Asus Zenbook UX303LN / UX303 review – faster than ever

632 Comments

  1. rohan

    February 14, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    How is the volume controlled? through button pushing or is there an external manual control?

  2. charlie

    February 20, 2015 at 9:32 am

    “But the colors are way OFF, especially yellows (but not just), which have a Mustard like-tint.”

    And you call yourself an expert reviewer for real? the reasons colours are off is that by default there is an Asus Program istalled called Asus Splendid which boosts the colours level. Once you set it to normal or unistall it all together colours go back to being absolutely fine. It took me 5 minutes to figure out by cheching the asus programs installed and i am pretty much your average joe pcwise.

    So for those having colours issues:

    UNINSTALL ASUS SPLENDID!!!!!!!!!

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Charlie, you should probably do a bit more reading on this subject BEFORE you start trashing people online. That way you’d know this particular problem has nothing to do with the Splendid App, which actually over-saturates colors, not skew them completely :)

      Just to be sure, we’re talking about the UX303LN here with the 3200 x 1800 px display. If you’re saying the colors are alright now in your case, put an iPhone/iPad or anything with a good screen next to your laptop and Google for RGB CMYK :) I’m not aware of any BIOS fix that addressed the colors, but I might be wrong, haven’t looked up closely on this matter lately.

      • Lee

        March 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Hello Andrei

        I wanted to know if you can tell us what the fix should be for the UX303LN screen for the yellow problem.

        I am overseas now and will be returning to the USA in two months and i wanted to buy this ultrabook when I get back. Do we need to update the BIOS, firmware or something else. I just wanted to be ready before buying the computer.

        Thanks again

      • Andrei Girbea

        March 17, 2015 at 11:18 am

        Asus needs to release a BIOS update in order to address this issue, but they have not, at least from what I know. There’s no way us, as buyers/users/ can fix it.

      • Lee

        April 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        Hello Andrei

        question about the msata port does it support 3Gbps or 6Gbps devices? I was looking at the Emperor Disk 128GB mSATA Mini (Half Size) SATAIII SSD.

        You can add the above msata mini for extra storage space, But also could it be used as a caching drive? would this help with performance?

        I would like to be able to use it in a Raid 0 setup.

        It would be nice if the 850 evo m.2 and 850 evo msata 256gb would be supported on this ultrabook.

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 2, 2015 at 6:46 pm

        To be frank, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to use it in a RAID config. The truth is I didn’t pay that much attention to that mSATA port when I reviewed the laptop, so there’s not much I can comment on it. Sry

  3. Antonio

    February 20, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    For Jan,

    You’re lucky enought to find this 303LN in Fnac.pt
    Wish they put in on sale in Spain someday.

    Regards

  4. Mark

    February 28, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Hello! I want to know if this laptop is suitable for students? Also, I might also do some gaming. Will this be suitable for me?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 28, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Yes, thanks to the dedicated graphics inside, this one is suitable for both everyday activities and games

  5. Jamie

    March 3, 2015 at 1:11 am

    I love this laptop. Light and powerful, but I was looking up solutions or complaints because my monitor is really wobbly. I bought it in Sept of 2014 and after looking up Amazon reviews I’m pretty sure I’m not too far away from cracking hinges. Upon close inspection I see a little separation where the back of the monitor attaches to the hinge. Really bummed about this because I realize this means I’m going to be without a laptop while they fix the problem. I’m wondering if I should send in now or wait till it inevitably starts cracking. Really disappointed. I’d also like to point out I’ve never had any issues with laptops in the past, including my previous Asus which is 5 years old.

    • Francesco

      March 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Maybe the new 2015 version of UX303LN has improved hinges?

      • Francesco

        March 5, 2015 at 9:49 am

        Maybe is possible to calibrate the display with a specific software/hardware for professional use?

      • Andrei Girbea

        March 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        No, it’s not a calibration problem

      • Antonio

        March 5, 2015 at 11:42 am

        Or maybe not… anyways it’s not for sale in Spain nor with Spanish keyboard, i’ll squeeze my ux31a until the 303ln is available in my country.

  6. Ra

    March 6, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Hi Andrei

    Would you recommend the asus UX303LN for a graduate engineering student? I will be using the laptop for daily use (internet, word, emails etc) and from time to time running engineering software (CAD, simulations etc). If so would you recommend the intel core i7 4510U or core i7 5500U?

    If not what other ultra portable would you recommend (upto a value of $1500 US) for the uses that I sepcified. It can be either Asus or other brands.

    Many Thanks.

  7. TimAitch

    March 13, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Great review. I wanted a good laptop to backup my PC (travelling etc.) To cut the story short I bought a UX303L (Intel I7 – 4510 U, GeForce GT 840M, 256GB SSD, SDHC card reader, Win 8.1), a few hours ago ($1299CAD).

    When I got home the marriage became a little rocky: there was no Ethernet/USB dongle; I have about 85 GB of free disk space; and the card reader doesn’t do SDXC (I think SDHC is limited to 32 GB).

    Basically I want more storage and I will be happy. I saw your review before I bought the unit, and I noticed that small SSD (2.5 inch?) port in the top right hand corner. Can I just buy a 2.5″ SSD and bung it in there? I have noticed a 500GB Crucial drive for $250, a Samsung 1.0 TB for $700, and some Intel units that are a little pricey, but I have a 440 GB and 220 GB Intel drives on my PC and I like them (dimensions 2.5″ x 3.73″ x 7 mm + 2mm plastic frame).

    Sorry for waffling – my question is can I install a second SSD in my Zen Book?

    Tim

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 13, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I’d replace the existing SSD with a bigger one. You can install a second SSD on the spare mSATA mini port from what I remember, but I don’t think it will be worth the fuss. Those are slow and expensive. Just replace the 256 GB 7mm 2.5″ bay with a bigger one, clone it on the new SSD and you’re good to go.

      However, replacing the SSD might void warranty in some regions, you might want to check for any warranty stickers on the screws that hold the SSD cage in place or ask the local Asus representatives about that.

  8. Omar

    March 15, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Hey Andrei,
    I’ve been considering buying a new laptop for a while and now that I found this one, which seems great, I find out its been out for like 9 months already. Do you know when ASUS intends to do their refresh for the laptop? I might just wait if its before the new school year in September.

    (I like to do some gaming, and my current one can’t run the new Total War Atilla game, do you think this will, in HD with nice FPS?) Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      They recently refreshed this model with Broadwell hardware so I don’t think a new version will be launched till the end of this year. Maybe Q4 might bring a Skylake update.
      The laptop with run Atilla nicely in HD or FHD resolutions, just not on max details.

  9. Mike

    March 19, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I’be been looking into the asus E451LD-XB51 and the asus UX303LN for school and work. Battery life is important. Does anyone know how the battery life compare to each other?

  10. someone

    March 28, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I have a HDD drive in Zenbook UX303. Can I use mSata connector to put ssd as second hard drive with standard HDD drive? (120/128 GB SSD drive on mSata)? or it will any problems?

  11. eric

    March 31, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone has experienced USB power issues with the UX series two left USB ports? I have the previous generation UX302 LG and it seems that I can only use the one USB port on the right side with reliable results e.g. if I use the Ethernet adapter or any other USB adapter/ USB flash drive, etc. in either of the two left USB ports, the adapter constantly blinks on and then off, and Windows makes the connect disconnect chime. When I was in Taiwan last fall, I decided to go to the source and bring it to an ASUS tech center and the technician told me that due to the ultra thin design of the unit, they had to make some compromises with the power and the USB ports to the left are further away from the power source and therefore cannot maintain consistent power. He recommended that I use the one USB port on the right of the machine for anything that requires consistent power. This seems a bit odd and a bit of a letdown considering how expensive this unit was. I was wondering if anyone else had the same problem?

  12. Entaro

    April 1, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    I bought UX303LN model, but i noticed light bleeding problem in bottom left corner of the screen. Do you think this is acceptable or i should return it? http://screenshot.net/o9y9lun.jpg

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2015 at 7:54 am

      I think it’s OK. but if it bothers you in everyday use or when watching movies, return it. It’s important to be satisfied with your laptop.

  13. Pedro Lourenço

    April 2, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I returned mine because de left hinge broken in 2 weeks. For nothing. It was ok in the morning then I went to work and when I was arrived I’ve tried to open the lid and it just didn’t open. Too bad… Plastic painted hinge with bad quality. You will have problems here!

    I’m going to HP Spectre Pro x360 now…

    Andrei: will you write a review?

    Thank you very much.

    Regards from Portugal,

    Pedro

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Hi Pedro. I’d love to but the X360 is not yet available over here.

  14. Andrew Art

    April 7, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Hey Andrei,

    The spec of Zenbook XPS 303LN that’s here in SE Asia: i7 5500U, DDR3 8 GB, HDD 1 TB Sata + SSD 24 GB, Nvidia GT840M 2 GB. It’s selling for ~US$1100.

    I would like to ask your opinion. I’m also looking at Zenbook XPS 305 (same spec as your XPS 305 review but the RAM is only 4GB here in SE Asia) at ~US$750

    From the two choices above, which one do you think presents the better value for its spec?

    Thank you for doing these reviews!

    • Andrew Art

      April 7, 2015 at 11:44 am

      I forgot to mention the XPS 303LN I mentioned is also not touchscreen.

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Well, those are completely different machines and both are OK for what they are. The UX305 is a thin and light laptop made for casual use. It’s also fanless. the UX303LN is something to consider for performance and especially for gaming, due to the dedicated graphics it offers. Pick based on what you need.

  15. Walid

    May 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    my notebook Asus ux 303-L came with 8 GB RAM , can i increase ram to be 16 GB ,if possible ,is it useful with performance or not ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 17, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      No. The Hardware section of this review explain all there is to know about the RAM

  16. Mark

    June 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    > If we’re to look at Battery Bar readings, the laptop
    > discharges with about 6 mW per hour when idle (with
    > the above mentioned settings) and about 10-11 while
    > running a Full HD video on Youtube.

    The W/h unit in the above statement makes no sense. Perhaps you meant energy consumption (Wh), or power of the load (W or Wh/h), or maybe you meant a battery voltage drop (V/h).

  17. mehdi

    June 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I have purchased this model but i hear a light squeaked sound like a whir when i power the laptop on. i had this problem from the beginning. the support technicians told that this is usual in this model because of its compact design. but this is really annoying. anyone had this problem? what can i do? is that a normal sound?

  18. Rebecca

    July 21, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Hi, I just bought this laptop and I LOVE it, but there is just one issue I could find. The keyboard is supposed to be backlit, there are literally two buttons that are clearly the backlit on/off toggles, yet I cannot for the life of me figure out how to turn on the keyboard! Could someone please tell me how? I feel so stupid as it seems very obvious. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 21, 2015 at 9:47 am

      press FN (lower left side of the keyboard) + the according F key that turns keyboard brightness up at the same time. I can’t recall exactly which F key is that, but there’s a pictogram on it.

      • Rebecca

        July 24, 2015 at 4:44 am

        Yes, I have tried that. Fn + f4 should turn it on, but nothing happens. When I first turn on the laptop the backlight comes on for a few seconds but then it just turns off as soon as t goes to the lock screen. I don’t know what the problem is! It’s really annoying as I do like having the backlight even when using the laptop in high light areas.

      • Andrei Girbea

        July 24, 2015 at 7:03 am

        That’s weird but I don’t know what to advise. You’d better contact Asus Support and see what they have to say about that

  19. Ayelet

    August 4, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I own this laptop for a while now. A month after I bought it I started having problems charging it- the charging indicator would just go on and off constantly, as the laptop was connecting and disconnecting continuously.
    I had it fixed, and was told the charging port solders broke. Now, six months after I had it fixed, it broke again =(
    Anyone else had a similar problem? Does anyone know what can be the cause of the breaks? Bad charging port/ bad charger/ bad battery? Any way to fix it permanently and so I won’t have to pay every few months to get it soldered back together?
    Thanks!

  20. Sasha

    August 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hi, I bought this laptop a month ago and only until I came across your review do I know where the ventilation is, cause it does get hot a bit too easily. I don’t really know the best way to use a cooling pad or something to help it cool down for this kind of product, what do you recommend and how? Thank you

  21. Emma

    August 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I’m going to be using this laptop for school and personal use. Can anyone tell me how the laptop holds up after several months of everyday use? As well as if they experienced any other structural and otherwise problems after owning the laptop after a while?

    • Jim

      May 18, 2016 at 10:56 am

      my display broke off after 1 year. because i opened it from one side only, not the middle.. falls not under warranty..

  22. Tran Son

    September 1, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Hi Andrei,
    i live in asia, in my country, i have UX303 i5, 8gb ram, ssd 256, gtx 840m. I work with photoshop, illustrator, proshow gold every day in my office. Should i buy this UX303 ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 1, 2015 at 11:59 am

      What’s the screen resolution of that unit? if it’s 3200 x 1800 px, stay away, that panel is not able to reproduce colors accurately. If it’s 1920 x 1080 px then it’s going to be OK.

      • Tran Son

        September 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm

        It’s 1920×1080, so it will be ok with my job, right ? Just graphic design. Thanks Andrei !

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

        Yes, should be OK

  23. Cosmin

    January 3, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Salutare ! Ai putea te rog sa partajezi wallpaper-urile stock sau un link catre ele ? Multumesc frumos !

  24. Mr HU

    January 8, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Hellow
    Just randomely found this review about this computer, I had it for a year and quite happy about it (despite being about to format it due to some random very high CPU usage)

    >>> but I was more wondering if anyone here knows about a fix/solution for the color problem ?

    Did asus released anything ?

    Would be great.
    thanks a million,
    CheerS!

  25. Lawrence Myers

    January 8, 2016 at 11:56 am

    The hinges on my Asus ux303ln broke completely off after just 3 months of careful use. I sent it back to Asus and they did the repair which included replaced hinges and screen. My question is when Asus makes this repair do they use a different design or better hing to screen assembly or do they replace with the original cheapo plastic design? I cannot tell by looking at it as the vent shield hides the hinge assembly and I don’t want to try taking it apart.

    Thanks for any help on this issue.

    • Dave

      February 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      I have had all kinds of problems with the hinges breaking, screen goes crooked, etc… terrible

  26. Chorong

    February 3, 2016 at 4:23 am

    I currently have the i7 4510U+QHD Touch+256 SSD+8gb ram+840M variant of the UX303LN. It is a great ultrabook at this price point pack with all these specs, but one problem I’ve been having is that the CPU would TDP throttle at around 70 degrees Celsius.

  27. nasser

    February 13, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    sound from hardisk.. is that normal? ASUS ZENBOOK UX303 i7

    like that
    youtube.com/watch?v=nsiN8sNLPXs

    thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 14, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Well, yes, that’s how HDD’s sound, more or less. You can replace the HDD with an SSD if you want something quiet.

  28. Jim

    May 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

    i cant recommend the ux303! the display broke off after only 1 year of use! support says its my fault so no warranty! i shouldnt have openend it from one side only, the hinge was not designed for that!
    my thinkpads hinge was, it lasted 5 years with no problems.. then i bought an asus.. mistakes were made..

  29. Paul McRae

    January 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I have many laptops, this Asus is stunning, you need to upgrade the SSD to the high speed version, fresh install Win 10 and you will get a working day out of the battery together with a laptop that can play the most compressed 1080p film or even render 3DsMax in real time which most desktop i7s struglle with. Laptop and charger runs cold and the big plus point is that the air comes out the rear (and goes up the screen) so if you leave it on your bed, it does not self destruct like all HP laptops!
    Big Big disadvantage… the hinges on the actual screen are held in by 3 screws (on each side) that are brass insert pressed into plastic with a wall thickness of about 2mm, the hinges themselves are well designed and substantial but the engineering along the display attachment is more reminiscent of Amstrad not Asus. My screen has broke twice, luckily I am an engineer with a workshop that can fabricate anything and I CNC machined two inserts from a piece of solid brass and epoxied them into the wells and so far, seems to have resolved all issues. My conclusion is that if you have a 2000 sq ft shed at the bottom of the garden containing 6 figures worth of precision machinery AND you have retired so you time is free, you will enjoy this laptop!
    Oh! it is possible to lock this laptop, it gets stuck in half un-hibernate, its not actually bricked just screen dead with all the symptoms, it can be fixed.

    • Nilly Mos

      August 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

      How did you fix the bricked problem? Mine, suddenly after the anniversary update decides to not shutdown completely or hibernate or sleep completely: the screen is black but the power switch is lit. I have to hold for 10 counts and hard reboot to get it working. I've updated all I could, and reinstalled win 10(everything gone except for asus original files) by going into system reinstall. No change. It's been a half year of frustration as I can't fix it. Any suggestions?
      And how did you fresh install?

      • Andrew Jones

        April 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm

        I had the same problem and wasted much time before discovering that it was windows 10 that wasn't asking weather or not to update the graphics drivers. I re-installed the original (recommended by Asus) graphics driver and set win 10 to never update it. This works until microsoft decides to dish out a major update which overrides the setting. Really simple once you know. Just wish Asus could have worked this one out and let us know!

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