptop that quickly feels second-nature once you begin using it.

In Photoshop, the mechanical dial allows you to control everything from zoom and rotate, to navigating layers, to adjusting brush size, opacity, and flow.

Finally, it's worth mentioning the upgradability of the laptop. The underside is held on by 10 Phillips-head screws, with one screw sporting a discrete plastic add-on that notifies the factory if you've tinkered with your laptop (and voided your warranty). That's a little annoying, but once the back panel has been removed, you have easy access to both RAM slots and both PCIe 3.0 M.2 slots, making this laptop extremely upgradable.

This is a little better than the Dell XPS 17, which uses special Torx screws on the underside, and leaps better than the MSI Creator 17, which hides the RAM slots underneath the motherboard, forcing you to take the whole thing apart if you want to upgrade later.

Removing the rear panel of the Studiobook 16 reveals easy access to both RAM slots and both M.2 slots.
The Studiobook 16 gives users easy access to both RAM slots and both PCIe 3.0 M.2 slots, making this laptop extremely upgradable.

Asus deserves credit for building something that checks all of the most important boxes from the standpoint of a creator working with photos, videos, or 3D design. The laptop is sturdy without being heavy, features tons of I/O without being thick, and it puts a heavy emphasis on the quality of those features that you interact with on a daily basis: the keyboard, the trackpad, the mechanical dial and, of course, the display.

Given the affordable price and the ease with which you can upgrade the RAM and storage later, this should be a top choice for budget-conscious creators who don't want to sacrifice screen quality, screen size, or portability in exchange for performance.

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Screen quality

The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 was extremely well-calibrated out of the box, with a white point pegged to D65 and an average Delta E of < 2.

Every time we review a laptop with an OLED display, we're reminded why this technology is almost certainly the future of wide gamut, color accurate monitors. There are definitely downsides, particularly where longevity and brightness are concerned, but the color and contrast is simply unmatched.

This is even more so the case with the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED, which (as the name suggests) features a glossy 16-inch Samsung RGB OLED display that has been factory calibrated and Pantone validated to offer approximately 100% coverage of DCI-P3 and an average Delta E of less than 2.

Based on our testing, this is one of the best factory calibrated displays we've ever used in a laptop. Out of the box, the white point of this display was already spot on to the D65 white point that you should probably be using if you're doing any kind of photo or video editing for a digital medium. I don't think I've ever tested a laptop display that was this well calibrated out of the box:

The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 factory calibration is spot on, with a white point perfectly balanced to D65 right out of the box.

After checking the white point, we ran a measurement report on the factory profile and found that it lived up to Asus promises, with an average Delta E of 1.92, a maximum Delta E 4.12, and a gamut that looks to be pegged to the DCI-P3 primaries. In the screenshot below, the multicolored line is the measured panel gamut with the factory profile applied, and the dashed line is DCI-P3.

Based on our testing, the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED has one of the best factory calibrated displays we've ever used in a laptop.
The factory profile seems to have the panel's primaries (multi-colored line) pegged to DCI-P3 (dashed line), but the panel's native gamut is actually quite larger.
When tested, the factory profile shows an average Delta E of 1.92 and a maximum Delta E of 4.12.

This is already pretty good, but that maximum Delta E is less than ideal and it seemed strange that the panel is perfectly aligned with DCI-P3. So we used DisplayCAL to profile the display's native panel gamut, as measured, with no additional calibration whatsoever.

The result: the native panel gamut is actually quite a bit larger than DCI-P3, and the maximum Delta E of this display once it's appropriately profiled is just 0.78, with an average Delta E of 0.19. Here's the measurement report, created after a basic profile with no additional calibration curves applied and no adjustment made to the white point:

As you can see, the measured panel gamut using our profile (right) is quite a bit larger than the factory profile (left):

The factory calibration (left) is pegged to the DCI-P3 primaries (dotted line), but the native panel gamut (right) is actually quite a bit larger.

For whatever reason, the profile produced by Asus during factory calibration is set to emulate DCI-P3, with no option to calibrate to the native panel gamut inside the 'ProArt Creator Hub.' The software will allow you to re-calibrate the display if you have an XRite i1Display Pro colorimeter, but you can't specify the target gamut or target white point.

The good news: the built-in system appropriately calibrates your white point so that it's spot on to D65, so all you have to do to take full advantage of this display is create a basic profile in an application like DisplayCAL. The bad news: if you don't have any way to profile the display yourself, you're stuck with a factory profile that clips your display primaries to DCI-P3 by default.

If you can profile the display at home, both the color gamut and color accuracy of this display are some of the best you'll find in a laptop.

If you can profile the display at home, both the color gamut and color accuracy of this display are some of the best you'll find in a laptop. Not only does the display cover 99.9% of DCI-P3 with a perfect white point out of the box, the native panel gamut wide enough to cover 97% of AdobeRGB at the same time:

Beyond the calibration limitations mentioned above, there are only two other issues with the display, which are really limitations of current-gen OLED technology:

  1. The display can't get bright enough for true HDR performance. Based on our measurements, you can expect between 300 and 400 nits max.
  2. You may eventually experience color shifts or burn in depending on how and how much you use the screen on a day to day basis, although Asus includes some automated 'OLED Care' settings that should prevent this from happening for a very long time.

If you're okay with both of these issues, then we can't praise the screen in this laptop enough. It's one of the best, and best calibrated, display's we've ever tested in a laptop.

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Performance benchmarks

The Studiobook 16 is among the fastest laptops we've ever tested for photo editing.

The main reasons we've enjoyed using the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED have nothing to do with performance. It's a well-built laptop with a great design and excellent display, and that's a trifecta that many high-performance laptops fail to achieve because they trade a boatload of convenience for a cupful of raw performance. But that's not to say that this laptop's performance is bad, or even sub-par.

In fact, despite using a more efficient CPU and GPU than some of its Intel-based competitors, it's still among the fastest laptops we've tested, especially for photo editing.

For today's comparisons, we tested the Studiobook 16 against the MSI Creator 17, the Dell XPS 17, and an Apple MacBook Pro 14 with an M1 Pro:

Asus Studiobook 16 MSI Creator 17 Dell XPS 17 Apple MacBook Pro
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Intel Core i9-11900H Intel Core i7-11800H M1 Pro 10-core
GPU

NVIDIA RTX 3070

NVIDIA RTX 3080

16GB VRAM

NVIDIA RTX 3060

6GB VRAM

M1 Pro 16-core
RAM 32GB DDR4-3200MHz 32GB DDR4-3200MHz 32GB DDR4-3200MHz 32GB Unified Memory
Storage 2TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD 2TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD 1TB Integrated SSD
Display

16-inch 4K OLED Display

100% DCI-P3

17-inch 4K HDR miniLED Display

100% DCI-P3

17-inch 4K UHD+ LCD Display

100% Adobe RGB

14-inch 4K HDR miniLED Display

100% DCI-P3

Price $2,200 $3,800 $2,800 $2,900

We do still have an M1 Max MacBook Pro 16 on hand, but that's a $4,300 configuration with 64GB of RAM and we don't wanna give Apple an unfair advantage if we can help it. If you want to see how the fully-loaded M1 Max compares to the laptops reviewed here, you can check out our full review of that laptop here.

Despite using a more efficient CPU and GPU than some of its Intel-based competitors, the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 is still among the fastest laptops we've tested, especially for photo editing.

Based on my experience testing a plethora of Apple Silicon devices over the past two years, the performance of the M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14 below should be nearly identical to a larger MacBook Pro 16 with identical specs, which would cost you $3,100.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

To test Lightroom Classic performance, we use 100 copies of the Raw studio scene photo from the 20MP Canon EOS R6, the 47MP Nikon Z7 II, the 61MP Sony a7R IV, and 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100.

The 'import' benchmark tests how long it takes to import each set of 100 raw photos and generate 1:1 previews; the 'export' benchmarks tests how long it takes to export those same photos as full-sized, 100% quality JPEGs after applying a custom preset chock full of global edits. Generally speaking, this is a good test of the pure CPU (import) and CPU+memory (export) performance, since Adobe Lightroom Classic doesn't use the GPU to accelerate either of these two tasks.

At import, we see the AMD-powered Studiobook 16 fall a little behind the competition, which are all using newer 11th-gen Intel or Apple Silicon processors with overall faster performance:

Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fujifilm GFX 100 Import
Studiobook 16 1:27 2:31 2:47 6:01
Dell XPS 17 1:29 2:23 2:39 5:28
MSI Creator 17 1:24 2:19 2:31 5:38
Apple MBP 14 1:24 2:16 2:24 6:00

Exports are a different story. While the MacBook Pro sweeps this category thanks to its faster Unified Memory Architecture, the Studiobook 16 is as fast or even faster than the other two PCs depending on the size of the files being exported. Since all three of these PCs use DDR4-3200MHz RAM, it's all down to optimization and how well the CPU manages the memory at its disposal:

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fujifilm GFX 100 Export
Studiobook 16 3:23 7:24 10:10 21:38
Dell XPS 17 3:33 7:40 9:56 24:51
MSI Creator 17 3:34 7:46 9:54 21:09
M1 Pro MBP 2:39 5:17 6:46 11:24

Capture One Pro 22

Our Capture One Pro benchmarks are pretty much identical to Lightroom Classic. We use the same 100 Raw files from the same four cameras, and the only real difference is that we generate the default 2560px previews since there's no 1:1 option in Capture One.

The Asus Studiobook 16 fares significantly better in this import test, posting the fastest time for three of the four cameras tested. We can't know for sure, but this may be the case for two reasons:

  1. Capture One Pro 22 is better optimized to use multiple cores and take advantage of the AMD Ryzen processor's excellent multi-threaded performance.
  2. Capture One Pro 22 uses the GPU to accelerate both import and export, allowing the Studiobook 16 to use its NVIDIA RTX 3070 to make up some ground on the Dell XPS 17 and outperform the Mac in every category.
Canon EOS R6 Import Nikon Z7 II Import Sony a7R IV Import Fujifilm GFX 100 Import
Studiobook 16 00:39 00:52 1:03 1:37
Dell XPS 17 00:49 1:14 1:32 2:10
MSI Creator 17 00:41 00:55 1:04 1:33
M1 Pro MBP 00:42 1:03 1:17 2:03

Exports play out similarly. Because of GPU acceleration, all the PCs make up some ground on the MacBook Pro 14, using the NVIDIA RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 in the XPS 17, Studiobook 16, and Creator 17, respectively, to close the gap despite Apple's faster unified memory.

This is where having a discrete GPU begins to pay dividends, especially as file sizes get larger. Once you get to the 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100 raw files, the Studiobook 16 and MSI Creator 17 both outperform the Mac, with the Studiobook posting a significant win over every other computer we tested:

Canon EOS R6 Export Nikon Z7 II Export Sony a7R IV Export Fujifilm GFX 100 Export
Studiobook 16 1:25 2:57 3:32 5:58
Dell XPS 17 1:48 3:49 4:28 7:13
MSI Creator 17 1:34 3:19 4:00 6:23
M1 Pro MBP 1:11 2:54 3:32 6:43

Adobe Photoshop

To test Photoshop performance, we use Puget Systems well-known 'PugetBench' benchmark, which you can learn about here. For our purposes, we actually use an older version of this benchmark (version 0.8) because it was the last version to include a Photo Merge test and, since it's a script and not a plugin, it's fully compatible with Apple Silicon.

This puts all four of our computers on an equal footing, and the Studiobook 16 performs... well... as expected. It's a bit faster than the Dell XPS 17 with its Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU, but a bit slower than the MSI Creator 17 with its Core i9 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU. However, as we've seen ever since the Apple Silicon M1 was released, the Mac is unbeatable in this benchmark. It's ultra-fast CPU and RAM make up for any deficit in the GPU department, leaving the rest of the computers in the dust.

Overall General GPU Filter PhotoMerge
Studiobook 16 1022 108.7 109.6 87.2 119.1
Dell XPS 17 996.9 108.2 109.8 84.2 113.7
MSI Creator 17 1033.8 111.5 116.5 87.1 119.8
M1 Pro MBP 1218.7 124.8 108.0 100.3 159.1

Adobe Premiere Pro

Our fourth and final benchmark tests video editing performance in Adobe Premiere Pro, which is notoriously hard on your CPU, GPU, and RAM ... all at the same time.

For this test, we take a 4K project made up of 8K Sony a1 footage (see below) and run it through four different tests: Render All, export Master File (using Previews), export H.264, and export H.265. To wrap things up, we also test how long it takes Premiere Pro to Warp Stabilize a 15-second clip from this same shoot.

You can watch the video used in these benchmarks below:

In general, this is where the Studiobook 16 really struggled, falling well behind the Dell, MSI, and Apple laptops in three of our four tests. It appears that the AMD CPU and NVIDIA GPU simply don't play well together, giving the Intel-based laptops and the Apple Silicon Mac an advantage any time serious video encoding or transcoding is taking place.

In these tests, the Studiobook 16 falls behind both the MSI Creator 17 and Apple MacBook Pro 14 by over a minute. That translates into a 21% to 30% decrease in performance compared to the Intel-based MSI, and a whopping 31% to 38% decrease in performance compared to the Apple Silicon-based Mac.

This is one use case where having an AMD Ryzen CPU really seems to hurt performance when compared to similar Intel-based PCs with NVIDIA GPUs. Hopefully Adobe and/or NVIDIA can further optimize this combination of CPU/GPU, but for now, it's a tradeoff you need to keep in mind.

Render All Export Master File Export H.264 Export HEVC/H.265 Warp Stabilize
Studiobook 16 4:56 00:10 4:25 4:24 2:21
Dell XPS 17 4:12 00:15 3:57 3:41 2:32
MSI Creator 17 3:53 00:12 3:27 3:06 2:32
M1 Pro MBP 3:04 00:12 2:57 3:01 2:13

Performance Takeaways

With the exception of Premiere Pro, where the performance suffered in a large and measurable way, the Asus Studiobook 16 keeps pace with the latest and greatest hardware we've been able to test. In every other benchmark, the difference in performance between the $2,200 Studiobook 16 and the $3,800 MSI Creator 17 is often minuscule, with the Asus claiming several key wins along the way despite its much lower price, more efficient CPU, and slightly weaker GPU.

In my opinion, this combination of an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and NVIDIA RTX 3070 is the sweet spot for photo editors who want high performance without sacrificing a ton of portability to get there. Nice as it is to have the top-of-the-line specs, only a few applications take full advantage of the extra CUDA cores and VRAM that comes with a much more expensive NVIDIA RTX 3080, and extra performance you get from an 11th-gen Intel CPU may not be worth the extra heat and power draw unless you spend a lot of time in Adobe Premiere Pro.

This combination of an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and NVIDIA RTX 3070 is the sweet spot for photo editors who want high performance without sacrificing a ton of portability to get there.

In terms of creative performance, just like design and build quality, the Studiobook 16 strikes the a great balance between raw power and usability, making it one of my favorite laptops I've tested to date.

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The ideal balance of performance, usability, and price

The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 is one of the best all-around creator PCs we've tested, pairing solid performance with an excellent design at a great price.
What We Like What We Don't Like
  • Wide-gamut OLED display with excellent factory calibration
  • Top shelf photo and video editing performance
  • Built in dial and three-button trackpad are actually useful
  • Great build quality
  • Tons of ports
  • Easy to upgrade both RAM and storage
  • Factory profile maps to DCI-P3 instead of native panel gamut
  • No way to manually adjust the display's white point or set a target color gamut using built-in calibration
  • No Thunderbolt support on AMD version
  • Premiere Pro performance suffers on AMD version

Asus has been taking a lot of risks over the past few years: they were one of the first PC makers to use AMD Ryzen CPUs in their high-end laptops, and they've experimented with interesting design choices like secondary displays, digital number pads, and mechanical dials. This creative, competitive attitude is paying off, and the ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED is just the latest example.

The things that make one high-end creator laptop stand out from another often have little to do with raw performance. Like cameras, just about any laptop that costs $2,000 or more will tear through your photo and video editing workflow like wet tissue paper, and the differences between two similar options – as the performance benchmarks above clearly show – are typically measured in seconds, not minutes.

In every way that matters most, the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 meets or exceeds what I've seen from competing 16- and 17-inch laptops on the market, while charging less.

When you're choosing between two or three laptops in the same category and price range, the real differentiators will be things like build quality, screen quality, and design touches that directly impact usability such as RAM and storage upgradability, port selection, and the quality of the keyboard and trackpad.

This is what makes the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED my new favorite creator PC, and the first Windows laptop to earn 5 out of 5 stars since I started reviewing computers at DPReview. In every way that matters most, the Studiobook 16 meets or exceeds what I've seen from competing 16- and 17-inch laptops on the market, while charging less.

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