Asus Zenbook UX301LA / UX301 review – not just a regular Haswell ultrabook

111 Comments

  1. jason

    April 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Hi, I’m going to buy the UX301 soon, but the thing holding me back is which screen to get? Is the higher density screen worth it? Can you see a difference during normal usage?

    But the main issue I have, is has Windowns fixed the scaling issue yet? If it remains an issue, and there is no really noticable difference, then I am leaning toward buying the lower density screen.

    Any advice you can give will be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Win 8.1 deals handles scaling alright, I would say. there are still glitches here and there, but overall it provides a decent experience.

      However, imh, the way scaling works today means fuzzy content in most apps. That should be handled by ClearType, but many third party apps don’t handle it well or don’t use it at all. As a result, many third party apps either don’t scale well, or scale alright but display fuzzy, blurry content.

      That’s why I for one am holding back on these high density Windows devices. I’d love to replace the 1366 x 768 px panel I’m using everyday, more pixels could be great for browsing, photo editing, reading texts, etc. But only if the entire scaling process gets tweaked.

      • jason

        April 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

        Excellent reply. Now I can move forward with a clear mind. I’ll buy the version with the lower density screen. Would rather everything worked smoothly.

        Keep up the great work Andrei. Best reviews I have found. Clear, concise and precise.

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        thanks, I’m glad i could help

    • Timothy Lee Russell

      April 9, 2014 at 4:00 am

      If you can read text at the native resolution it gives you a lot of real estate which is nice but when I’m using the built in display I have to wear my glasses. Of course, my optometrist says I’m supposed to do that all the time anyway. What does he know?

      The rest of the time I have it hooked up to dual monitors and it’s a non-issue. I love this thing.

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        Yeah, but having it linked to an external monitor kind of defeats the purpose. The idea is to use the device’s 13 inch screen and its 2560 x 1440 px resolution. And my eyes are saying no way to this, unless I scale things up. And hence, the problems

      • Michael Milford

        May 8, 2014 at 3:48 am

        How have you got it hooked up to two external monitors out of interest? One to the minidisplay port and one to the miniHDMI?

  2. Peter

    June 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Hi again :)

    For this model, how does the SD card fit? I want to get an additional storage for this (Looking into something like 128GB micro SD.) From your photo and review, it doesnt seem to fit all the way in? or does it? OR should i get a 256GB flashdrive instead? Thank you very much for your help and great review!!!

    Peter

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      it doesn’t fit all the way in, half of it remains hanging out.

  3. AutrePensee

    August 6, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Why is the ux301 so much more expensive than the newly released 303? Whats the selling point?

    I am looking for a 13+” light laptop with long battery life, very capable hardware for powerful programs and SSD (no more than 256Gb necessary) but no need for gaming, so no need for dedicated graphics.
    I am looking at both the 301 and 303 but the average battery life is bad news and i dont need touchscreen or the dedicated graphics card of the 303, while the 301 seems overpriced…

  4. Tommy Ng

    August 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Hey
    I’m thinking about getting either the ux301la, the ux303ln/la or the nx500 but can’t really make a decision
    I’m planning to use it mainly for coding, watching movies and maybe sometimes run a game or so
    However I don’t really know which would suit me the best
    I’ve read all your reviews on these 3 but I’m still kind of unsure which to take
    So I wanted to ask you for your opinion wether that much CPU/GPU power ist needed for coding etc

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 14, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      CPU and RAM are moistly required by programming software, but it really depends on what you’re actually using. Also, mixing the 15 incher with the 13 inchers is not necessarily a good idea. Start by asking yourself if you want a small and light, or a heavier and larger machine. And work you way from there.

  5. Alberto

    October 28, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hi all,

    about ux301-la I’d like to know if I can connet to an external monitor via mini-hdmi and at what resolution.

    Thanks

    Alberto

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      That’s an HDMI 1.4 port on the UX301LA so it should support 4K resolution at 30 Hz or 2560 x 1440 px resolutions or lower at 60 Hz

  6. Alberto

    October 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for no posting my comment.

    Alberto

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Which comment? I can’t see anything from you. Please repost if possible.

  7. bill

    December 5, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Hello and thank you for your great review!
    I have two questions:

    1. Do you know if the model with the 1080p screen is having the same troubles with the yellows as in the 303?

    2. Do the glassed surfaces feel like the old macbooks (the white ones) to the touch?

    Regards,

    Bill

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      1. No, the 1080p screens use a different panel without the same colors’ issues
      2. More or less yes. They also feel similar to a modern tablet or smartphone screen.

  8. Javad

    December 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Dear Andrei,
    Thanks for your great reviews
    Between this model and Zenbook UX303LN which one has the better battery life ?
    Is it worth to pay this much for this model instead of UX301 considering the better CPU that this model offers?

  9. Topped Dog

    February 16, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Broadwell is out but the Haswell Intel Core i7-4558U still seems to be the highest performing CPU to be found in an Ultrabook. Yes, there are 28W Broadwell CPU’s like the Core i7-5557U, but there seems to be no computers released with them yet.

    Given you’ve seen so many Ultrabooks, Andrei, would you say the UX301LA (with the 4558U) is still the Ultrabook to buy if one wants to do photo and video editing?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

      I’d say yes, although the i7-5500U is within 10% of the i7-5500 in terms of CPU power and nearly on par in terms of graphics. And the i7-5500U is available in a wider range of laptops, while going for the 45588U really limits those to the UX301LA and the XPS 13 2014 in some regions.

      Still, if you’re mainly interested in CPU performance, with little regards to battery life or heat, the UX301LA remains the top pick right now.

  10. Josephine

    June 27, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Hi!

    Thanks for a great review. I have this laptop since 1.5 years back, and mostly loving it, especially after the windows upgrades.

    I have a question regarding bluetooth on this device, does anyone know if the laptop feature a Bluetooth stereo profile? Any idea of how to look this up is warmly welcome!

    /Josephine

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 29, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Do you want to connect headphones or external speakers? Should work just fine.

      • Josephine

        June 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Thanks! (we want to connect speakers via bluetooth)

  11. Ron

    July 24, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Hello Andrei,

    I have an UX301LA-4003H with 4 Gb RAM. It says everywhere upgrading is possible up to 6 or 8 Gb. I opened it up but I can’t seem to find any memory slot. Is it possible that this model only has 4 Gb soldered on the motherboard and is NOT upgradable RAM-wise?

    Thanks for your reply!

    Greetings, Ron

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 26, 2015 at 8:27 am

      As stated in the review, the memory is SOLDERED to the MB on the UX301LA and cannot be upgraded.

  12. Io

    May 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Hello,

    I am having issues with my asus UX303L. The screen popped off and one of the hinges is broken.
    See photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/cs84ALrJFKYAzU846

    Can I repair this easily?
    What’s the procedure to repair it.

    Thank you in advance for any help

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Well, this proved to be a fairly common issue of the Asus UX303 series. Not sure if you can find the parts to service it yourself. I’ve seen cases where people got this fixed under warranty, but you can still try to contact Asus about it even if you’re no longer covered and see what they estimate the costs of fixing it are.

  13. Mix-Movie.com

    October 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    You don't need this kind of performance to use MS Word, edit 15 meg JPEG photos in Photoshop or browse the web. You will enjoy it if you process full HD videos, compute thousands of rows in Excel, work with development environments on projects with many thousands of lines of code and if you play 3D games. We put the Asus Zenbook UX301LA to the test with a few current 3D games that leave everyday Ultrabooks panting with their fans whining and the FPS dragging. We test out BioShock Infinite, Skyrim and Civ V. Now Civ V runs decently on many current Ultrabooks, though touch response sometimes seems a bit slow or balky (it's one of the few touch-enabled modern 3D Windows desktop games). The other two? You've got to run at low resolutions and settings to manage 30 fps. Watch our gaming demo to see how it does (hint, pretty well though it's no gaming laptop). Keep resolutions and settings low in more demanding games like BioShock Infinite, and you'll have a very playable experience with less fan noise than on a Core i7-4500U with HD 4400 graphics. Asus' dual internal fan design is both efficient and quiet; their engineers know a thing or two about designed cooling systems for gaming rigs, after all.

    • Shannon

      May 8, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      Would you happen to know how much the premium one could sell for second hand for? I bought when it first came out and I belive it’s till upto today’s standards so just searching the net to find out what I could possibly sell it for

      Thanks

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