ASUS ZenBook UX305

Asus ZenBook UX305

With the ZenBook series, Asus has long been a good competitor to Apple when it comes to Ultrabook. Since the release of the first model, ZenBook series totally redefined the Ultrabook with its premium metal look and feel, and our review model ASUS ZenBook UX305 is not an exception.

To be honest, The Asus UX305 is quite simply one of the most exciting Ultrabook I have seen this year. Basically, it is a 13.3 inch MacBook Air styled laptop with Windows operating system, Incredible build quality and surprisingly affordable price. If you look at the specs, except for the processor, it’s not bad either. This ZenBook sport a relatively weak Core M series processor, but where else are you going to find a super slim-elegant aluminum covered Ultrabook with 8 GB memory, 256GB of solid state storage and a 1080p IPS screen just for $699? Moreover, if you are a student, you can get a $60 student discount from the Microsoft, and get the laptop for only $639!


Incredibly thin and light

Great aluminum build

Bright matte screen

Noise free Fanless design

Long battery life

Decent performance

Decent keyboard and touchpad

Good price/performance ratio


Mediocre processor

No touchscreen

No keyboard backlit

Poor quality webcam

Mediocre speakers




Brand: Asus

Model: ZenBook UX305

Processor: 0.80 GHz Intel Core M 5Y10

Graphics: Intel HD 5300 Graphics

Memory: 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz

SSD: 256 GB

HDD: none

Optical Drive: none

Display Type:  IPS matte screen

Screen Size: 13.3 inch

Screen Resolution:  Full HD (1920×1080)

Audio: Conexant SmartAudio HD stereo speakers

Keyboard: Chiclet style keyboard

Navigation:  4.1 x 2.9 inches touchpad

Camera: 720p webcam

Video Ports: Micro HDMI port

Audio Ports: Combo headphone jack

Total USB Ports: 3

USB 2.0 Ports: 0

USB 3.0 Ports: 3

Media Ports: SD reader

Wi-Fi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7265

Bluetooth: 4.0

Ethernet: N/A

Battery: 45 Wh Battery

Battery Life: 11 hours

Width: 12.75 inches / 32.4 cm

Depth: 8.89 inches / 22.6 cm

Height: 0.48 inches / 1.2 cm

Weight: 2.6 pounds /  1.2 kg

Operating System: 64 bit Windows 8.1

Warranty: 12 months Limited

Base Price: $699 ($639 with student discount)


Build and Design

Basically, the ZenBook UX305 is a thinner MacBook Air with a much better screen and aluminum body. The aluminum chassis feels solid and durable. The lid is decorated with a subtle laser-cut circle pattern that radiates outward from the center with the silver Asus logo in the middle. Now, if you open the lid, there is an aluminum deck complemented by a black Chiclet style keyboard and spacious touchpad.

Asus ZenBook UX305 design

Asus has paid a lot of attention to detail on some aspects of the UX305. The hinge can be an example of that, which will allow you to open it with just one finger despite the device’s low mass. The display will open to 128°, which is a reasonable amount for a traditional notebook computer.

Anyway, with a half inch thickness and 2.6 pound weight, he UX305 is even thinner than the Dell XPS 13 and previous MacBook Air. Though personally I wouldn’t compare it with premium Ultrabooks like a MacBook Air or Dell XPS, but it’s all surprisingly good considering the price.


With grippy Chiclet style keys and plenty of space, the keyboard is quite comfortable. With a good spacious layout and nice key action. I had no problem getting up to full typing speed in good lighting conditions and was able to type consistently and quickly whether on move or sitting on a chair. The only downside is a lack of backlighting, making typing in the dark a possible pain. Though I didn’t expect it on a laptop at this price, but I still miss it.

Asus ZenBook UX305 keyboard


The touchpad of the UX305 is fairly large as well (almost similar to the MacBook Air 13″). However, it is not really that great. It is reliable and don’t have any big problem, but it sometimes misses touches, two finger gestures and often makes a click sound.


Considering the size and thickness, the UX305 sports a decent number of ports.

Asus ZenBook UX305 ports left

There are  two USB 3.0 ports on the left along with an SD card reader, while on the other hand the right side has another USB 3.0 port, the power connector, headset jack, and micro-HDMI port.

Asus ZenBook UX305 ports right

Sadly, there was no room for an Ethernet port on a device this slim.


To me, the screen of the UX305 is the best part. A 1080p IPS display on such an affordable laptop is quite something.

Asus ZenBook UX305 display 1

With sRGB color gamut of 85.2%, 1368:1 contrast ratio, This 13.3 inch screen has a pleasing quality to the and fine details. It has a 271cd/m2 backlight and easily visible even in brightly lit conditions, but this comes at the cost of a little fidelity; there’s a slightly messy grain over the screen coating that is sometimes noticeable when looking at light grays and whites.

Asus ZenBook UX305 display 2


The one area where the UX305 performed poorly was color accuracy. And considering all other aspects, personally I am totally pleased with the screen.

Asus ZenBook UX305 display 3


To be honest, audio quality of the UX305 is fairly average overall. The speakers positioned underneath the laptop base doesn’t cause a big issue with sound projection though, as I was expecting. The volume is sufficient, it’s just not nearly as loud or quite as punchy as our MacBook Air. Turn things up a little too loud and the Asus struggles to keep the quality too. It’s not bad audio by any means, just not as great as they advertised.

Asus ZenBook UX305 audio


The performance of the UX305 isn’t that incredible, but it’s more than a match for your spreadsheets, documents, family photos and favorite websites.

Asus ZenBook UX305 performance

The UX305 sports a Core M-5Y10 processor. It is a dual-core, quad-thread CPU with an 800 MHz base frequency, and 2 GHz boost frequency. The Core M processor has the added benefit of allowing Asus to create a completely Fanless system, so even under heavy load, this laptop will not make even a tiny bit of noise!


In terms of graphics horsepower, the UX305 has an Intel HD Graphics 5300. This is about as far from a gaming laptop as you can get. When I played skyrim, it was hard to get more than 30 fps, even at medium settings. Clearly, it’s not at all suited to extreme gaming. However, you probably will be able to play some light games on it.

Asus ZenBook UX305 gaming

On the other hand, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM is quite sufficient. The only problem is you won’t be able to upgrade your memory in the future. Also 256 GB of solid state storage is enough, considering, everyone nowadays has portable HDDs and often uses cloud storages.

Heat and Noise

Things couldn’t be simpler when it comes to Fanless laptops. They are always silent, no matter how hot they get. In case of UX305, the lid has a slight overhang on the back, to help keep the system cool.

As for just how hot it gets, the actual processor stays surprisingly cool, hitting just 60 C. However, the outer aluminum body does get warm when under load. And though it is nowhere near enough to be a concern, at least in most conditions, if it’s a hot day and you’re wearing shorts you may want to be careful about putting this laptop on your lap.


When it comes to customization, you don’t really have much choice. So far, there are only 2 versions available. The one I tested, sports a 13-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel matte display, an Intel Core M 5Y10 CPU, 8GB of RAM a 256GB SSD, and has a price tag of $699.

There is a QHD+ model featuring a glossy 3200 x 1800p touch screen for $999. The rest of the specs are same for both models.

Wrap Up

The Asus UX305 is one of the best economic Ultrabook, if not the best. Its stylish, well built, thin, light, awesome screen and battery life will attract any Ultrabook lover. It’s cheaper than the current MacBook Air, has more RAM, thinner design, and has a higher resolution screen, what could you expect more? If you don’t mind the Core M processor, and can live with it, the UX305 is literally the best ultraportable laptop you can get under $700!

ASUS X550CA Review


Here we are again, going over another laptop of Asus. The combination of Decent specs and flawless design made Asus X550CA an ideal business-oriented Ultrabook. This 15.6-inch laptop has an immense range of advanced technologies and that made it capable of delivering well-balanced performance while holding an elegant and classic look. If you are looking for a laptop with excellent configuration and fashionable appearance, this is the right thing for you.

Practical and sensible users who are in need of a laptop for everyday entertainment and tasks, consider getting this beauty which is available on Amazon with base price as low as $450. Read More

ASUS VivoBook Q301LA Review


We are using touchscreen technology everywhere. Windows 8 is not a new thing to us anymore. But what is new to us is, a touchscreen notebook with an inexpensive price tag where we can enjoy windows 8 and its true potential. With the new Asus VivoBook Q301LA, we are able to experience everything we were looking for without worrying about the price. If you want something stylish, something you can easily carry, something with decent specs, you must consider this new 13.3 inch touchscreen notebook. It not only has a good price and stylish design, but also has the latest Haswell technology of Intel with a 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor combined with Asus splendid technology which will ensure you powerful mobile computing experience. It also comes with Intel HD 4400 graphics (good for enjoying some low-end gaming), a commonly used 4GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB internal storage. This Asus Q301LA notebook is actually the same as the S301LA, with the Q model being sold only in some selected regions, where S model is widely available all over the world with a price tag of around $600. Read More

ASUS X200-MA Touch Screen Laptop $200 One Day Only (5/6) at Microsoft Store

Now this is a sweet deal, for one day only on 5/6/2014 the Microsoft Store will be offering a brand new ASUS X200-MA touchscreen laptop for only $200.  That’s $100 off the regular price and you get these specs:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N 2815 2.13 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • Screen: 11.6-Inch Screen, touchscreen
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Battery: 5-hour battery life
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Web Camera
  • Ports:  SDHC card reader, Headphone/Mic combined port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports, a RJ-45 LAN port,  VGA port, an HDMI port, and a USB 3.0 port


This model retails regularly for $299.99 on so you’re saving 33% here with the $200 price tag.  Keep in mind this is a fully fledged laptop with full Windows 8.1 OS.  It also has all the ports you need and ample onboard storage, not like a Chromebook that might be similarly priced but have a limited OS and storage.  The deal starts at 12 a.m. PDT May 6th according to the Microsoft Blog, so get that buy button finger ready!

Link to Deal:  Asus X200-MA for $200 at Microsoft Store One Day Only

Asus Touchscreen 1080p Ultrabook $479 Refurbished has a nice deal on a refurbished Asus Q501LA via eBay.  The Asus Q501LA laptop for sale has a 1080p touchscreen display and 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor.  The full specs for this machine are below:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4200U 2.6GHz
  • Memory: 6GB DDR3 Memory
  • Storage: 750GB Hard Drive
  • Display: 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS LED Slim Touch Display w/ Webcam
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4400 Graphics
  • Ports: 2x USB 3.0
  • Wireless: WiFi + Bluetooth + WiDi
  • Battery Life Up to 4 1/2 hrs Battery
  • OS: Windows 8


Note that the weight at 5.1lbs isn’t exactly feather light, but for a 15.6” screen laptop it’s not bad, and it’s very thin at 0.9”.  Most people that purchase these Asus refurbished machines report they are in excellent condition.  If you’re nervous about the working order, you can purchase an extended 1-year warranty for around $30.  Stock is limited, so if you’re interested grab one while you can:

Link to Deal:  Asus Touchscreen 1080p Laptop for $479

ASUS X102BA-BH41T Touchscreen Laptop (Pink) for $199

If you need a Valentine’s gift and that special loved one of yours likes tech, then the Pink Asus X102BA touchscreen netbook laptop is on sale for a mere $199 at the Microsoft Store right now.  That’s $50 cheaper than it’s ever been before.  Now, we’ll grant you there’s nothing special about the specs of this machine outside of the touchscreen feature:


  • Model:  ASUS X102BA-BH41T Touchscreen Laptop (Pink)
  • Screen: 10.1 in HD LED (1366 x 768) with 10-finger multi-touch support
  • Processor: AMD A4-1200
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3L 1066 MHz
  • Storage: 320GB 5400 RPM HDD
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Graphics: AMD HD 8180 Graphics with shared graphics memory
  • Ports: 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, Headphone output/Microphone input combo,  RJ-45 (10/100)
  • Battery: 3-cell lithium-ion (up to 5 hours)
  • Dimensions :10.50 x 7.30 x 1.10 in (266.70 x 185.42 x 27.94 mm)
  • Weight: 2.40 lbs (1.08 kg)

But even though those specs won’t amaze, for $199 it’s what you’d expect.  Even with that lowly AMD A4 processor that’s on board you’ll still be able to do web surfing and all your typical basic computing tasks.  Just check out this YouTube review to see that:

Asus X102BA Review

Yes, it’s slow, but it’ll get you where you want to go (eventually).  And did I mention this is only $199 and it’s pink and Valentine’s Day is in two weeks?

Link to Deal: Asus X102BA for $199 at the Microsoft Store

ASUS X202E 11.6" Touchscreen Laptop $299 at eBay

The price for touchscreen Windows 8 laptops doesn’t get much better than this – eBay Daily Deals is offering a refurbished Asus X202E VivoBook 11.6″ touchscreen laptop for $299 in limited quantities.  The X202E on sale comes from eBay seller Geekdeal, they have a 99%+ positive feedback rating and the refurbished X202E is Asus authorized and as such there is a 90-day manufacturer warranty offered.  This same system retails for $497.90 new on, so you’re saving a couple of hundred bucks here.  Let’s take a look at the specs for this Asus X202E model on sale:

  • Screen: 11.6″ 16:9 HD (1366×768) LED Backlight
  • Processor:  Intel Core i3 3217U 1.8GHz Processor
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 2.5″ SATA 500GB 5400RPM
  • Ports: 1 x combo audio/microphone jack, VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor, USB 3.0 port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert, 1 x HDMI
  • Dimensions: 12 x 7.8 x 0.85 inch (WxDxH)
  • Color: Silver
  • Wireless: Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Built-in Bluetooth V4.0, 10/100 Base T


Those specs aren’t too shabby for $299, the fact it’s refurbished means there may be a few cosmetic blemishes (think a small scratch or knick here and there), or it could be a model that was ordered and unboxed but never really used.  Either way, it will be certified that all internals are in perfect working condition and the OS will have been restored to its original factory settings so it’s in original operating order.   The Asus X202E weighs in at a mere 2.9lbs and is 0.85-inches thin so this could be an ideal option for those that want a small on the go laptop to throw in the old backpack.

Link to Deal: Asus X202E VivoBook for $299

Asus Zenbook UX31A Ultrabook with Intel Core i5 for $570

The Asus Zenbook UX31A Ultrabook is on sale at via their eBay store for an excellent $570.  The Zenbook on sale has impressive specs for the price.  The Zenbook UX31A has a 13.3” screen with 1600 x 900 resolution screen, Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, backlit keyboard and incredibly light weight of 2.90 pounds and 0.70-inch thickness.   We should note that this model on sale comes with the Windows 7 OS, but for many that will actually be a good thing as this is not a touchscreen device and therefore Windows 8 would yield little benefit.  The sale price of $570 for the Asus UX31A lasts two more days, or while supplies last.  Compare that price to the typical $900 price on and you can see there are some definite costs savings here.  We should note this UX31A on sale does not have the Full HD screen many other models have, it’s simply HD+ (1600 x 900), but for most that will be more than sufficient on a 13.3” screen.


Link to Deal: Asus Zenbook UX31A Ultrabook for $570

Asus ViVoBook S500 Touch Screen Windows 8 Laptop now Available

Asus launched a couple of new notebook additions to its VivoBook lineup this week in the form of the S500 and S550 15-inchers.  The VivoBook S500 comes with a set Intel Core i5 1.7GHz configuration while the S550 comes with a selection of Core i3, i5 or i7 processors depending on the model number.  Right now the VivoBook S500CA is available via for $699 that comes with an Intel Core i5 1.7GHz, 6GB RAM, 500GB HD + 24GB SSD, a disappointing 1366 x 768 resolution display that’s slightly offset by the positive news that it is touch screen capable to make the Windows 8 experience more enjoyable.  The VivoBook 500 weighs in at 4.6lbs, which is very light for a 15-inch notebook, which is the point of the series as it’s supposed to be “ultrabook like”.  The form factor is very slim at only 0.80 inches, but of course you sacrifice having an optical drive given the thinness.


There aren’t too many budget oriented 15” sub $700 notebooks out there on the market right now so the Asus VivoBook S500 does sit in somewhat of a niche at the moment.  Hopefully that changes as more manufacturers include a touch screen across their lineups instead of just the over $1,000 Ultrabook variety.

Link to ASUS ViVoBook S550: Asus ViVoBook S500 at Amazon for $699

Asus Transformer Book 13-inch Tablet Convertible Arrives in Japan

The Asus Transformer Book is going to be the latest entry into the blossoming Windows 8 laptop to tablet convertible category.  Though it was announced last summer, the Asus “TransBook” (as they’re now calling it) has suffered from a much delayed release and just this week will go on sale in Japan, followed in the weeks thereafter in the U.S.  The model available in Japan has a Full HD (1920 x 1080) 13.3” display and comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB HD + 128GB SSD and Intel HD 4000 graphics.   There will also be other sizes including an 11.6” and 14” equipped with up to an Intel Core i7 processor.


The keyboard portion of the Asus Transformer Book acts as a dock, housed inside the keyboard is the HD portion of storage while the 128GB SSD is inside the tablet/display portion.   The tablet portion weighs 2lbs (950 grams in metric measurements to be exact) and the dock is about the same, meaning the total weight is about 4lbs.  The TransBook is much like the HP ENVY x2 convertible in terms of form factor, however it has the advantage of having a fully fledged Core i5/i7 processor compared to the weak Intel Atom on the ENVY x2 but the disadvantage of being 1lb heavier.  The upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad Helix might also prove stiff competition given it will have a Full HD screen and similar capabilities as you see here with the TransBook.   It’s nice to see the competition heating up in this premium notebook to tablet convertible space, now let’s hope the competition also drives prices down from the $1,200 ask a lot of manufacturers are putting on these fully spec’d convertibles.

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