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Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons
Asus Zenbook UX305LA Andrei Girbea Rating: 4 out of 5

Asus Zenbook UX305LA review – great and inexpensive 13-inch ultraportable

89 Comments

  1. Julian

    June 7, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    How much do you think a model with i5 processor, FHD Display and 8gb of ram would cost in Europe/UK?

    I’m thinking of getting this rather than the UX305fa for the extra power.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

      I’d say around 900-1000 EUR, but don’t hold my word on that, Asus might decide to change these prices by the time the laptop gets in shops. I’m pretty sure it won’t go for over 1000 though

      • Julian

        June 8, 2015 at 8:05 pm

        Thanks!
        I was about to buy the UX305fa then stumbled across your review. I think I’ll wait a month till this model comes out I think it’ll be worth it for the extra computing power.

  2. Raphael

    June 8, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Great and accurate review, thanks !
    How would you roughly evaluate the difference in performance with the UX305FA ?
    Is having a fanless device really nice ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 8, 2015 at 10:05 am

      WEll, the fanless hardware is definitely great to have, but the UX305FA will only handle basic tasks and little multitasking. If you’re fine with that, go for it, especially since it’s very affordable (in the US). If you need more power though, the UX305LA is the alternative to consider, as well as the other Broadwell U ultrabooks with Core i processors.

  3. mahoganyminerva

    June 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    Do you have any idea where can we order or per-order this unit? :) And when will they release this globally?

  4. John Adrian

    June 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Nice Review Andrei! i just want to ask you if the ux305la can handle visual studio 2013 ultimate, I’ll be using it for college projects and how much it will cost on this configuration: intel core 15-5200u, 4 or 8 gigs of ram 1080p display and 128 gigs of SSD, thank you very much.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 29, 2015 at 11:16 am

      With 8 GB of RAM you should be OK. I have Premiere on my XPS with a similar config and only 4 Gigs of RAM and works fine for basic stuff.

  5. William

    July 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for the review Andrei. Seems like a MacBook Air clone/competitor on the PC side. Any updates on release timing?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Not for the moment, but I’d expect it in stores soon

  6. John

    July 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Any news on the North American release date of the UX305LA?

  7. Steffen

    July 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    In germany there is one shop that has this beauty in stock since yesterday. I ordered one, will get it tomorrow.
    But it looks like we get only the model with core i7, 8gb ram and 256gb ssd. But this is the one that i wanted anyway … :-)

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 14, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Sounds nice, would love to hear your impressions if you have the time to drop a comment here after a few days. Thanks, Andrei

  8. Dahevos

    July 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I saw a lot of german test of this computer, but you’re the only one in english. It’s a bit strange to have few communication about this AAA product !

    In France, Fnac.com add the same model (i7, QHD, …) but still no availability (soon available).
    I hope that they will release soon the i5 and FHD model…

    @Steffen : don’t hesitate to comment about the battery, because with i7 and QHD, i’m a bit scared about the autonomy.

  9. ily51793

    August 3, 2015 at 3:37 am

    Hi! Is this laptop available in europe/where you are right now? I live in the united states and I am trying to hypothesize when (if ever…) it will be available here.

    Thank you!

  10. Julian

    August 5, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I recently purchased the i5 model in the Netherlands for 950euros… I would definitely recommend it! Performance is great and battery life is also good! Windows 10 runs like a dream… the only problem I had was the trackpad driver stopped working after the upgrade however, a quick youtube search and I found the solution.

  11. dahevos

    August 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Finally I bought the Toshiba Kira 10D and it’s a great computer :-). Large autonomy (around 10 hours) and the design is similar at the mac book air. A bit thicker but lighter and smaller too. The keyboard is good (but seems a bit less good than the asus). Also, the fan can be noisy (when I am not in eco mode or when I play games).

  12. Silent Kvothe

    August 20, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Posting this with realistic expectations of no one knowing, but I thought it was worth a shot: Any news on the North America release date? This computer is EXACTLY what I’m looking for. I’d really like to get my hands on it.

    I can pre-order the laptop from a certain very reputable website, a.k.a. largest retailer in the world (I’m unsure of comment policy regarding company names) for a competitive price. The only problem is, there’s no release date given, which makes me hesitant.

    Any info is greatly appreciated!

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 20, 2015 at 7:26 am

      I don’t know anything on the US release date. You could try and get in touch with Asus North AMerica, they are active on Twiter, Facebook and on email.

  13. Rex

    August 20, 2015 at 5:20 am

    Any news on the release date? Amazon has it listed for pre order, but I need a laptop relatively soon and I don’t want a Core M Zwnbook :(.

  14. Jared Wilson

    August 21, 2015 at 1:26 am

    I see several others have already commented today asking for news on release date. I am in need of a new laptop ASAP and was wondering if I should wait on this model because I think it looks impressive or sadly move on

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

      I don’t have any news on the release date. Like I replied before, you best bet would be the contact Asus North America by email, or on Twitter/Facebook and see what they have to say about it.

      • still waiting for UX305LA in Europe

        August 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

        But it should be out soon, don’t you think? This laptop is already slowly rolling out around the world, with i5 model available for preorder on US Amazon.

  15. ariel

    August 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Great review, thanks! This model (UX305LA-AB51) has been on pre-release sale on amazon for the last few days for $750 – great price, but there’s no word about expected release dates.
    Your review says this should be available in July in stores; Do you know when it will actually be released (or where can we find information about release dates)?

    • ariel

      August 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      oops, sorry just realized this question was asked already. please ignore :)

  16. Rorey Edwards

    August 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    FYI, the UX305LA does NOT have 3 USB 3.0 ports. It has 1 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports.

  17. Raphael

    August 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Any idea when the Skylake version is likely to release?

    Can we expect some significant gains in performance?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 26, 2015 at 7:34 am

      I haven’t heard anything of a Skylake update yet

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      I’ve found out a few things about a Skylake update, called Zenbook UX305UA. It will be launched in October, so I’d say it should ship in October-November. Performance wise, I don’t expect a major improvement over the Broadwell variant. I’d say 5-15% gains at best, and maybe marginally better battery life.

      BTW, the Broadwell version is in stock and shipping from Amazon in the US right now, from what I can tell.

      • Raphael

        August 26, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        That’s actually the update of the Zenbook UX305FA with the core M.

        But it’s very likely there will be an update of the Zenbook UX305LA Broadwell to a Skylake version.

        So it’s likely we will move from the Intel® Core™ i5-5200U (2,2 GHz / 2,7 GHz Turbo) to the Core i5-6200U (2.3-2.8 GHz / 2C4T / HD Graphics 520 / 15W TDP)

        I don’t know what to expect in terms of performance.

        For the U serie, Intel claims up to :

        – +10% for processor
        – +34% graphics
        – +1.4 hour longer battery

        The difference seem quite big for graphics.

        So I am hesitating to wait of buy now the broadwell version (8go/256go ssd) that I can get for 900€ in France now.

        The Skylake version should be available this fall and probably annonced at IFA next week.

        Asus already started to update its UX303 line-up : notebookitalia.it/asus-zenbook-ux303ub-skylake-nvidia-geforce-940m-22216

        Also more info about the Core M version : notebookitalia.it/asus-zenbook-ux305ca-intel-core-m-skylake-y-22232

  18. Jonathan

    August 27, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I have word from Asus that the UX305LA will be released in North America in September.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 27, 2015 at 11:29 am

      It’s already selling on Amazon.com

      • San

        August 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

        Thats just pre-order Andrei, with no shipping date.

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

          Are you sure? I haven’t tried to order it since I’m not in the US, but it says in Stock and Shipping and there are several different listings: amazon.com/Zenbook-UX303LA-Laptop-Intel-Silver/dp/B00X4099OG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440840914&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+ux303la

          • Gadgets

            August 30, 2015 at 1:35 am

            That’s the 303 model not the 305 model!

          • Andrei Girbea

            August 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm

            :| Damn. I must be blind or something… Sry for that.

          • Jon

            August 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm

            San is right. The link you provided is for the 303 page; here is the 305 page: amazon.com/gp/product/B013KKANTE/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

            Great review, though!

  19. Jon

    August 30, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Oops, looks like my comment was redundant. Sorry about that.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 31, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Don’t worry about it, thanks for taking the time to mention my mistake.

  20. Tal

    August 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Hi,

    I received my new Asus ux305LA here in Israel, and it is indeed amazing.
    Lack of keyboard back-light is a little upsetting, but not a deal breaker.

    I was wondering about this LoJack software which I am unable to find installed..

    Also, how would you cable lock this? it doesn’t seem like there is an option for that..

  21. Matt

    August 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Andrei,

    Great review. Any chance you can tell me if the laptop has TPM built in for hard drive encryption? I can’t seem to find this information anywhere, including Asus’ website.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Not that I know of.

    • Zabir

      September 1, 2015 at 6:48 am

      You should double-check me on this, but based on Microsoft’s website, all PC models that are shipped with Windows 8 or newer have compatible hardware for hard drive encryption, and encryption is enabled by default if you use Windows 10 and a Microsoft account

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 1, 2015 at 11:58 am

        Thanks Zabir from pitching in. My earlier reply wasn’t very accurate and your reply is correct.

        But, from what I know (that means I might be wrong, my experience with TPM is close to null), there’s this thing called “Device Encryption” on Windows 8.1 Home, but only the Pro versions get access to TPM and Bitlocker encryption. On the other hand, I’ve read there are ways to enable Bitlocker on devices without a TPM as well.

        So basically Intel’s ULV platforms do support TPM, but in order to use it you’ll need Windows 8.1 Pro or later. The Home Editions do not support TPM, from what I know, and I don’t think the UX305LA will be available with Windows 8.1/10 Pro. A buyer could however upgrade the OS version and then get TPM on this Zenbook.

  22. Rens

    September 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I have my laptop for 2 weeks now and its working great!
    It is already sold out here in the netherlands so i got mine in time :)
    Also it rose in price, its about 1000 euros now. I got mine for 950. lucky me :p

  23. HW

    September 2, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I found my Asus UX305LA has a high frequency vibration when charging. You cannot see it vibrate but when you touch the upper part/above the keys, you can feel this. It vibrates when charging even when the fan is off or even when the computer is power off. The vibration is stronger when the battery is lower/below 20%, and you may feel the back of screen vibrates as well.

    Anyone experience this?

    Thanks.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

      Yes, that’s rather common for Zenbooks and a few other metal made laptops.

      • HW

        September 4, 2015 at 4:11 am

        Hi Andrei

        Did you find the vibration when you tested the UX305LA?

        Thanks

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

          Like I said, it’s common with the metallic Zenbooks (and some other brands) and I just got used to it over the years so I might not mention it in the posts. So yes, I did encounter it, but it’s not something that bothers me at all

  24. Karl

    September 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Andrei, could you comment on how well the 5200U handles VP9 video on youtube, mainly when playing 4k video (CPU load %)? Thanks for an interesting review.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Youtube 4K is choppy on my XPS with the i5-5200U. Unusable

      • Karl

        September 6, 2015 at 7:49 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I assume that is with VP9 in chrome, right? Have you tried to force h264 video in chrome with the extension h264ify? The reason I’m asking is that I have a chromebook with the i3-5005U cpu and I’m just about able to play 4K video on youtube by using said extension to force h264. I’m searching for a sleek windows laptop with a good price/performance ratio. I have looked at the XPS13 but I can only get the most expensive configs in my country. Anyhow, if the 5200U chokes on 4K h264 content also I wouldn’t have to consider it any more. I appreciate your time.

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

          Hmm, i tried Firefox and Chrome with that extension and 4K Youtube still is choppy and pushes the CPU to 100% use.

          However, since I’m on Windows 10, I tried the same clips in Edge and they are running smoothly with the CPU at under 50%. So that means 4K Youtube will work fine with Edge and IE. My XPS has the i5-5200U CPU and 4 GB of RAM, so it’s a basic config.

          You could consider waiting for the Skylake update, since Skylake gets the HEVC decoder and should handle 4K content smoother and more economical.

  25. Nihar Ray

    September 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I learn a lot of things about latest ultra book from your reviews. This is realistic and scientific and above all helpful. May I know which laptop will you suggest for fast normal business work. I have following preferences-

    light, slim, 11.6 to 12 inch screen, faster than ASUS 202MA (my current laptop)good battery life. Thanks

  26. Griff2142

    October 1, 2015 at 12:20 am

    I did a disk test on my new UX305la and got 561 mb/s read and 508 mb/s write.

  27. Mathilde

    October 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Hi

    I just got this pc, and the screenn is indeed very badly calibrated. Is there anotherway than by using a spyder hardware to calibrate it?
    Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Any calibration tool will do. The Spyder is one of the cheapest though.

  28. Maged

    October 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I was about to buy this laptop despite my grief about the non-calibrated monitor but I suddenly came across an article which says that ASUS will offer the model UX305UA which ‘ll have the new Skylake. Does anyone know when approximately, it will be available? I prefer to wait to buy the newer version of the CPU & also to have a nicer calibrated monitor, hopefully! I personally don’t care about the backlit keys.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

      I’d expect it In November, although that might differ from region to region.

      • Toshik

        November 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

        November is coming to an end next week, and there is no sign of UX305UA in major US retailers like amazon, best but, etc(((

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 25, 2015 at 8:47 pm

          It’s available on Amazon

          • Toshik

            December 4, 2015 at 9:15 am

            Can you give a link?

            I see only Asus UX305CA and Asus UX305LA models, on Amazon US site.

  29. Simon

    October 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Hello, I’m having trouble deciding between the FA and LA. I’ll mostly be using it for school work, Netflix, and just surfing around so I was wondering if I’d feel the benefit of the LA model. Also what type of tasks the LA might be able to handle that the FA could not handle as well or at all.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

      The LA will handle everyday multitasking better and also offers superior graphics, which means it can run some light or older games and 4K video content. The FA is decently fast as long as you use it lightly and only do one or two things at at time. If you have, for instance, a few browser tabs open, listen to some music in the background, write in office and have Skype on as well, it will start to struggle and become occasional sluggish.

  30. Dor

    October 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hello Andrei, I am having trouble to decide whether i should get the i5 Core or the i7 Core.
    Do you think that the i7 Core is getting alot warmer and louder(fan) than the i5 Core?
    *I’ll be using it inside a quiet class from time to time.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      IMo the i5 is enough for everyday use and offers a better balance between speed, efficiency and price. Make sure to pair it with 8 GB of RAM though. The I7 is an option for those that use complex programs, like Eclipse, Photoshop and so on, and would put the CPU to load. IN everyday use the I5 and i7 should perform about the same in everyday way (including heat and energy consumption, since neither would run at their full frequency), but the i7 configs will be pricier.

  31. Javier

    October 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I have read some of your reviews and I would like some advice buying new laptop (fhd matte and lightest):

    – Dell Xps 13″ Skylake (I love design but you indicate some deficiencies in the 8 months after review)
    – Toshiba Portege Z30 (I read about very noisy fan)
    – Asus UX303lb (heavier and worried about hinges problems)
    – Asus UX305la (maybe a solution?)

    Thank you in advance

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

      My experience with the Portege Z30 is limited, so I can’t comment on that one.

      The UX305LA lacks backlit keys, but if that’s not a deal-breaker, it’s the cheapest of the bunch.

      The UX303LB should be an option if you plan to play any games. Even so, try to get the model with the FHD display, the QHD+ option has severe color issues.

      As for the XPS 13, I still think it can be a great little machine, despite all my issues with it. Perhaps you’d be luckier with your unit. You’d better wait for some reviews of the 9350 model though and see if they addressed the touchpad and battery life issues in any way.

  32. Dor

    October 26, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I got this model a week ago, with the I7 Core and it’s just perfect!
    strong battery life, rarely makes any noise, and good performance as well.
    Oh, and it is very slim and light :)

  33. Justina

    November 1, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Just wondering if the ux305la is available in store in Singapore? Aside from Amazon I cant seem to figure out where to buy one

    Cheers

  34. tom

    November 2, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Quick question, very helpful review however trying to weigh up options.

    Looking for an ultra book for hopefully 6 years of college. Would i5 be sufficient of is i7 necessary

    Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 3, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Well, 6 years is a long time, so I’d probably look at the Core i7 processor and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. Also, the battery will probably die in this time, so you should look into popular brands that offers spare batteries in your region.

      • tom wall

        November 4, 2015 at 10:22 pm

        Hi Andrie,
        Thanks for your help!
        Based on that, the i7 8gb would be necessary however would the new UA be a more futureproof model?
        However do you know where in either the USA or EU. the i7 8gb model is available. Have no trouble finding the i5 model however the i7 model is nowhere to be found!!!

        Thanks

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 5, 2015 at 9:47 am

          Asus offers different configurations in different regions. The i7 might not be available in the US. For the EU, try amazon.de , amazon.fr, amazon.it etc

  35. Will

    November 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Hi, do you have any news about the release time of ux305la or ux305ua in China?

    Thanks.

  36. Toshik

    November 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    @Andrei Girbea

    Thank you for review.

    Can you share windows color profile after you made screen calibration?

    Cause buying calibrator for calibration one screen once, is difficult to justify.

    • MD

      November 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      That would be very helpful!

  37. Isaac

    November 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Hey, I was wondering if the 15 model will run Adobe Lightroom 5 fairly well.

  38. rachel

    November 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Does this come with Word Processor?

  39. Rick

    November 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Nice review. I want to purchase a laptop for myself for Christmas. The UX305 is my second choice if the MIIX 700 isn’t here by Christmas.

  40. Allan

    December 8, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Bought the UX305LA I5 model for $750 plus delivery charges of just over $50 from Amazon.com. An absolute bargain and a cracking ultrabook. Screen colours look fine to me and it runs absolutely silent.

    • Toshik

      December 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      It was $699.94 + free delivery during black friday week.

    • Brendon

      December 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Hey, speakers are nice? I just bought one too. I like to watch netflix with a loud and decent quality sound, so…

      • Toshik

        January 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm

        Sound quality is acceptable, but can be better.

        Though if we take into consideration how thin is case of ultrabook, it is acceptable.

  41. Jakub

    November 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi,
    I'd like to buy 305LA but I wander if it uses PWM and from what brightness ?

    • Toshik

      November 12, 2016 at 6:10 am

      As far as i managed to find the display shows PWM flickering at 50 Hz at brightness levels of 20 percent and below.

      Also, as 305LA is not manufactured now, consider 305UA model based on the latest Intel Skylake processor.

      • Andrei Girbea

        November 12, 2016 at 7:50 am

        Or the newer UX306UA and UX330UA Zenbooks, some of them with KabyLake hardware

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