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Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons

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

Asus Zenbook UX305LA review – great and inexpensive 13-inch ultraportable
By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on July 31, 2016
Summary: The Asus Zenbook UX305LA is a thin and light notebook with Broadwell U hardware, a matte IPS display, long battery life and a competitive price. All these make it one of the better 13-inch ultrabooks of the moment, but the lack of a backlit keyboard, the limited IO and even the lack of a touchscreen option could steer some of you towards something else.
Rating: 4 / 5   Price range: $800 - $1300


looks good; sturdy built; excellent matte display, if calibrated; solid performance; runs mostly cool; long battery life; great price


non-backlit keyboard; only a micro-HDMI port; limited Wi-Fi range; the screen is poorly calibrated out of the box

If you’re looking for a sleek and light 13-inch laptop with Broadwell U hardware and a matte IPS display, the Asus Zenbook UX305LA should definitely be on your list.

It’s available in stores around the world and I’ve got to spend some time with a test-sample, enough to put together a few impressions on this machine and run a set of standard tests. I’ll be sharing them with you in this post.

The Zenbook UX305LA is similar in many ways to the Zenbook UX305FA, with whom it shares most of its design lines, the keyboard, the trackpad, the IO and the screen. It is however slightly thicker and heavier, and that’s because it houses a larger battery and 5th Gen Intel Core i processors.

The UX305FA on the other hand is motorized by Intel’s Core M hardware, which has the great benefit of being a fanless platform, but at the same time might not be fast enough for some of you. And here’s where the UX305LA comes to play, as a beefier configuration capable o tackling those chores the UX305FA cannot.

Update: Asus released an updated version of this model, called the UX305CA, which is pretty much the same device, but with Skylake hardware inside.

Update2: As of the second half of 2016, the Zenbook UX305UA was also replaced with a newer and improved Zenbook UX306UA. You can read all about it here.

This is the Zenbook UX305LA, one of Asus's better ultrabooks to date

This is the Zenbook UX305LA, one of Asus’s better ultrabooks to date

The specs sheet for the Asus Zenbook UX305LA

Asus Zenbook UX305LA
Screen 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px resolution, IPS, matte, non-touch
Processor Intel Broadwell U Core i5-5200U
Graphics Integrated Intel 5500 HD
Memory 8 GB LPDDR3
Storage 128 GB M.2 SATA3 SSD (Micron M600)
Connectivity Wireless AC (Intel 7265 Dual Band), Bluetooth, LAN (with adapter)
Ports 3xUSB 3.0, micro-HDMI, SD card reader, headphone jack
Battery 56 Wh
Operating system Windows 8.1
Size 324 x 226 x 14.9 mm (12.7” x 8.9” x 0.58”)
Weight 1.3 (2.85 lbs)
Extras non-backlit keyboard, available in two colors: Aurora Metallic or Obsidian Stone

Asus will offer the UX305LA in a bunch of different configurations, with Core i3, i5 or i7 Broadwell U processors, 4 or 8 GB of RAM, 128 to 512 GB SSDs and either a FHD or a QHD+ matte display.

Design and exterior

Aesthetically, the UX305LA is simpler than all the Asus ultrabooks before. Previous Zenbooks sported a pattern of concentric circles on the hood in one way or another and that particular detail is gone here, leaving a smooth, plain metallic lid cover that feels a lot like the ones on the Apple Macbook Air or the Dell XPS 13. The only element breaking the spartan design is the shiny logo. We do have what Asus calls the Aurora Metallic version here, but they’ll also offer a darker color scheme called Obsidian Stone, which will feature the rippled pattern.

The entire body is made out of aluminum, which covers the hood, the interior and the belly. In fact, the only plastic element is the bezel around the screen, flanked by a thin layer or protective rubber, meant to ensure that the display won’t get in contact with the laptop’s body when the screen is closed.

The inner chassis is partially cast out of metal as well, so when it comes to durability and build quality, the UX303LA is tough. Yes, there’s still some flex on the lid and especially in the keyboard area, but nothing that could be of any concern in daily use or could jeopardize the components inside.

The screen is hold in place by a long hinge stretching across the laptop’s length, an approach borrowed from previous Zenbooks. One thing is different though: I could effortlessly lift the screen with a single hand, while the lower-body remained still on the table, something Macbook users are for sure familiar with, but at the same time is a rarity on Windows ultrabooks.

The hinge is also firm enough to keep the display in any position you might set it up, which shows someone at Asus actually took note and improved the entire mechanism. Hopefully they made it more reliable as well, as many buyers complained about the hinge breaking easily on the previous Zenbook UX303 series.

I have one more thing to add here: there are two tiny plastic feet on the laptop’s back edge and the device is actually lifted on those feet when you open the display past 90 degrees. That makes it rather difficult to keep in place on a desk, especially if it’s a shinny one, since the plastic feet provide very little friction, unlike the actual rubber feet on the belly. But at the same time this trait creates extra room below the laptop which will help with airflow.

Speaking of airflow, since there’s a Broadwell U platform inside the UX305LA a fan and better ventilation were needed. As a result, Asus added some intake vents on the belly, to complement those under the hinge. The exhaust is still behind the hinge, but there’s a bigger gap between the actual hinge and the cooling grills on this design than on previous Zenbooks, which creates more space for the heat to go out or the fresh air to get in. And that actually helps, as you’ll see below, in the temperatures section.

That aside, the UX305LA gets the interior design and the IO from the UX305FA. There’s a fairly large palm-rest with blunt tapered edges around, and while this model does not get the very low profile of the UX305FA, is still slim enough so the edges won’t cut into your wrists in any way while using it on a desk.

As for the IO, you’ll be getting 3x USB 3.0 slots, a card-reader (an SD card will only go in half-way though) and a micro-HDMI connector. It’s a pity Asus could not make room for a full-sized HDMI port on this thing. Some adapters will be included in the pack, but not a micro-HDMI to HDMI dongle. The DCIN is placed on the right edge and personally I prefer to have it on the left and leave the right side as uncluttered as possible.


The screen on the UX305LA is splendid, except for one aspect that Asus could actually address on the final release models: color calibration. Greens, Blues and especially the White Point were completely skewed out of the box on this unit that I got to play with, but a calibration run with my Spyder4 turned the panel in one of the most color-accurate I’ve seen in a while on 13 inch laptops. This sort of calibration should be included by default, cause the panel is really good and Asus needs to take advantage of it.

That aside, you’ll enjoy the brightness, contrast and viewing angles of this display. Since it’s matte and fairly bright, it can also be used in well illuminated rooms and even outside. It does not support touch though and a model with a touchscreen will not be available, from what I know right now. But if you do want a Zenbook with modern hardware and a touchscreen, you should check out the UX303LA.

  • Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics AUO212D (B133HAN02.1);
  • Coverage: 98% sRGB, 69% NTSC, 74% AdobeRGB;
  • Measured gamma: 2.1;
  • Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 305 cd/m2 on power;
  • Contrast at max brightness: 750:1;
  • White point: 8100 K;
  • Black on max brightness: 0.40 cd/m2;
  • Average DeltaE: 5.63 uncalibrated, 0.83 calibrated .


I do have to complain about the screen’s rather limited opening angle, as it only leans back to about 130 degrees, which is an inconvenience when using the laptop anywhere but on a desk.

Also, keep in mind that this screen comes with a Brightness sensor as well as a bunch of Intel Power Saving technologies. All of them are active by default and can cause brief brightness and contrast changes from time to time. Personally, I like to turn them OFF and control the brightness manually, but if you don’t do it properly this could affect your battery life and even cause eye fatigue (if you’ll keep the panel brighter than required).

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard on the UX305LA feels identical to the one on the Zenbook UX305FA.

I’ve typed about 5000 words on it the last weekend, including this review, and I can conclude that it’s pretty good for a thin and light computer. The keys travel fairly deep into the chassis, deeper than on my Dell XPS 13 for instance, and feel mostly firm and responsive.

However, they lack a precise click response which means you can’t intuitively tell whether a hit has been registered properly or not, at least with my style of typing. That lead to a fair amount of missed strokes in the first hours of using this keyboard. I kind of got used to having to hit each key a bit harder after a while, but that had a negative impact on my typing speed.

I also found that typing on this keyboard is rather noisy, with the Space key being especially loud, which could be an inconvenience for those you working in quiet environments.

The layout on the other hand is standard for a Zenbook and mostly alright. You do have to live with the tiny arrow keys and the Power button integrated as the top-right key.

However, you need to be aware the keyboard is not backlit on the Zenbook UX305LA and that can be a major deal-breaker. The black keys on the silver background are fairly visible and use contrast to their benefit, but in poor light that’s not going to help much and it’s truly a pity Asus decided not to add illumination on this series. Many complained about the lack of it on the UX305FA and that one is a niche product. I expect far more will complain about it here and even be steered away from the UX305LA by this omission.

Then there’s the trackpad. It’s proper sized, smooth and properly separated from the palm-rest. It’s also fairly accurate and registers taps and gestures well, even those very gentle taps and swipes. The surface is click-able, but at the same time stiff and clunky. I’m a tap user so that did not bother me that much, but of you’re used to actually pressing for clicks, the UX305LA might not provide the experience you’d expect.

Unfortunately there’s no way to actually adjust the cursor’s speed or response, since this is an Asus TouchPad and the drivers offer almost no room for customization. That for me has been an issue with all the Asus laptops tested in the last years and there’s no sign something is going to change in the near future.

In conclusion, everyday users should find the keyboard and clickpad on this laptop good enough. Those who type for a living though might want to look somewhere else.

Hardware, performance and upgrade options

As mentioned earlier, the Zenbook UX305LA bundles Intel Broadwell U hardware inside. We have a mid-level configuration here with an Intel Core i5-5200U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD and I believe this would be the ideal configuration for the average buyer.

Asus will offer Core i3 and i7 processors for this series, as well as options with only 4 GB of RAM and more SSD storage. However, the Core i5 processor will suffice for most of you. The Core i7 would only be recommended if you need a more powerful machine, as the i7-5500U is a fair bit faster than the i5-5200U as you can see from this post, but will take its toll on temperatures and battery life.

On the other hand, I’d stay away from the version with only 4 GB of RAM, because the memory is soldered on the motherboard and cannot be later upgraded, so you’ll have to stick with what you get from the beginning. The storage is upgradeable though and the laptop uses standard M.2 SATA3 80mm sticks (a pretty good Micro M600 unit was installed on this test unit, although not the fastest option out there). You can opt to buy a larger SSD from Asus if the price is going to be correct, but it will probably be cheaper to get the version with the 128 GB SSD and then stick a 512 Gigs or maybe a 1 TB stick in its place. Your call.

You’ll have to pry open the back panel in order to get to the hardware and for that Torx and Philips screwdrivers will be required. The Torx T00 screws are laid around the belly, while the Philips screws are hidden behind the two rear rubber feet. Careful how you peel them of so you don’t scratch the aluminum surface and keep in mind you’ll have to put them back, so try not to ruin the glue.

All these aside, the Zenbook UX305LA is fast. This particular configuration got the best benchmark results of any Core i5-5200U configuration tested so far, but since it isn’t a final production unit, I’m not going to include them here.

The laptops flies in everyday use, boots up quickly, resumes from sleep in about one second and handled well all the basic tasks I threw at it, including browsing, watching all sorts of video content and playing some PC games like Starcraft 2, Dota 2 or Dirt 3. The Intel HD 5500 graphics can only offer that much though, so don’t expect it to be spectacular for gaming. I’m not going to get in depth here, but you should check out my review of the Dell XPS 13 for what exactly you can expect from this Intel platform in games.

Software wise, the UX305LA comes with Windows 8.1 of course and a few preinstalled programs, both a bunch of Asus apps (including one called GiftBox which is basically a doorway for various other Asus software) and a few trials (Office, antivirus, etc). You should get rid of them all or better yet, if the Microsoft Store is going to sell this laptop in your country, try to get one of their Signature Edition versions with no bloatware at all.

Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers and others

There’s a fan inside the UX305LA, but it remains mostly inactive with everyday use, when watching movies, browsing or editing texts. It does kick on from time to time, but even then it’s barely audible. When it does become active though it emits a low-frequency hum unlike the resonance of other laptops I’ve tested in the past and I for one find it somewhat annoying in perfectly quiet rooms. You will also feel the back panel gently vibrating when the fan is spinning, which could amplify the noise in certain conditions.

Putting the hardware to serious work or running games will ramp up the temperatures though and cause the fan to spin faster and louder. Even so, the noise level remains fairly low and it’s nothing the speakers can’t cover in daily use.

Compared to my Dell XPS 13 2015, I’d say the fan kicks on a faster on the Zenbook, but is also quieter under load and far quicker to turn off when you finish with the demanding tasks.

As for temperatures, the hottest part on this laptop is the area on the interior, on top of the keyboard. It gets close to 35 degrees in daily use and around 45 degrees when playing games, which is on par with the other metallic 13-inchers tested in the last months. The belly on the other side remains cooler than on the XPS 13, the Acer Aspire S7 or the fanless Zenbook UX305FA, which makes this machine appropriate for lap use. temperatures-dailyuse temperatures-load*Daily Use – 1080p Youtube clip in IE for 30 minutes
*Load – playing Need for Speed Most Wanted for 30 minutes

The speakers on this Zenbook are quite good. There are two of them, placed on the belly, towards the left and right edges. They don’t push out spectacular sound, but are loud and don’t distort at high volume, so I’d say most of your should be happy with what they’re capable of. From what I remember, those on the UX305FA tested a while ago weren’t as loud and punchy, so I was a bit surprised by the LA model here.

Connectivity wise, there’s Bluetooth, Lan (with the included USB adapter) and Wi-Fi AC. Asus use the Intel 7265 Dual-Band Wireless AC module here and it’s a pretty good one, capable of reaching fast speeds if you’re in close proximity of the router. The speeds and signal strength drop rather quickly though once you get a bit further away with obstacles in between. At 30 feet with 2 walls the laptop was still capable of streaming 4K content of Youtube smoothly, but once you get even further it start to struggle and bring up buffering periods. That’s something to be aware of in case you have dodgy signal in your room/house/office.

There’s also a webcam on the UX305LA, on top of the screen, like with most other laptops. It’s decent for occasional Skype calls, but using it at night or in poor light results in very noisy images.

Battery life

Asus put a 56 Wh battery inside this laptop, bigger than what they have on the UX305FA or the UX303LA models. That, paired with the FHD screen and the Core i5-5200U processor, translates in about 6 to 10 hours of daily use on a charge, which is not bad at all.

Here’s what you should expect (the screen’s brightness is manually set at around 120 nits):

  • 5 W (~11 h of use) – idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi OFF;
  • 5.5 W (~10 h of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 5.5 W (~10 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 6.5 W (~8 h 30 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in VLC Player, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 9 W (~6 h of use) – heavy browsing in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7 W (~8 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Chrome, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON.

Keep in mind that I am talking about a pre-production model here, but the platform has been around for a few months now and the numbers above look just about right to me, so I don’t think you should expect any major changes on the final production models.

You can expect up to 10 hours of daily use from the UX305LA, which is not bad at all

You can expect up to 10 hours of daily use from the UX305LA, which is not bad at all

Asus claim on their site the laptop will last for 12 hours of “daily working”, but there are no details on what they mean by that. And given my previous experience with many other Broadwell U notebooks, I really doubt a 13 incher with similar specs would be able to squeeze that much out of a 56 Wh battery in actual use. Dell claims 15h on the XPS 13 and it only lasts 7-8 in real life. This Zenbook actually outlasts it.

That aside, you should know that the laptop is paired with a 45W power adapter and filling-up the battery from 10 to 99% takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Price and availability

The UX305LA was initially launched here in Europe in July, but only reached the US in late August.

A mid-level configuration of the UX305LA, with a Core i5-5200U processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD and the FHD display sells for around 700 EUR here in Europe. Beefier configurations with Core i7 processors, 8 GB of RAM, 256 or 512 GB SSDs or a 3200 x 1800 px matte display are also be available, with price tags between 800 and 1200 EUR.

In the US the Zenbook UX305LA is only available with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD at the time of this update (late October) and can be found in several stores for around $750. Follow this link for up-to-date info on the available configurations, prices and availability at the time you’re reading this post.


At the end of the day, the Zenbook UX305LA is a really good laptop. In fact, it’s a great buy if you consider the price you’ll be paying for the specs.

It’s nicely built and beautiful, like most of its predecessors were. It’s also powerful and fast, for what it is of course, like all the other ultraportables built on Intel’s Broadwell U hardware, and last for up to 10 hours of daily use on a single charge. The keyboard and the screen are the ones setting it apart from most competitors though and could turn some of you towards something else.

Many users will appreciate the display’s matte finishing, especially since the options for premium ultrabooks with matte screens is limited (mostly to the Dell XPS 13 2015), but at the same time plenty of users actually appreciate touchscreens, and the UX305LA does not offer one. Still, I think Asus made the right call here, since they already offered the UX303LA series with Broadwell U hardware and a touch panel.

The Long battery life and the matte screen are some of the UX305LA's important selling points

The Long battery life and the matte screen are some of the UX305LA’s important selling points

On the other hand, the lack of a non-backlit keyboard on a premium option launched in 2015 makes absolutely no sense to me and it’s my major gripe with this machine. Not the only one though. For instance, I still believe there’s room for improvement in the typing experience and I would have appreciated full-size HDMI or perhaps a miniDP slot on this laptop, instead of the same IO as on the thinner UX305FA.

Now, Dell XPS 13 2015 is the overall superior alternative for this Zenbook, with a more compact and slightly lighter body, more advanced IO and a better keyboard with backlit keys. However, a basic Core i5 XPS config sells for around $900 right now, while the options with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage sell for over 1G. Asus nailed it with competitive prices for this series, selling the UX305LA for $250-$350 less than Dell’s model, as mentioned above.

The Zenbook UX305LA is a good machine, but faces tough competition from Dell's XPS 13 2015

The Zenbook UX305LA is a good machine, but faces tough competition from Dell’s XPS 13 2015

Long story short, the Zenbook UX305LA has many of the right ingredients required to become a popular ultrabook in the months to come and is one of the better mid-level Zenbooks I’ve got my hands on in the last years.

With that in mind we’ll bring this post to a halt. Let me know what you think about the Asus UX305LA in the comments section below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or anything to add, I’m around to help out if possible.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.


  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

        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


    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


    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?


    • 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?


        • 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


    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?

    • 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


  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


    • 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!!!


        • 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?


  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.

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