Are you searching for a light 13-inch laptop with Broadwell U hardware? If yes, try the Asus Zenbook UX305LA that is a perfect device for the balance of great looks and functionality. The amazingly beautiful series that comes with lightweight as well as powerful performance is also one of the most affordable products in this category. UX305LA that weighs mere 1.3 kg and just 1.49 cm thin is always a delight to carry everywhere you go.
Asus ZenBook UX305LA is simpler than the earlier versions of Asus ultrabooks. It has a smooth, plain metallic lid cover instead of a pattern of concentric circles on the hood that are present in the previous books. The shiny logo is the only remarkable difference from the basic design. As UX305LAis very slim, the edges won’t cut in our wrists, while using it on a desk.
The entire body, which covers the hood, the interior and the belly, is made out of aluminum. Only the bezel around the screen is made of plastic and flanked by a thin layer or protective rubber. As a result, the display would not get in contact with the laptop’s body, when the screen is closed. As the inner chassis of UX305LA is partially cast out of metal, the device is tough in terms of durability and builds quality.
A long hinge that stretches across the length of the laptop holds the screen in place. The difference from the previous Zenbook that the screen can be lifted effortlessly with a single hand with the lower-body remained still on the table. It is a rare feature of Windows ultrabooks. The strong hinge enables the display to be kept in any position.
There are two tiny plastic feet on the back of the laptop’s edge, on which the device is lifted, when the display is kept past 90 degrees. As it has less friction than the actual rubber feet on the belly, it is difficult to place on a shinny desk. However, it helps with airflow by creating gap between the laptop and the desk. Even though there is bigger gap between the actual hinge and the cooling grills on this new version, it allows more heat to go out and to enter fresh air to get in.
Coming to the IO, Asus ZenBook UC305LA has three USB3.0 slots, a card reader and a micro-HDMI connector. However, it does not have space for a full-sized HDMI port. You can see the DCIN on the right side.
Asus ZenBook UC305LA has a splendid screen except one element, which is color calibration. The colors like blue, green and white are skewed out of the box on this model. The 13.3 inch display of the device has a resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels. We can’t complain about the brightness, contrast and viewing angles of UX305LA’s display, at the same time, you can enjoy its brightness, which makes the device able to use in illuminated rooms and even outside. The only drawback is that screen can be leaned back only to 130 degrees that makes some discomfort while using it on a desk. As the screen comes with a brightness sensor and a bunch of Intel Power Saving technologies that are active by default, brief brightness and contrast change can be seen time to time.
Keyboard and trackpad
The 285-mm Chiclet-style keyboard of UX305LA is pretty fair for a thin and light laptop with the firm and responsive keys that are fairly deep into the chassis. But the keys are a little noisy that may make you disturbed, while working in quiet environments. Even though the keyboard has fairy visible black keys on the silver background, it is not backlit and not added illumination. The proper sized, properly separated from the pal-rest trackpad is smooth that can register even very gentle taps and swipes. Even though it is click-able, it is also stiff and clunky. But, the lack of option for adjusting speed or response of the cursor is a drawback of UX305LA.
Hardware and performance
Ausus Zenbook UX305LA has Intel Broadwel U hardware inside with an Intel Core i5-5200U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD, which is the ideal configuration for an average user. Core i3 and i7 processors are also available in this series and you can also choose 4 GB of RAM and more SSD storage. As the memory is soldered on the motherboard that cannot be upgraded late, the users have to be satisfied with what they get from the beginning. So the version with only 4 GB of RAM is not recommended usually. Software wise the device uses Windows 8.1 with a few installed programs including a bunch of Asus apps and some trials like office antivirus etc.
Connectivity wise, Asus Zenbook UX305LA comes with bluetooth, Lan including USP adapter and Wi-Fi AC. The Intel 7625 Dual-bank Wireless AC module used in the device is pretty good that can reach fast speeds, while sitting near to the router. The webcam located on the top the screen is decent for occasional Skype calls. However, you have to suffer noisy images in poor light or at night. The speakers placed on towards the left and the right edges of the belly are quite good. They don’t push out spectacular sound and don’t distort at high volume, but are loud enough.
Even though UX305LA has a fan inside, it remains inactive with continuous use like watching movie, editing texts or browsing etc. Moreover, it emits a low-frequency hum compared to other laptops. There is also a back panel vibration when the fan is spinning. It also amplifies the noise. However, the noise level is fairly low that is not covered by the speakers in daily use.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA uses 56 Wh battery inside, which is bigger than that of the UX305FA or UX303LA series. So it ensures around 6 to 10 hours of daily use on a charge, which is comparatively fair. Also, the device is paired with a 45W power adapter and filling-up battery from 10 to 99% that takes nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA with a core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD is available at a starting price of Rs 97,990.
Pros and cons
Beautiful design, lightweight, excellent matte display in calibration, powerful performance, long battery life and affordable price for this category laptops are the main advantages of Asus UX305LA. Design wise, the inability to lean the screen more than 130 degree is a major drawback, especially while working on desk. Moreover, the absence of backlit keyboard may create difficulties while working at night or poor light. UX305LA also has only one micro-HDMI port. The top of the keyboard get hot soon with around 35 degrees in daily use and around 45 degrees when playing games.
To conclude, Asus Zenbook UX305LA has several good sides to become a popular ultrabook in the market. Not only its good look, lightweight deign and high quality craftsmanship, but also the high capability, performance and battery life also tempt you to choose this new series, if you really want an affordable laptop with all the features described here.
Suja is a post graduate in Communication and Journalism having several years of writing experience in Technology and Consumer Electronics.