ASUS Zenbook UX305UA-AS51: A Powerful Combination of Beauty and Power
We are drawn to what is attractive and powerful, and those are the very two features offered by the ASUS Zenbook UX305UA-AS51. Users are veering away from bulky portables and are looking for slimmer options that don’t skimp on features and performance either. An update of the Zenbook UX305LA, the UX305UA comes with a powerful 2.3GHz Skylake processor which is an upgrade from the Broadwell Core i5 processor of its predecessor.
Besides being a powerful machine, the Zenbook UX305UA also features an aluminum chassis and a stunning 1080p display with a built-in IPS panel. It also bears the same features with the 13-inch MacBook Air, but with Apple’s product being more powerful in terms of performance and as such, being more expensive. In other words, if you’re looking for a machine as powerful as the MacBook Air but don’t want to burn holes in your pockets, then the UX305UA is worth a shot.
At first glance, the UX305UA is definitely an attractive machine. The aluminum design features laser-edged concentric circle patterns that were inspired by a circular clock. Although the metallic body adds weight to the system, it makes it more solid and sturdy. This is unlike the Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550 which opted to use super-thin materials to keep their devices thin and slim but ultimately, the build quality was sacrificed.
Measuring 0.6 by 12.8 by 8.9 inches (HWD), the Zenbook UX305UA is a lightweight device weighing 2.8 pounds, making it easy to carry around wherever you need to use it. For comparison, the MacBook Air 13-inch measures 0.68 by 12.8 by 8.94 inches and weighs 2.96 pounds which means it’s a bit thicker and heavier.
Powered by a sixth-generation 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, the UX305UA is capable of delivering better performance and energy efficiency than the Broadwell CPUs that preceded it. It’s for this reason that Skylake processors have been picked for use in hybrids, laptops and desktops. These kinds of processors not only provide a good performance, they are designed for ultraportability with a focus on mobility.
The Zenbook UX305UA-AS51 obviously performs better than its predecessors that used the older Core i5 processor. It can also deliver solid multimedia performance than the other units in its class, however, it performed behind Lenovo Yoga 900 and the Dell XPS 13 Touch (these are more expensive systems that have the Core i5 processor).
The display features a full HD resolution and an In-Plane Switching panel that provides wide viewing angles and good color. Reflections are kept to a minimum thanks to an anti-glare finish, but it does dull the blacks on the screen. The display doesn’t have touch capability, however, and it’s something that might limit the attraction factor for those who want a touch interface.
Just like other Zenbooks, the chiclet-style keyboard is great to type on. However, it doesn’t have a backlight which might deter those who prefer to work with the lights out or are giving a presentation. The touchpad which measures 4.1 by 2.9 inches and features a wide, clickable surface.
Despite the slim look of the device, the UX305UA has a full range of ports and connectors: a USB 3.0 port with USB Charger+, a sleep-and-charge solution that offers faster charging for smartphones and tablets, and HDMI Type D (micro) port (for video and audio output), headset jack and a mic. Additionally, there are two more USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.
Wireless connectivity is offered through a dual-band 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The UX305UA offers 256GB solid-state drive which is twice the capacity of that offered by the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch or the MacBook Pro 13-inch. However, the 256GB is on par with other competitors such as Lenovo Yoga 900 and the Dell XPS 13 Touch.
The battery of the Asus Zenbook UX305UA-AS51 lasts for 9 hours and 21 minutes. This is better than the Dell XPS 13 Touch which clocked in at 7 hours 40 minutes while lesser than the Lenovo Yoga 900 which can run for 10 hours and 56 minutes. However, the laptop that bests it all is the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch which has a battery life of 17 hours and 36 minutes.
The integrated HD graphics on the Asus Zenbook UX305UA-AS51 is typical in those found in other midrange ultraportables. As such, it won’t do as well for 3D gaming but will do perfectly find for everything else. With a Skylake CPU and dual-channel RAM, the performance of the UX305UA is similar to other mid-range graphics cards. Although the UX305UA has limited gaming capabilities, it can play games that don’t burden the hardware as much.
Pros and Cons
A very long battery life. Yes, other models may offer much more but clocking in at 9 hours and 21 minutes is pretty good. This makes it a great companion when traveling and have no access to an electric outlet.
It is a powerful unit. The UX305UA is powered by a sixth-generation, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor (Skylake) which is better than the Broadwell CPUs.
It doesn’t have touch capabilities. Many users would want devices with touch capabilities these days. It’s not surprising given the popularity of tablets offered by Apple. However, they want cheaper alternatives and the Zenbook could have easily been one but it’s not.
It isn’t a strong gaming machine. The UX205UA is a powerful machine, that cannot be denied. However, hardcore gamers probably won’t find the machine enough for their needs as it tends to fail when heavy games are played on it.
What do people look for in a laptop? Good features coupled with a very attractive price certainly helps. Of course, an attractive design helps quicken the selection process as well. The ASUS Zenbook UX305UA provides all of this and it even has an enviable battery life. While other devices (mostly those that are more expensive than the UX305UA) have better features and even better battery life, the Zenbook UX305UA does perform well and is an the affordable scale.