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


  1. simon

    November 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Any chance you’d put a Linux liveUSB (say, Ubuntu or Linux Mint for max compatibility’s sake) and test it out, see what works out of the box and what doesn’t?

    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I don’t have it around anymore, sry

      • simon

        November 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

        Damn’. Thanks anyway!

      • simon

        November 8, 2013 at 8:55 am

        For those interested: thanks to French user Zebnastien, we know more about the UX301’s compatibility with Linux:

        Quick translation:
        – Screen OK (Haven’t found font scaling, but resolution can be diminished).
        – Hardware OK (GPU, Wifi, Bluetooth, etc…)
        – Sleep OK.
        – Function keys OK, but not “Deactivate Wifi” and “Change brightness”.
        – Battery life does not seem bad.
        – Brightness does not seem to be changeable by any way.
        – Touchscreen not (yet) tested.

        The content of /sys/class/brightness are
        acpi_video0 intel_backlight

        Have a nice day!

  2. Mark_K

    November 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Do you have any updates on the release of the white ones?

  3. Andy

    November 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I’m looking for the white one and i can’y find it anywhere. :(

  4. stacey

    November 12, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Is the US version latest model touch screen UX301LA-XH72T? Is a different model number for white? Do you have a comparison of this model to the Samsung Ativ Book 9 NP940X3G-K04US & Lastly what would you say is the US 15″ comparable model ASUS UX51VZ-US71T, & Samsung? Thanks!

  5. Martin

    November 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Could you include boot times in your reviews?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I’ll try, but do these matter? Most ultrabooks with SSD boot in about 10-15 seconds

  6. Jon

    November 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hey man, your reviews are spot on, thanks so much for your help. You ROCK.

    Two quick questions for you. As you probably know, the 301 is hard to find in the US–and the cheapest model…the C4003H literally has not yet been released. Any idea when it may come out, and where, in the US?

    And assuming that only the ASUS gods know the answer to that first question, what Zenbook is the next best thing? I cant afford to wait forever, and looking to maximize on battery life, not much of a gamer… THANKS SO MUCH!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      I don’t have any contacts with ASUS US so can’t say when this is going to be available over there.

      The Next best thing would be the UX302LG, but again, it’s not available there. Besides that, you can look at the older Intel Ivy Bridge Zenbooks, althgouhg personally, I’d rather get a Haswell device from someone else (Sony, Acer, Lenovo, Samsung, etc)

  7. Mat

    November 27, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Stumbled upon this website and watched the review. Just wanted to thank you, you do a great job, keep up the good work it is much appreciated.

  8. Carl

    December 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    The above Asus Zenbook UX301LA have mini display port, thank God, which the other don’t (except Acer, although their port is called something else) that’s something that should be emphasized much more. Perfect connectivity for those who hook their laptop up to a high resolution external screen at work, in my case a Dell high resolution 27 inch. Because, who will constantly be working with that 13´inch screen? Few I guess, so you better look for good connections when its time to buy. The Samsung Ativ 13´lacks the mini display port, and there should really be much more complaints about it from reviewers that what I have actually seen being around.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      You have a point, but, How many buyers actually use High-res displays? For 1080p, HDMI will do and pretty much all ultrabooks have HDMI. As UHD displays get more popular, yes, not having DP on such a device would become something to consider. Right now though, I don’t think it’s such a big deal. Yes, for some buyers, like you, who already use 1440p screens or anything above 1080p, this is an issue, but I don’t think there are many like you out there.

      Regardless, point taken, I’ll consider this aspect as well in my future reviews.

      • carl

        December 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

        Tanks for the reply. I think many of the potential costumers of these high end ultrabooks will, as I am, use them for commercial purposes, and in that case you will sooner or later likely want to start using a high resolution external screen (and there are indeed complaints found on the internet when people realize that the max resolution with the HDMI cable is only 1900-1080). I was initially about to buy the Samsung Ativa but for the lack of the display port i now ordered the Asus Infinity instead. I do not really know if I would use it, but on that model I only miss the folding of the lid 180 degrees, which can be obtained on the Samsung and Acer ultrabooks.

        I also would like to add that I too think you are doing a great job.:)

  9. Carl

    December 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    As a matter of fact, if I were the reviewer, I would never issue a top score to a modern laptop that lacks a mini display port, as you the user likely always will hook up your small laptop to a bigger display when stationary, like at work.

  10. Carl

    December 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I might add that I recieved a Asus Zenbook UX301L but I have already sent it back without turning it on. I instead ordered the slighthly older Asus Zenbook UX301L (which also carry a mini display port). Main reason is that I realized I prefered the older design,semi matte aluminium full body and the keyboard. Glass is not for me.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Yes, I’m not a big fan of the glass either. Looks sleek, but keeping it smudge free is a pain

  11. Sen Kimsin

    December 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I really want to buy this ultrabook but I need to know how well it will work with Ubuntu OS. Any idea or link would be very helpful…

  12. Timothy Lee Russell

    December 13, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Thanks for the reviews. They helped a lot in my decision. I ended up getting the UX301LA 512GB model.

    It is an elegant and powerful machine.

    • stacey

      January 7, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Timothy,
      May I ask what you use it for?? Any Graphics/Photo/Video editing ie: Photoshop/Illustrator, Web Dev/Site Dreamweaver editing? If so how does it perform without dedicated graphics, I did see on ASUS’s website, that they are promoting it & more so the UX302LG for 3D editing, & Photoshop. Thanks for any info you can provide!

      • Timothy Lee Russell

        January 10, 2014 at 4:55 am

        I run Visual Studio and Sql Server mostly – multiple web browsers open with a lot of tabs. So I doubt I’m pushing the video much.

        It’s the fastest computer I’ve ever owned though and so light, I’ve stopped several times to make sure I had it in my pack.

        Also, I have everything I use on a regular basis installed and still have 350 GB free. The drive is big and really, really fast.

        Windows Experience from my machine right now:

        CPUScore : 7.5
        D3DScore : 6.1
        DiskScore : 8.3
        GraphicsScore : 5.9
        MemoryScore : 7.7
        TimeTaken : MostRecentAssessment
        WinSATAssessmentState : 1
        WinSPRLevel : 5.9
        PSComputerName : OBSCURED

      • stacey

        January 12, 2014 at 12:32 am

        Thanks Tim for the response!
        I’m not sure what that 5.9 on the Graphic Score means, but I would assume higher is better? If that is the case & you are not really using the Graphics card for anything intensive such as Photoshop, what would you think it would say if you were, while still doing all of the above you mentioned? Also if you were using these types of softwares, after seeing the 301LA’s performance, do you think you would still choose it over the the 302LG (dedicated graphics), & would you still choose 13″ over waiting for a haswell upgrade to the UX51vz?

      • Timothy Lee Russell

        January 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm

        For whatever reason, the windows experience scores are on a 1 to 7.9 scale (and deprecated in windows 8.1 – you have to run a Powershell command to get at them).

        Anyway, it’s only useful in a relative sense, I think. Andrei has some benchmarks somewhere on this site and I would pay attention to those instead.

        13″ seems like the perfect screen size for me (very portable but big enough to use if I don’t have an external monitor or two available).

      • Andrei Girbea

        January 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

        Stacey, As Timothy said as well, you shouldn’t care much about those ratings. Real life tests and even synthetic graphics benchmarks are far more trustful.

        If you’ve went through my UX301LA vs UX302LG comparison, you might have seen that the UX301LA is actually faster when it comes to editing videos. The same would apply to Photoshop renderings. And that’s because the CPU matter more than the GPU for these types of software. The UX302LG comes on top when it comes to games, because in this case, the graphics are a lot more important.

      • stacey

        January 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

        Thank you both for your responses,
        I didn’t know that the CPU was more important than the GPU, per say. Still not sure on the screen size though & weather I should wait it out for a haswell upgrade to the UX51VZ, don’t suppose you have heard anything on an upgrade to the 15″ Andrei?

  13. Bachi

    December 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Would also be glad to hear how the Zenbook behaves with Ubuntu. Would be cool if could do some Linux testing on new notebooks (and if it’s only from a Live CD).

    • Chris Berkhout

      January 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Yes, I’d love to know about Linux compatibility!

    • Erik

      March 6, 2014 at 5:15 am

      I would LOVE to see linux included. Not many people like windows 8. I found this web page by googling “Asus ux301L Linux” and it only came up because of these comments. I wont be using this site unless linux info is on here.

    • Christophe

      April 2, 2014 at 6:21 am

      I actually installed Ubuntu 13.04 on my Asus Zenbook UX301LAA. I installed i3 window manager too.

      I have some troubles with drivers and SSD compatibility.

      Main thing is that the SSD goes some time in readonly. I don’t know why. I have to reboot the machine.

  14. AK

    December 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I’m considering the Zenbook UX301LA-DE002P. But, I was wondering about two things:

    Are the drives replaceable in this model? And if so, can you take them out of raid?

    Ideally, I’d like to used a single small ssd for the system drive, and a large (maybe 1tb) ssd for storage. Thanks.

  15. Chris eby

    January 4, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Does any one else have a comment or experience with the sharp front edge discussed in the review? Is the sharp edge a reason not to purchase this model?

    • Timothy Lee Russell

      January 10, 2014 at 4:21 am

      I use a wireless keyboard and mouse and run two external monitors using the display port plus a Toshiba Dynadock through usb so I don’t have my hands on the laptop usually.

      When I have used it undocked though, I didn’t notice the edge as being a problem. It is beveled similarly to a newer iPod. There is a tiny dip where the gorilla glass ends and the aluminum begins and then the edge which I suppose you could call stern but not punishing. The palm rest is wide enough to fit my hands easily so I didn’t find myself coming into contact with it that often. Also, it’s really thin, so if the heel of your palm is resting on the desk to use the trackpad, your hand arches over the edge easily. YMMV.

  16. Marius Dumitrescu

    January 9, 2014 at 8:18 am

    What about the problems it have in wirelles internet connection? ( a problem for most Asus notebooks!! )

    • Timothy Lee Russell

      January 10, 2014 at 4:25 am

      I haven’t had any wifi issues. It seems fine.

      I did have a problem with my bluetooth mouse disconnecting randomly but about 1000 screens deep in settings there is an option to keep the bluetooth adapter from shutting down during long periods of inactivity. Now it’s fine.

      • Jenny

        January 29, 2014 at 1:12 am

        RE: Timothy Lee Russell:

        I’m having problems with my bluetooth mouse disconnecting randomly as well! How did you fix this problem??

      • Timothy Lee Russell

        February 5, 2014 at 3:55 am


        I fixed it by turning off the power saving feature in Win8->Bluetooth Settings->Hardware->(Select appropriate adapter)->Properties->Change settings->Power Management->Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.


      • Timothy Lee Russell

        July 2, 2015 at 3:12 am

        Also note, sometimes this setting gets turned back on automatically (maybe by Windows Update or driver installs or something) so you’ll have to go through these steps occasionally. It’s reset on me twice since I commented here on Feb 5, 2014. Luckily, I was able to google my own solution — since this setting is so deeply buried.

  17. omar

    February 28, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Hey, i just bought this and I think that I have a defective one. THe fans will never shut off they run at full blast all the time even with CPU at under 10% for just web browsing. They are SUPER loud, wth ASUS! Is there any way to fix this?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 28, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Let me have a look at the forums and I’ll get back to you. What you can do is make sure you have the latest BIOS version installed and the latest Power 4 Gear

      • Torgeir Nørbech

        February 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        Any news regarding this issue? I have the same experience. Contacted ASUS, waiting for their response. Can also hear a subtle squeeking sound when putting my ear to the keyboard. I am loving it (the PC), but these two issues makes me uncomfortable.

      • Andrei Girbea

        February 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm

        WEll no, not really. If the latest BIOS doesn’t fix it, I don’t know what will. You could seek the Owner’s lounge on the forums and ask there, maybe someone found a solution…

  18. lduvall

    March 26, 2014 at 2:22 am

    I got one of these for my spouse. I played with it and set it up, and asked her if she didn’t want it, let me know, because I like this machine! I also found a review early on by someone who had installed openSUSE as I recall. Fast, great screen, solid, decent keyboard. I like it, and i will be getting another one shortly, since my wife isn’t interested in giving me hers!

  19. 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?

  20. 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!!!


    • Andrei Girbea

      June 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm

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

  21. 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…

  22. Tommy Ng

    August 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

    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.

  23. 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.



    • 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

  24. Alberto

    October 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for no posting my comment.


    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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

  25. 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?



    • 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. Josephine

    June 27, 2015 at 9:51 am


    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!


    • 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)

  29. 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.

  30. Io

    May 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm


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

    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.


    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


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