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Asus Zenbook UX303LA vs UX303LN – which one to get?

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on September 9, 2017

If you’ve been following ultrabooks in these last years, Asus’s Zenbooks should definitely sound familiar. The UX303 is their flagship line for the second part of 2014 and probably for the first half of 2015 as well and there will be at least two different models in this series, based on what we know right now, the UX303LA and the UX303LN.

We’ve seen a similar approach from Asus in the past, with the UX32A and UX32V in 2012 and then the more recent UX302LA/LG and UX32LA/LN. The LA appendix is reserved for the lower-end version in a series, while the LN (or LG on other Zenbooks) points towards the higher end models, with dedicated graphics and sometimes a few extra features. The same stands for the UX303 line.

Now, I did review the Zenbook UX303LN a few weeks ago and I actually like it a lot. Check out the detailed post for more details. I haven’t reviewed the UX303LA and I probably never will, but in many, many ways, the UX303LA and the UX303LN are identical. They share the same body and platform, same keyboard and trackpad, same ports and connectivity options, same battery, etc. The minor differences are visible in the specs comparison below, and we’ll get in depth with them in the next sections of this post.

The Zenbook UX303 family has at least two members: the UX303LA and the UX303LN

The Zenbook UX303 family has at least two members: the UX303LA and the UX303LN

Asus Zenbook UX303LAAsus Zenbook UX303LN
Screen13.3 inch, either TN 1600 x 900 px non-glare or IPS 1920 x 1080 px touchscreen13.3 inch, either IPS 1920 x 1080 px non-glare or IGZO IPS 3200 x 1800 PX touchscreen
ProcessorIntel Core i3-4010U, i5-4210U, Core i7-4510UIntel Core i5-4210U, Core i7-4510U
VideoIntel 4400 HDIntel 4400 HD + Nvidia GT 840M 2GB
Memoryup to 12 GB DDR3up to 12 GB DDR3
Storage2.5 inch 7 mm bay – up to 256 GB SSD2.5 inch 7 mm bay – up to 256 GB SSD
ConnectivityWireless AC, Bluetooth, LAN (adapter)Wireless AC, Bluetooth, LAN (adapter)
Ports3xUSB 3.0, SD card reader, HDMI, miniDP, VGA and RJ45 (with adapters)3xUSB 3.0, SD card reader, HDMI, miniDP, VGA and RJ45 (with adapters)
Battery3 Cell 50 Wh3 Cell 50 Wh
OSWindows 8.1 /ProWindows 8.1 /Pro
Size323 x 223 x 20 cm323 x 223 x 20 cm
Weightabout 1.45 kg (3.3 pounds)about 1.45 kg (3.3 pounds)
Pricetop version ~ $1200; starts at $649 (latest discounts)top version ~ $1300; starts at $849 (latest discounts)

The official specs sheets are available on Asus’s website, and the available configurations that I’m aware of are listed below (these might differ from region to region though). I also added my video review of the UX303LN, in case you’re interested in more details about this series.

The Zenbook UX303LA:

  • Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD 4400, 1TB 2.5″ 5400R SATA, 4 GB RAM, 1600 x 900 px  TN anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 650 euro;
  • Intel Core i5-4210U, Intel HD 4400, 128 GB SSD, 6 GB RAM, 1600 x 900 px  TN anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 750 euro;
  • Intel Core i7-4510U, Intel HD 4400, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1600 x 900 px  TN anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 1000 euro;
  • Intel Core i7-4510U, Intel HD 4400, 256 GB SSD, 12 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px  IPS  touchscreen, backlit keyboard, Windows 8.1 – roughly 1150 euro.

The Zenbook UX303LN:

  • Intel Core i5-4210U, Nvidia 840M, 1TB 2.5 5400R SATA+16G MSSD, 6 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS Anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 800 euro;
  • Intel Core i7-4510U, Nvidia 840M, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS Anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 1100 euro;
  • Intel Core i7-4510U, Nvidia 840M, 256 GB SSD, 12 GB RAM, 3200 x 1800 px IPS glare touchscreen, Windows 8.1 Pro – roughly 1250 euro.

Configurations available in US stores right now:

  • UX303LA-DB51T$899 (potential discounts available via this link) – FHD touchscreen, Intel Core i5-4210U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD, Windows 8.1;
  • UX303LN-DB71T$1299 (potential discounts available via this link) – quad-HD touchscreen, Intel Core i7-4510U CPU, 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, Nvidia 840M graphics, Windows 8.1..

From what I know right now, the base versions of the UX303LA might lack a backlit keyboard, while the top UX303LA configuration and all the UX303LNs it by default.

Also, it’s worth noting that all these come with 4 GB of RAM soldered on the MB and an extra DIMM that can take an up to 8 GB memory module. All configurations house an M.2 connector that can accommodate an mSATA like half-size pen-SSD. The connector is only occupied in the base UX303LN configuration, by the 16 GB caching SSD. On all the others, it is free and easily accessible, as you can see in here.

Last but not least, you might notice that the UX303LA is not considerably cheaper than the UX303LN. In fact, the gap is roughly 50 to 100 euro, base on configuration, so unless you really don’t care about graphics performance or want a particular setup that’s only available for the LA (like the i7+ FHD touchscreen, for instance), I’d say the UX303LN is going to be the better buy here in most cases.

However, I do expect the UX303LA to become more affordable in the next months, while the UX303LN is already aggressively priced and will probably not see that many discounts. So in time, with proper price-cuts, the UX303LA could be worth considering as well. Just keep an eye on the available deals and choose what best fits your needs.

The major differences

First of all, there’s the screen. The UX303LA is going to be available with a 1600 x 900 px resolution non-touch non-glare TN panel for the Core i3 and i5 configurations, while some Core i5 and i7 bundles will get a 1920 x 1080 px touchscreen with an IPS panel. The UX303LN on the other hand gets a non-glare non-touch 1920 x 1080 px IPS panel for most of the available configurations, and a higher density 3200 x 1800 px IGZO IPS panel for the top one, which is identical to the one I had on my review unit.

It’s worth noting that the 3200 x 1800 px panel suffers from severely skewed colors (mostly yellows, but the others as well) and that could only be addressed with a BIOS update, but Asus have yet to deliver it, although many, many months have passed since they started selling this machine. So if you want a laptop that’s color accurate, you’d have to look otherwise. The FHD panels do not suffer from the same issues.

Now, it seems that the UX303LA is not going to get the FHD non-glare panel, while the UX303LN will not get the FHD touchscreen, which kind of limits your options somewhat. For example, if you wanted a touchscreen on the LN, you’d have to go for high-resolution panel as well, which leads to potential issues (Windows scaling problems, lower efficiency). Even so, the LN is one of the very few modern ultrabooks bundled with a matte panel and this alone could be enough to draw attention.

The other major difference is the lack of the dedicated graphics chip on the UX303LA, as already mentioned several times above. In its absence, the LA relies solely on the integrated Intel HD 4400 chip, which is not that bad, but it’s not really meant for gaming. Even so, you can run even some of the latest titles in 13 x 7 with very low details, but don’t expect to get playable framerates each time. 2-3 year old games though should run fine in these conditions. I did test a few games on the Intel HD 4400 chip a while ago and the results are available here, if you’re interested.

The UX303LN on the other hand is a lot more capable when it comes to games, both at 13 x 7 and at 19 x 10 resolutions, as you can see from here. On the other hand, the LN will also run hotter than the LA and will probably not last as much on a charge, but that majorly depends on what exactly you’ll be doing on it and whether the Nvidia chip kicks ON or not (the UX303LN disables the dedicated chip automatically when performing low end tasks, in order to preserve battery life).


If you want a sleek 13 inch laptop with beefy hardware and dedicated graphics able to handle games fairly well, the Asus Zenbook UX303LN does not have a match right now. In fact, all the available gaming ultrabooks that could stand next to this Zenbook performance-wise are bulkier and larger, while other 13 inchers, like the Asus UX302LG for instance, don’t pack the same kind of firepower. But the UX303LN is not just about muscles and a pretty face, it checks most of the right boxes for a modern computer and it’s properly priced.

The UX303LA is a snipped version of the LN, without the graphics and with some different screen options. But it’s not a lot cheaper than the UX303LN, so imh, the 50 to 100 euro (or US dollars) you’ll be saving for the LA over a similarly configured LN at launch are not worth what you’ll be loosing. Take a good look at the available configurations in your country and do that math yourself. In time though, when the UX303LA will get discounted (and I’m confident it will fairly quickly), choosing between these two will make more sense. For now though, the UX303LN offers more for the money.

On top of that, the UX303LA has a to face a lot of potential rivals, and good ones, like the HP Spectre 13T-3000, the Dell XPS 13, the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, the Acer Aspire S7-392 or the Sony Vaio Pro 13, to name just a few, which are closely priced these days to Asus’s option. And that means that some of you will probably like more one of these, or maybe some of the other top 13 inch ultrabooks of the moment over this Zenbook.

The UX303LN is an unbeatable device, but the UX303LA needs to get cheaper before it becomes competitive

The UX303LN is an unbeatable device, but the UX303LA needs to get cheaper before it becomes competitive

Anyway, this wraps it up for now. Hopefully this quick comparison between the Asus Zenbook UX303LA and the UX303LN helped you understand the exact differences between the two members of the same series and helped you decide if either one of them is the right pick for you. The comments section is of course open, so if you have anything to add or any questions, just shoot, I’ll be around to reply.

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Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.


  1. Tal

    July 3, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Thanks for your good work, please help me understand something.
    If the LN is the higher series, how come the dedicated graphic card is listed under the LA?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Ups, that was a mistake on my part. Sry for that and thanks for pointing it to me, I’ve fixed it now

  2. Aatif

    July 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Dude you have to double check resolution … lol … i think you never open asus website .. don’t copy paste from other source

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      what are you talking about? What’s wrong with the resolutions?

      • Wayne

        July 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        13.3″ 16:9 HD+ EWV (1600 x 900)/IPS FHD (1920×1080) according to asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/UX303LA/specifications/

        It also appears there won’t be an i7 bundle, only: Intel® Core™ i5 4210U Processor & Intel® Core™ i3 4030U Processor

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

          Not according to what I know. We’ll see, I’m pretty sure an I7 UX303LA will be available as well

          • Antonio

            July 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

            According to Amazon it seems like there will be and its at a pretty good price! amazon.co.uk/UX303LA-R5105H-13-3-inch-Ultrabook-Bluetooth-Integrated/dp/B00K7Y5NLA

  3. Kevin

    July 4, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Questions: Because the LN will run quite hot, according to you, do you have any suggestions as to keeping it cool? Also, if you do a review for the final retail model, can you compare the two different screen choices? That is the anti-glare and the igzo 3k one. I really hate glare…

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I’m not sure I’ll be able to post a review on the final retail units, but I’ll see what can be done about that.

      To keep it cool you should have a proper airflow beneath the laptop, when the intake grills are placed. You could also use one of those Laptop cooling-pads if you live in a really hot and humid area, but I can’t say for sure if they’ll have any major impact, I’ve never tried them.

      Either way, unless you plan on gaming for countless hours on this laptop, I doubt temperatures will ever be a major problem. It only gets hot under continuous and serious load.

      • Kevin

        July 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        I see. I just want to do some gaming on this machine and not have it break.

  4. Nick

    July 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Hi there – assuming I that price doesn’t change, do you suggest purchasing the FHD version over the QHD purely based on scaling issues?

    Australia seems to be getting 2 UX303LN models, both FHD (one with the i7-4500u, the other 4510u) however will be the same price as importing a QHD model from the US.

    I’m a little worried about the text scaling and particularly while playing games but also just for general eye-strain.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Personally I’d get the FHD screen. However, keep in mind that the FHD option might be a non-glare non-touch display, and not a touchscreen. Not sure if that’s the case in Australia, but it is over here in Europe. SO the question is: do you want a touchscreen or not?

      Also, the QHD panel is the same we’ve seen on the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLus, and both had issues with yellow reproduction. Hopefully Asus will fix them on this laptop, but there’s a chance they might not, so that could be another argument in favor of the FHD option

  5. Michael

    July 4, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Could you please let me know where or when I could find the top-spec UX303LA (the one with Intel Core i7-4510U, Intel HD 4400, 256 GB SSD, 12 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS touchscreen, backlit keyboard, Windows 8.1)? That one looks perfect for me.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 5, 2014 at 7:29 am

      you’ll have to ask shops in your local country for that, or Asus’s officials. I do know that this will be available worldwide by Late July, Early August, according to the latest info, but not more than that

  6. ken

    July 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Any ideas why manufacturers simply won’t fit a gtx850m in ultrabooks? Except for Gigabyte. They just won’t do it. Charging premium for the likes of the Asus NX500 and pretending it’s something new while feeding us half-baked graphic options like the 820m or 840m or the unbearably old 730m. Granted, some were cheaper but that shouldn’t be an excuse. Such an insult, don’t you think?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      There’s the 850M in the NX500 and on the Acer Aspire V7-582G . And there are a few other ultrabooks with more powerful Nvidia graphics, as you can see from here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/2071-best-gaming-ultrabooks/

      Fitting the 850M on a 13 incher like this Asus though is more problematic, due to heating and noise issues. There’s no point in having powerful graphics if the laptop gets very hot and throttles

  7. Peter

    July 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    the UX303LA


    Release July 28th. Maybe the LN will have the same release date.

  8. wayne

    July 15, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    The ASUS Zenbook UX303LA at $895 would be incredible: bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1060933-REG/asus_ux303la_db51t_i5_4210u_1_7g_8gb_128ss_windows8_1_13_3_brown.html. At $1,041 on Amazon (amazon.com/Zenbook-UX303LA-DB51T-13-3-Inch-Display-Touchscreen/dp/B00KTHGRIS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1405467638&sr=8-2&keywords=asus+zenbook+ux303ln), I can’t help but die a little inside

  9. Cody Sayre

    July 28, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    ASUS is now saying mid-August…I’m so impatient.

  10. Ripple Earthdevil

    July 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    This does not come in the configuration I would want, which is i5 8GB 256GB. How difficult and expensive would it be to upgrade the SSD myself?

    I don’t need dedicated graphics, I’m undecided about the whole touch screen thing and could easily stick with Win 7, but would like 3 USB ports.

    Any recommendations?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      You won’t find any modern ultrabook selling with Win 7 and most of these new ones have a touchscreens. Also, if you need a 13 incher, there aren’t many with 3 USB ports besides these Zenbooks and the UX32LA/LN versions, which are only available in Europe and Asia. I’d have the Asus Transformer Book FLip TP300, Toshiba Z30, Toshiba Kirabook 2014 and that’s about all that I can think of.

  11. Ripple Earthdevil

    August 5, 2014 at 4:26 am

    You can get still get ThinkPads with Win 7.

    So if I were to get a UX303LA 128GB, which is currently available on Amazon for $907, how much trouble and cost would it be to then upgrade it to 256GB?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 5, 2014 at 8:17 am

      I’d say it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Take away the back panel and then the hardware is going to look like this: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/internals.jpg .

      My unit used an M.2 stick SSD placed in a special adapter on the standard 2.5″ 7 mm bay. Not sure if that’s the solution they’ll adapt for the final release units, but if it’s the same, you can either use a standard 2.5″ SSD or the M.2 stick. If they don’t include the adapter, then just the 2.5″ drive.

      You should ask Asus if changing the storage voids warranty or not, I’ve heard some reports that it might, but that varies from country to country. You’ll also need to find a solution to migrate the content from the included 128 GB drive to the new one. If you happen to have a desktop around, that’s going to be very easy. Or at least an external USB HDD enclosure so you could connect the new drive to the computer and clone the old one on it.

  12. Ripple Earthdevil

    August 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    ASUS does list 256 GB as an option on their specs page:


    Does this mean that an i5/8GB/256GB configuration might come to the US?

  13. themadhatter01

    August 7, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Do you know if there are any color reproduction issues on the full HD screens or if they have fixed the color reproduction issues on the final release? Also, would you buy the HP Spectre 13T-3000 or a similar configuration of the UX303LA/LN?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

      I don’t know for sure which panel they’re going to use on the HD version, but I’d reckon it’s something similar to what they had on the non-touch UX31As, which were decent. How’s the Spectre 13T’s price compared to a similar UX303LA? Both are good options, picking between them is up to personal preference. Also, are you sure you can find the 13T right now, I know it was in short supplies a few weeks ago, last time I checked

  14. Stephan

    August 27, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Since you have had the pleasure of actually handling this device; which would you prefer the Acer Aspire S7 or the UX303LA?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 27, 2014 at 6:46 am

      I replied on your other comment, in the review

  15. Linus

    September 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Girbea thx a lot.

    How bad is the color on the QHD+?
    And how good is the FHD IPS non touch screen on LN?

    I don’t game but I do use engineering software like solidwork also do programming.
    Also the FHD one is Hybrid Drive which makes feel a little slow.

    Which one should I buy. (Regardless of price)

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Yellows look just like Dijon mustard on the QHD+ version, the others are not as bad. The FHD IPS screen shouldn’t have these issues, but I’ve yet to see it in practice. The HDD on the lower-end version can be later upgrade to an SSD of your own choosing, but that might void warranty (it does in the US, not sure of other regions).

  16. Ben

    September 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Brilliant, honest reviews on everything. Your reviews will definitely influence my next purchase. I’m looking at the top spec UX303 LG with i7 and separate graphics card and it looks great for the prices you’ve got on the page, but I’m from the UK and the best I can find is the UX 301 LA (i7 4500, 256ssd, 8gb ram) at £1200 online. I’ve also been looking at the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2, same spec for approx the same price. Do you recommend waiting to get the 303? If not, would you recommend the 301 or the Yoga Pro? Cheers!

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

      I might be wrong, but Asus UK said on twitter that they won’t bring the UX303LN version over there, just the UX303LA.

      The Yoga 2 Pro is a good device, I reviewed it here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/3737-lenovo-yoga-2-pro-review/ . Has some color problems, but not as bad as on the UX303LN. And offers you the form factor, but no upgrade possibilities.

      The UX301 is expensive and perhaps the fastest 13 incher with a thin body now. Review here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/3533-asus-zenbook-ux301la-review/

      • Ben

        September 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

        Thanks for the advice, happy owner of a UX301LA now! Can’t see too many issues with the screen, very happy with everything else, slightly on the heavy side though I thought!

  17. Anton Soriano

    September 7, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Hi Andrei. I just got a UX303LN-C4122H. Can you give me more details on how to clone my unit’s internal SSD 128gb drive so I can recover my windows 8.1 installation and files?

    Also, what exact specs should I look for when I get an upgrade drive? I plan to get a hybrid SSHD 1TB drive.

    Hope you can help me out with the details.

  18. Mike Bradford

    September 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

    UX303LA i7/ 6gb RAM/ 128GB SSD now available at John Lewis for £699.95. Seems like a great price for the spec to me and have just bagged one myself for collection tomorrow. Just hoping it’s as good as it sounds!

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 11, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Sounds good, looking forward to your impressions.

    • Ben

      September 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Sounds like a great deal but I really want 256gb SSD, I know the hard drive is one of the few things you can upgrade in this but I’m wondering how expensive it’ll be and I don’t really have any experience in messing around with laptop hardware

  19. Martin Kull

    September 13, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for excellent reviews and comparisons! I am about to replace my first gen Samsung 900X ultraportable, that have really served me well, except from a flimsy Power contact. I am now considering the Asus UX303 LN. I am using my portables mainly for general web and MS Office work (including a lot of PowerPoint creation). The heaviest applications though are quite massive photo-editing in Adobe CC (24 MP RAW files using Photoshop and Lightroom). I guess for that dedicated Grafics memory is still overkill?

    My other option would be to stay with Samsung and then I am keen on the (now a year old) 940X3G-K03SE, with the main upside of longer battery life up to 11 hrs (I guess from the lack of dedicated grafics?), but it comes at a higher pricetag (+450USD in Sweden).

    Am I right in the assumption that the dedicated graphics will not be of advantage for still pictures?

    Also is there any other high-end Ultraportables that could fit my needs (In order: SSD, Great screen & resolution, lightweight, good battery life)

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

      The dedicated graphics won’t help much with Photoshop (unless doing renderings), but the extra amount of RAM will (up to 12 GB, while most ultrabooks only allow up to 8).

      As for the 13 inch Samsung, I haven’t personally tested it, so you might want to read some in-depth user reviews first. It’s a solid device, but I’ve heard some complains. And those 11 hours will translate in more like 7-8 of everyday use, which is still better than on the UX303LN (the lack dedicated graphics and battery size make for the difference). Asus also estimates up to 8h of use on the UX303LN, but in practice I only got 5-6.

      Other high-end 13 inchers that you could consider are the Acer Aspire S7-392 , Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Dell XPS 13, Asus Zenbooks UX301LA (fast processor, 10 GB ram, RAID SSDs, but expensive) and maybe the Toshiba Kirabook 2014. Check out at least the UX301LA, it packs the Core i7-4558U proccesor with Iris graphics which you won’t find on other Windows machines in this class. And there’s of course the Macbook Air, which is hard to beat, except for the screen.

      • Martin Kull

        September 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        Thanks for advice, I am now a happy owner of the ASUS UX303LN. It keeps its promise and it is a great machine. I had to color-calibrate the screen though, since it had a greenish tint to it and battery life is as you mentioned 5-6 hrs. I am still on the learning curve with Win 8.1, not sure I will embrace it . . .

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

          How are the yellows? did you get he version with the QHD+ screen?

          • Martin Kull

            September 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

            Yes I have the QHD+ screen and the yellows were very green. However I did a new color calibration using my xrite i1Display pro, which helped.

  20. Colin

    September 18, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Any idea if it’s possible to manually replace the qHD screen from the UX303LN with a FHD touchscreen from the UX303LA?

    Alternatively, is there an ultrabook on the market right now with a good FHD touchscreen and dedicated graphics? I can’t seem to find one in Canada. I need the GPU for some light rendering but don’t want to shell out $1000+ on something with a crappy screen.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

      It probably is but it’s for sure complicated. Other were planning on switching the qHD screen on the UX303LN with the fHD screen on the UX303LA but I can’t say for sure if they prevailed.

  21. Lazzaro

    September 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Hey Andrei,
    thanks for the Review and all your helpfull comments here!

    I’m trying to make a decision on which Laptop to buy and i thought
    maybe you can give me some input.

    i could go for one of those 3:

    1) 1.000€ – UX303LN: i5, 8GB Ram, 256GB SSD, GF840M, FULL HD Display
    2) 1.200€ – UX303LN: i7, 12GB Ram, 256 SSD, GF840M, FULL HD Display
    3) 1.250€ – Macbook Pro 13″ Retina, i5*, 8GB Ram, 256 PCI-SSD, Intel Iris, Retina Display (*the i5 of the Macbook is slightly faster than the i5 of the ux303ln)

    I will use the Laptop mainly as my everyday Computer (Stuff for the University – wirting papers etc. no coding; Surfing the Web; Watching Movies) – im not a Gamer but i do use Photoshop (also larger files) from time to time.

    I dont think i can really make a big use of the GF840M since im not gaming, the 12 GB of Ram could do good on Photoshop and everyday performance though. I heard that the i7 is not meaningfully faster than the i5 but will empty your battery faster.

    (Unfortunately there is no FullHD-Touch UX303LA available in Germany, and im not sure about the quality of the HD+ Display… afaik its not IPS)
    – The Retina Display is great for Lightroom and Photoshop…

    So i ask myself three main Question- but maybe youll find some other things to consider:
    a) Is it worth to save 250€, not having a Retina and having a slightly worse battery
    b) Is the “Retina and the Battery” of the MBP more valuable for my everyday use of the Laptop than the “i7, 4 more GB of Ram and the GF840M – considering im not Gaming”

    Thanks for your Time!

    – oh and one more thing to consider, but not the most important, is that i could resell the Macbook much easier than the zenbook, a few years later

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

      if you can spare those extra 250E, the RMBP is probably the better pick for you. That I5 CPU with Iris graphics should be enough for your needs and you get the better keyboard,trackpad and screen, plus the longer battery life. The UX303LA would have been a good and cheaper alternative, but if it’s not available, than there’s no point in thinking about it.

      The 1000E UX303LN config is still a good option, but you don’t seem to need the dedicated graphics. That’s why its major advantages remain the price and the ability to further upgrade the laptop yourself (RAM up to 12 GB and change the SSD if you’ll need more space), which is impossible on the RMBP. The FHD screen should be fairly good, probably not on par with the MBP in terms of color accuracy, but fairly close.

  22. Ripple Earthdevil

    September 26, 2014 at 3:06 am

    I got the UX303LA on amazon.com (US) for $899 plus tax, plus a 240GB Kingston SSD for $88, and then paid a local shop $64 to swap the drives. It’s nice, slick, snappy little laptop and I am very happy with it so far.

    • Tom

      October 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Hey Ripple. I just bought the same computer and I’m looking to do the exact same thing. Could you tell me which ssd you bought specifically? Did you get it off Amazon? And did you leave the RAM alone or swap that as well?

      • Ripple Earthdevil

        October 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm


        I left the RAM alone as 8GB is sufficient for my needs.

        BTW, the one bug it has is fairly frequent WiFi dropouts. I changed a couple settings whereby the computer will no longer turn off the WiFi to save power, but it still happens.

        • Raph

          January 10, 2015 at 3:44 pm

          I bought the asus UX303LN and also have this kind of problem: the wifi turns off continuously. Could you tell me which settings you changed for it to happen less often? (no dropouts at all will be even better…)

          Thank you a lot,


  23. Trevor Fisher

    October 28, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Where could someone in the US purchase either of these configurations? I really want the dedicated graphics but have no need for a QHD resolution touch screen (and would appreciate the improved battery life with a lower resolution screen):

    Zenbook UX303LN:
    Intel Core i5-4210U, Nvidia 840M, 1TB 2.5 5400R SATA+16G MSSD, 6 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS Anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 800 euro;

    Intel Core i7-4510U, Nvidia 840M, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS Anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 1100 euro;

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      They are not available in the US and probably never will. Asus only offers a single UX303LN version in the States, as mentioned in the post, the one with the I7 CPU and the QHD display.

  24. Martin Kull

    October 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I have now had my UX303LN for six weeks and it works really well (Office, Photoshop and Lightroom). However, as I previously reported the QHD+ screen does still have a green tint, mainly on the yellow tones. I have tried all there is to fix it: Internal windows color calibration, contact with ASUS support that suggested a BIOS upgrade and also use of external Xrite i1Display pro calibrator, but without fully solving the problem. Xrite support was really helpful and gave me the best parameters, which helped a bit. ASUS acknowledges the problem and claims it may be fixed in later BIOS updates. So if you are super dependent on calibrated color this screen is not for you.

    • Patricia Killick

      November 19, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Sadly, I have to agree. I was completely in love with the 303 LN model and it performed absolutely beautifully but the rercolours were just too awful to look at. I actually don’t understand how folks can accept, what is essentially, a faulty product. On my screen yellow was green and the rest of the colours were just ….wrong, too exaggurated, too intense and unnatural. I actually sent in my notebook for repair, twice. Asus finally decided to credit back my unit, which is still not resolved (I bought my notebook in August!!). If more people had returned their models and not just accepted this fault then maybe Asus would have kicked their display manufacturer sooner to come up with a properly working screen. I, for one, expect a bit more from screen in an expensie product like the LN. I will wait until they produce a screen that I can bare to look at without thinking of yellow as a piece of snot on my screen. Sad footnote to an otherwise perfect little machine.

    • Martin Kull

      January 28, 2015 at 6:51 am

      After another contact with ASUS support I did get help with the green cast problem of the QHD+ screen. The resolution is an EEPROM update (filenames anxIntelEEpromUpdate-eDP-2.3 and YW setting.bin) that works with the Intel graphics driver (vers or
      After the update the severe green cast is gone. Still the colors are a bit over saturated, but I can live with that. I will try another color calibration with my Xrite i1 DisplayPro calibrator to see if it helps further.

  25. Curtis Sorenson

    November 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I’m going to purchase the ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DB51T today, then replace the 128GB drive with a Crucial MX100 512GB SATA 2.5″ SSD. If I want to upgrade the memory to 12GB, would I replace the 4GB removable module with (for example) a Crucial 8GB Single DDR3 1600 MT/s? Thanks for any quality feedback.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Yes, that’s what you should do. make sure you pick one of those 1.35V lower voltage RAM sticks, higher voltage options might not work properly with it

  26. Charlie Wright

    December 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Can you upgrade the ASUS Zenbook UX303LA with a graphics card ? I’m looking at a i7 4501U 1920×1080 with 8 gigs of Ram and 128 gig hard drive ( no graphics card).

    Thank you?


    • Andrei Girbea

      December 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      No, the UX303LA cannot get a dedicated graphics chip.

  27. Javier

    December 12, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Good afternoon,

    After Christmas I’ll buy a Asus Zenbook because I have to change my old laptop. I am a teacher and researcher. Software that I use more resources consumed (self-perception) are the SPSS and some OCR (text recognition). However, I am not a gamer and I don´t use the laptop for video edition.

    What would you say is best choice for my needs Andrei? First I thought in the LN full (i7, 12RAM, 256SSD, FULLHD and NVIDIA), but now I think maybe that screen and graphics card just subtract battery and not functional. I even thought that maybe with a i5 go well for me.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Javier. That i5 should be OK for what you need, with 12 GB of RAM and an SSD (you’d probably have to upgrade the memory yourself, and swap the included SSD for a bigger one). You could also take a look at some of the other options, like the Dell XPS 13, Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Acer Aspire S7, etc.

  28. Ales

    December 22, 2014 at 12:22 am

    If I do upgrade in Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R5160H from 6GB RAM to 12GB RAM and SSD from 128GB to 265GB, What happen to my warranty/Guarantee?
    Best regards

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Upgrading RAM shouldn’t be a problem. Removing the storage drive might cause you to void a warranty seal, which will void your warranty. You can always perform the upgrade in a licensed Service and that won’t affect Warranty.

  29. David

    January 5, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I would like xto get the

    “Intel Core i7-4510U, Nvidia 840M, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 px IPS Anti-glare non-touch display, Windows 8.1 – roughly 1100 euro;”

    model. However it is unavailable in the US. I was wondering what country this configuration was available in? Furthermore do you think there is any reasonable way I could get this laptop sent back to the US?


    • Anton

      January 7, 2015 at 12:54 am

      same question. Also, Andrei why its not possible to upgrade dedicated graphics card on LA version?

      • Andrei Girbea

        January 7, 2015 at 10:14 pm

        Because the GPU is soldered on the motherboard. And I believe the LA and the LN have different cooling pipes, with the LA lacking the part that covers the graphics chip

  30. Casey Robertson

    January 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Where can I buy the one with the Nvidia GPU, the terabyte hard drive, and the matte non-touch display?

  31. Thiago

    January 16, 2015 at 11:22 am


    My name is Thiago and I am from Brazil.
    I am going to the USA next month and I want to buy a new laptop. I am between these two models.
    I will use the laptop to edit images (but I am not a professional) and to edit some videos to youtube.
    I will not use de laptop to play games.
    Do you think the 303LA is enough for me?


    • Andrei Girbea

      January 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Should be, or other options with a similar config.

      • Thiago

        January 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        I don’t know… The 303LA uses de the i5 anf I want an i7. On the other hand the 303LN has the yellow color problem….

    • Martin Kull

      March 19, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Hi Thiagi, I bought the ASUS US303LN with the QHD+ screen last year and was disappointed with the strong green tint of yellow tones. I got it solved though after some rounds with ASUS support. See my post from January:

      “After another contact with ASUS support I did get help with the green cast problem of the QHD+ screen. The resolution is an EEPROM update (filenames anxIntelEEpromUpdate-eDP-2.3 and YW setting.bin) that works with the Intel graphics driver (vers or
      After the update the severe green cast is gone. Still the colors are a bit over saturated, but I can live with that. I will try another color calibration with my Xrite i1 DisplayPro calibrator to see if it helps further.”

      I have done color calibration, which did have little effect. However with the EEPROM update the screen is OK, even for my critical photographer eye. The high color saturation is likely common for many of the new HD/Retina screens.


      • Andrei Girbea

        March 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm

        Martin, are those files accessible for everyone? If not, would you mind providing them to me, so I can link them in the review for all the other readers?

        You mention this fix only works with the integrated Intel graphics? What happens when the Nvidia chip kicks on?

  32. Thiago

    January 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm


    I am between these two models.
    I will use the laptop to edit images (but I am not a professional) and to edit some videos to youtube.
    I will not use de laptop to play games.
    Do you think the 303LA is enough for me?


  33. Frank

    January 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks for a great review! I was just on the phone with B&H trying to buy the UX303LN and would like to upgrade the 256SSD to a 960SSD. The tech I spoke with was not certain that the form factor is the same for the new Sandisk 960SSD as the 256SSD that is stock in the LN. Therefore, they are doing further research to see if the 960SSD is compatible before I make the purchase. Does anyone have more information on a 960SSD that one could install in the LN? Also, I see that several web sales sites in Australia do offer the LN with the option to upgrade to 1TB SSD. I wonder if the motherboard connection is different on the Australian models?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Should fit without a problem. That’s a 7mm 2.5 inch drive.

      • Grace

        January 20, 2015 at 10:23 pm

        I’m considering buying the LA model I’m a student and the most work i would be doing is photo editing. The only config i’ve been able to source in Ireland is the i7 CPU and 128SSD. Im being charged 1000 euros for this which is roughly 1160 US dollars and I’m wondering if this is a good price? Also is there a big difference between models such as R5160 and DB51T! sorry is these questions seem stupid!!

        • Andrei Girbea

          January 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

          Hi Grace. Can you leave a link for that laptop? THe R5160 seems to come with the 1600 x 900 px display, in which case it is NOT a good buy. that screen uses a TN panel, thuse is not as god as the 1920 x 1080 px IPS display on the DB51T version available in the US

          • Grace

            January 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm

            Thank you

          • Andrei Girbea

            January 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            Yeah, it’s like a thought. Stay away from that 1600 x 900 px display, it’s not good enough these days and not worth that kind of money imo. What are your alternatives? Does the Asus TP300 or the Lenovo Yoga 2 13 meet your budget? A Core I5 processor should be enough for what you need.

          • Thiago

            January 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm

            Do you think the 303LN is good to basic foto and video editing even though the problem of yellow color on the monitor?

  34. Grace

    January 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks for the advice! The Lenovo Yoga 1 13 looks good! I’m also considering the Macbook Air 13′ 128SSD which is 966euro with me student discount but is it worth it?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Well, the Air is one of the best 13 inchers out there, but the screen is its biggest quirk: low resolution and with poor viewing angles. Maybe you can check it out in an Apple Store and see if it’s good enough for you. That aside, there’s little to complain about the Air. Still, those 128 GBs of storage space might run out quickly.

  35. Justin Barrington

    January 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I’m looking to upgrade my Asus i5 laptop.
    I need it for photoshop, lightroom and editing GoPro videos.
    I travel often, so am looking for a 13 or 14 inch that is light.
    I prefer windows to iOS….only because that is what I am used to.
    I need a good screen so that colors match my printing.
    Budget is not an issue. Based in UK. Are you able to make suggestions?
    Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Which i5 Asus laptop is that?

      For what you need, I’d get a device with at least an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor (i7 would be even better), 8 GB of RAM and the right amount of storage. I’d go for an SSD and use an external HDD to keep most of the content.

      With that in mind, you’ve got quite a few options. I can’t say for sure which of these are available in the UK though. If budget is not an issue, you can aim for the Asus UX301LA or the new Dell XPS 13 2015 with the I7 Broadwell processor. Otherwise, things like the Asus UX303LA, Lenovo Yoga 2 13, Dell Inspiron 13 7000 should do. The latter ones are a bit bulkier, but also more affordable.

      • Thiago

        January 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm


        Why didn’t you give the UX303LN as an option for him?


        • Andrei Girbea

          January 23, 2015 at 10:40 pm

          it is an option, but the Nvidia graphics won’t do very much for editing videos. A faster processor is from my experience preferred

          • Bryan

            March 28, 2015 at 5:55 am

            Hey Andrei,

            Thanks for the great reviews and advice! If I was looking to do similar to Justin above, but not do video editing, would you still recommend the ones you mentioned above? I was leaning towards the Asus UX303LN, but the color issues you mention about the screen worry me. Do you know of those have been sorted out yet? And in either case, why do you recommend the Asus UX301LA and the Dell XPS 13 over the (I assume) newer Asus UX303LN? I’m mostly looking for light weight laptop to work Lightroom when on the road. Thanks for your thoughts!

          • Andrei Girbea

            April 1, 2015 at 3:14 pm

            The colors have not been sorted out. If you can find a model equipped with a FHD screen though, those colors will not be a problem anymore. Lightroom however does not fully benefit from the Nvidia chip inside the UX303LN. So if that’s what you need it for, I’d stick with something like the Asus UX303LA or the Dell XPS 13 2015. A config with 8 GB of RAM is a must, and an i7 processor will definitely help as well.

  36. Robert

    February 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm


    I`m looking for a PC to use at the university, for tasks like Word, Excel etc. The budget I set is about
    It is important for me that it`s:
    – Easy portable (light)
    – Smaller then 14 inches
    – Has a good keyboard
    – Runs quiet
    – Nice looking
    – Good battery time

    I Hope you take you time to answer

    Regards from Norway

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Robert, go through this article, there are plenty of options for you there: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/251-best-ultrabooks/ And BTW, you haven’t actually said what’s your budget :)

      • Robert

        February 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm

        Thanks for your reply!

        haha, I`m sorry about that, the budget is $1000.
        It is so many options, and I want to do the right :)

        • Andrei Girbea

          February 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

          You’ll have to at least narrow it down to a few models you like. Really, that post helps a lot. Then get back with me and I can help choose between a few final models. But It’s impossible for me to recommend something out of the entire pool

  37. Robert

    February 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    – Acer Aspire V3-371 13.3″ FHD
    – ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP300LA DW020H
    – HP ProBook 430 G2
    – ASUS UX32LA-R3088H
    – Lenovo IdeaPad U330P

    These models all looks interesting

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Ok. I haven’t tested the HP Probook or the Acer Aspire V3, so can’t tell you much about them.

      If you want a touchscreen, I’d consider the TP300LA. However, if you’re interested in this one, you should also check out the Lenovo Yoga 2 13 and the Dell Inspiron 13 7000, they are all very similar.

      The UX32LA lacks a touchscreen from what I know, but it’s otherwise a nice well balanced laptop.

      The IdeaPad U330P is a decent laptop as well, with a better keyboard than on the Asuses, but also slightly heavier. Plastic is used for the case. There have been some problems reported with the WI-Fi module on this series, so you should check the forums to see if they were fixed or not.

      • Robert

        February 12, 2015 at 10:11 pm

        The choice has (probably) fallen at ASUS UX32LA-R3088H, it is just a beautiful laptop having all what i`m looking for. Please give me a heads up if this is a bad choice in that price range! Otherwise, your help has been amazing Andrei!!


  38. Robert

    February 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    I think my next laptop will be ASUS UX32LA-R3088H! I think I have a crush for the asus machines :P Scream out if this is a bad choice.
    Thank you very much for your Help Andrei, I apreciate it.

  39. Anas

    February 25, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    If you are going to get one Ultrabook, would it be a UX303LA/LN or an XPS 13 (2015)?

  40. Cesar

    March 15, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I had the Asus UX303LN for less than 6 month before the left hinge came off form the black plastic support at the screen back cover. I sent it to Asus service center an they found it to much trouble to fix it, and offered me a complete reimbursement. The computer besides that particular issue is incredible and probably the best money/performance ratio for its size in windows pcs.

    I am now at Europe for my master program, and deciding which laptop, the asus ux303ln german version with the 1080p touch screen, and probably no yellow issues and longer battery, the new dell xps 13 inch, 1080p, 8gb, 256gb ssd, or the macbook pro 13 inch retina 16gb and 256gb ssd. The only thing holding me back for the asus is the hinge issues and the German keyboard..The retina 13 inch is nice but I don’t now if it is worth all the money… and for the dell, I love the design and looks, but 1099 euros for the 1080p, i5, 256 ss and 8gb with 100 euros more you get the asus ux303ln with nvida graphics cards , more ram, and probably 8 hours battery from the 1080p screen.

    any advice?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 16, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Well, if you need the graphics in this 13 inch form factor, you’d have to go for the UX303LN. If not, get the XPS, it’s a nice machine, I’m happy with mine.

      As a side note, you might also consider the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 with the same kind of hardware, but a 2-in-1 form factor, better build quality and a slightly bulkier and heavier body.

      • Cesar

        April 28, 2015 at 12:33 pm

        Thanks Andrei,

        I bought the asus again (german keyboard), with the 1080p mate screen and updated cpu. The battery improvement is considerable getting upto 8.5 hours of use in the day.

    • andy

      April 20, 2015 at 7:24 am

      I too have just had the left hinge break on mine, the hinge itself is a little loose, so i took it apart and there is little pieces of plastic coming out of the hinge area.
      vid here youtu.be/mBAl40WNopc

      • Cesar

        April 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm

        Send it to Asus it would be covered by the warranty. I suspect you had the touch version?

  41. abraham

    March 17, 2015 at 5:20 am

    hey andrei i just bought the ln 303 and im having trouble with the wifi… have you heard of any problems regularly? or is it just mine

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 17, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Hmmm, I might have heard about some issues. Did you get the latest wireless drivers? Try to uninstall the WiFi and install it again. These might do the trick. And can you be more specific about the problems you’re getting?

  42. Ripple

    March 18, 2015 at 3:06 am

    I have had inconsistent WiFi performance with my 303LA, which I am otherwise very happy with. Even though my WiFi stays connected it stalls out, and when I try the ping command I get “request timed out”. Usually I’ll see that the connection speed has gone way down, but sometimes this has happened at pretty decent speeds. Sometimes it will get unstuck and get moving on its own but sometimes I need to disconnect and reconnect.

    I recently purchased a Netgear N600 dual-band combo modem/router. For the first three weeks I had no problems, but they have crept back. It doesn’t seem to matter which band I’m using.

    • Ripple

      April 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      The problem seems to have gone away by itself, no dropouts in the last few weeks. Knock on wood…

  43. Dan Dascalescu

    March 18, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Salut Andrei,

    Can you please mention the yellow screen problem that plagues the 3200×1800 touch screen on the LN? Pretty important to know.

    This laptop is close to my ideal one (DELL E7450 with dedicated graphics and better heat management). Unfortunately ASUS uses clickpads instead of trackpads, which makes clicking loud, more difficult than necessary, and annoying.

  44. Sepehr

    April 27, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I had and let me say still have the problem with colors on this ultrabook’s display, specially with yellow color. I sent an email to the costumer support desk and explained the problem, their answer was to uninstall the software”Asus splendid video enhancement technology”. I did it and it helped a lot and the yellow color has changed to more similar to real yellow. the yellow is not the real yellow yet however. I am going to send them another email, I’ll let you know if there is a progress.

  45. Sara

    May 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Hi, i was thinking of either getting the Asus ux303ln or Dell XPS 13 2015. Which do you think it’s better?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      DO you plan to play any games? If Yes, get the UX303LN, it offers dedicated graphics.

      If not, consider either the UX303LA or the XPS 13 2015. I’m an XPS user and I’m mostly happy with it. It has some issues, but no deal breaker

  46. Shanks

    May 20, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Hi, great review. Thanks!

    I currently can’t decide between the following 3 options:

    Asus UX303LN-R4290H
    Asus UX301LA-DE022H
    Dell XPS 13-9343

    So, maybe you can help. What would you recommend?

    I am planning to use this ultrabook for everyday stuff like browsing the web, MS Office, Lightroom and Photoshop. I don’t play games but I do a lot of video editing with Premiere CC 2014. I have a workstation at home, so I am not planning to really render anything but I want to be able to do some basic editing. Do I need dedicated graphics for that? As far as I understood, the GPU is more for effects while the CPU does all the decoding etc.

    I am not interested in touchscreen, so will definetely go for a matte display. The display of course should be decent but I am not planning to do any grading on it. For me it’s more important that I don’t get those annoying reflections and that I can also use it outside. Therefore, battery life is also quite important to me. And, as I will be carrying it around with me every day, less weight is of course better.

    Thanks for your help! Much appreciated.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      If you don’t plan to play games, then the UX303LN is out.

      THE UX301LA has the touchscreen on its side, the ability to take more RAM (up to 12, only up to 8 GB on the Dell) and it’s easier to upgrade and cheaper. The XPS will offer better battery life, better keyboard, a smaller and lighter body and the matte display.

      For Premiere and Photoshop I’d get the UX301LA with the Core i7-5500U processor and 12 GB of RAM.

      You can also go for the XPS 13 and max out RAM to 8 GB. Should be enough, but those programs really gobble all the RAM they can get so 8 GB might not be enough for complex projects.

      Anyway, since you don’t want a touchscreen and reflections, the XPS 13 remains your only viable option. And it’s a pretty good laptop, I’ve been using one since January and I’m mostly happy with it.

      PS: you could also consider something like the Lenovo ThinkPad X250 with the matte IPS display. Better keyboard, longer battery life and a stronger case differentiate it from the XPS.

  47. Hashem

    May 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for great review, planing to buy new laptop, need your support please.
    My work depends on traveling all around day carrying heavy Lenovo ThinkPad, I just need MS Office and CAD machine also watching movies night with beautiful screen, and looking for light and long battery laptop, plus my budget not exceeding 600$.
    Could ux303la will help or I heard it have a faulty screen or something like Samsung ultarbook ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 31, 2015 at 9:56 am

      The ux303la does not have a faulty screen. The UX303LN with the 3200 x 1800 px panel has some color issues, but the UX303LA with the 1920 x 1080 px display is pretty good.

      Within your budget I’d get a last-year gen 13 or 12 inch mini laptop. If it weren’t for CAD, I would sugget something like the Asus Transformer Book T200 or maybe the Dell Inspiron 11 3000. For CAD though you should get a Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. This list should be a good place to start your search: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/3331-haswell-ultrabooks/

  48. Carlos

    May 28, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Hi there!
    Nowadays I’m looking for an ultrabook the one I can do a normal student usage but also be able to play games with it.
    I thought that the Asus Zenbook series can be a good option. Do you have any suggestions?

  49. Sepehr

    May 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    after some correspondences that I had with Asus Help Desk regarding the color issues of my zenbook UX303LN, about 10 days ago they told me to send the product to their warranty service in order to solve the problem (as the operator said to change the LCD panel), az it was written on the repair tracking website the diognosed defect is reported as “Can’t Detect HDD when Boot Up/Detecte Wrong Model Name of HD. LCD Color Abnormal Display”
    as the case status sugests my laptop should have been sent and I should receive it on this Monday. I hope the problem has been soved. I will let you know anyway.

  50. Sepehr

    June 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I got back my laptop from warranty service today, as it is written in the attached paper it seems that they have changed the LCD+bezel assy and the sata3 ssd HDD ( however I did not have problem with the HDD. but the point is that the problem with the colour has not been solved yet, it is like the first day.
    I do not know what to do…
    does anyone have any idea ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Well, changing the panel is not going to fix the colors. Only a BIOS update that addresses this issues specifically will do the trick, as we know it happened on the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and the Samsung ATiv Book 9 Plus, both of them using the same panel.

      • Sepehr

        June 2, 2015 at 8:40 am

        but what can I do about the BIOS? and why the company did not do that ?

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

          Nothing we can do about that. As for why they didn’t address that problem, well, that’s something I’ve been asking them since last year. No answer yet.

          The ugly truth right now is that nothing can be done about the colors issue. If you need good colors, you’ll just have to pick a different laptop :( That’s just my opinion, you can push Asus to offer a fix or push them for a return and then use the money to get a different laptop…

          • sepehr

            July 2, 2015 at 9:48 pm

            which alternative asus model similar to this one would you suggest if Asus agrees to change it ?

  51. francesco

    June 2, 2015 at 9:53 am

    on amazon i see thr ux303ln r4290h intel core i7 5500u 8gb ram 256gb ssd abd with nvidia gt840 2gb at 956 euros !!….is it a good price? and…the problem cited above with the colors exists on all the ln models? is it a problem or a feature? finally….can the r4290h read my sdxc cards or only sd and sdhc ones? and at about 1000 eur is there an ultrabook without ssd but with instant on feature so i can get a model with more gb on hard disk but rapid as well ?…are lenovo model also good ones?

  52. Jay

    June 6, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I am buying an Ultrabook to mainly connect to my 27″ 2600×1440, will an Ultrabook without a dedicated card be able to provide the necessary resolution to the monitor?
    I tried the UX 303 LA, it was perfect except the colour problem, as you know/ mentioned.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 7, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Any laptop with a miniDP, Thunderbolt or DisplayPort should drive such a monitor at 60 Hz easily. There’s no need for dedicated graphics

  53. juan

    June 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    i buy a ux303 ln 4290 ,,supposed it s touchscreen but,,,,,not working!!! any idea?? excuse my english… thanks in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      The UX303LN does not have a touchscreen from what I know

    • sepehr

      June 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

      It depends on the country from which you buy the laptop, mine is ux303ln-dq124p and the LCD is touch.

  54. Ovidiu

    June 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Hello Andrei.

    I am looking to buy an Asus Zenbook UX303LB, but I want the IPS non-glare display FHD 1920 x 1080 pixeli. I have talked to someone on PCgarage.ro and they said that the display is an TN not IPS . You can see the product at this link pcgarage.ro/ultrabook/asus/133-quot-zenbook-ux303lb-fhd-procesor-intel-core-i7-5500u-24ghz-broadwell-8gb-256gb-ssd-geforce-940m-2gb-win-81-smoky-brown/.

    The same product is listed on emag.ro but whit a touch display. emag.ro/laptop-asus-zenbook-cu-procesor-intelr-coretm-i7-5500u-2-4ghz-haswelltm-13-3-qhd-8gb-256gb-ssd-nvidia-geforce-940m-2gb-microsoft-windows-8-1-brown-ux303lb-r4015h/pd/DDH4RMBBM/

    Do you have any idea about this , I am looking for an IPS FHD non glare display for photo editing and some light video editing.
    And also do you think that this ultrabook is powerful enough for photo editing?

    Thank you!

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 22, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Hi Ovidiu.

      First of all, both versions use IPS panels. I’d definitely get the FHD model, because the QHD+ panel has color problems which rules it out for photo editing

      Second, the UX303LB is a capable machine, but the graphics will show their strength in games and not when it comes to photo editing, so you could look for options with the i7-5500U processor, 8-16 GB of RAM and no dedicated graphics instead. Most 13 inchers are limited to 8 GB of RAM though, but you could try to find the UX303LA, which is just like the UX303LN/LB, without the graphics.

      • ovidiu

        June 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

        Asus Romania confirmed that the FHD sisplay is a IPS display, so you are right about that.

        The GPU can be use in video editing, and some photo editing software are using a little GPU power but just a little like Lightroom an Photoshop.

        Thank you for the information, I will let you know the feedback on the Asus UX303LB ultrabook.

        Nice day!

  55. Brian

    October 21, 2015 at 8:07 am

    i ran cpuz on mine and it came up as a UX303LAB

    cant find any manual or anthing on the asus website for this one… odd

  56. Olivia

    October 26, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for this great article! I’m looking at purchasing the Zen book wondering about whether to get a model with the i5 chip (more affordable) or i7 (about $1000 more). I tend to hold onto my computers as long as possible, so I want to buy something that still going to be decently fast 4 to 5 years in the future. However, I know a lot of people get ripped off buying computers that are way more powerful than they need. I mostly do Internet browsing, word processing, and I use a speech recognition software called Dragon Naturally Speaking that requires a lot of memory. No gaming, photo editing or any other graphics stuff. What would you recommend?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 27, 2015 at 8:09 am

      The i5 should be OK for your needs, but if you plan to keep the laptop for a long time, it’s probably smarter to get the i7 and the maximum amount of RAM. I’d reckon the difference between the two is $100, nu $1000, right?

  57. Travis

    November 27, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Andrei, I came by your site roughly 6 or so months ago when I learned “ultrabooks” was a term to describe what I was after haha. Needless to say, it’s the best site out there I’ve found that answers all my questions in layman’s terms…of course, it also raises quite a few questions as well…the more I dive into ultrabook comparisons. If you could offer me a little individualized help, that’d be much appreciated, and I’ll be sure to purchase through one of your affiliate links if applicable.

    My current laptop is the the asus q550lf (laptoping.com/specs/product/asus-q550lf-bsi7t21/)

    Intel i7-4500U
    CPU @ 1.80GHz, 2401 Mhz,
    2 Core, 4 Logical Processor (hyper-threaded)
    8gb Ram
    aftermarket ssd (250gb)
    Nvidia 745m + Intel HD 4400 (I’d like to have a dedicated gpu)
    1920 x 1080 display (an “awesome” display isn’t required by me)
    Touchscreen (I never use it and have it turned off)
    Backlit Keyboard (I rarely use it..but I still like the convenience when I need it)
    Optical Drive (rarely use/not required)

    Side note: I like 2 in 1’s for what they are, but whether it is/not, not a deal breaker

    **I’ve had it for sometime now. Still runs great and is honestly perfect for what I need it for. However, I do light gaming once in awhile (Halo Online atm). Runs well enough for it.

    My only issue being, the size/weight. I want something more portable, preferably:
    13.3″ display (- 14″ if it has a decent drop in weight from ~6lbs)

    Now for budget:

    Ideally, I’m looking for a “budget” ultrabook. That crams what I already have (more the better of course) but into a ~13.3″ chassis, etc (I don’t think that’ll be too hard). This would be more a supplemental ultrabook and one to travel a bit better with. Likely buy used, off of ebay. So you can assume conservatively $100 – $150 off, of course that depends on the model, release date, etc….honestly, I think $600 (+$100 taxes, shipping, etc.,) is what I’d be looking at.

    I’m an Asus person, and have really only ever purchased Asus laptops (to a fault likely haha). I’ve looked at the Asus’s you have on here, as well as the Lenovo’s, like the Yoga 2 pro, Y50’s etc. I really have always just preferred Asus builds, outside of where they decide to stick the fan vents lol.

    So what would you say? If I picked one of the 303’s (but not limited to that line or even Asus); what would be the lowest priced 1 w/ comparable specs, your recommendation, etc., etc., would be awesome. Hopefully gave you enough info, and I promise to respond back if you do haha. I’d be rude if I didn’t.

    Thank in advance,


    • Andrei Girbea

      November 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Travis.

      You don’t have many options with similar graphics power in the 13-14 inch segment. I’d aim for something with an Nvidia 940M graphics chip, whioch is going to be a little faster than the 745M you now have on that Asus, but not by much. And these are outside your budget by a long term.

      My favorite 13-incher with dedicated graphics is the Asus UX303 series. There’s the older UX303LN, the Broadwell UX303LB and the Skylake UX303UB. Perhaps you can find the UX303LN used in your budget, but I’m not so sure it’s a good buy, I’ve seen many reliability problems reported for this series and it would be wise to get something new, with warranty, and pamper it :)

      Then there are the Lenovo Yoga 3 14, the Lenovo ThinkPad 14 or ThinkPad 460, with similar graphics. But again, outside your budget.

      So, you either up your budget, or you’ll have to go for a 15-incher to get the dedicated graphics.

      If you’re willing to cut that of the list, something like the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 series or the Asus Zenbook UX305LA could be great picks for you.

      • Travis

        November 29, 2015 at 4:52 am

        Hey, idiot me didn’t tick the “notify” box on comments. I actually sent you an email, so please disregard it then haha. And I very much appreciate the reply. I don’t often come by many sites where the author is so engaged w/ their readers. Awesome.

        I know. I pamper my electronics, but I’m still worried about the ux303ln issues. The problem is I know I take good care of my stuff, so I’d hope I’d be the exception. Yeah, I’m really trying to go smaller size-wise. I know I could get “more” in a 15″ but that’s what I have now. Let me ask you this…

        Asus UX303LN-DB71T (i7-4510/12gb ram) vs. Asus UX305LA (i5-5200U/8gb). Which would you pick? Or maybe you’d go with an M-5Y10 processor? I realize we have different needs, etc., etc., but generally speaking…which one?

        And thanks again. Very much appreciate it.

        • Travis

          November 29, 2015 at 4:58 am

          And let me add this…for the price of the UX303LN-DB71T…let’s say priced used at ~$650, is there anything I could really get better for the price? Better in terms of performance and w/ dedicated graphics?

          • Andrei Girbea

            November 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

            Not in the 13 or 14 inch segment.

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

          The UX305LA lacks the dedicated graphics, so I’d guess that’s not an option. And no, the Core M hardware is clearly not an option unless you want a computer for basic use.

          One thing to keep in mind about the UX303LN are the skewed colors. You might want to read about this. The yellows are mustardy green on its screen and there’s no way to address that, so if you need accurate colors, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

          • Travis

            November 29, 2015 at 6:58 pm

            Appreciate that again. Per the color/resolution issue, I’m referencing this reddit post as a possible fix, at least to some extent hopefully.


            And it looks like there’s some updates/executables to run to help w/ the issue. I haven’t done a whole lot of research into the efficacy, safety, etc, of the downloads (I don’t run anything without knowing the source, files, etc.,), but there may be something there. And if you still have one for yourself (not sure if you ever get to keep the testers), but it may help you out as well if you still run on yours/variations of the ux303.

          • Andrei Girbea

            November 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm

            I don’t keep the review units, no, so I don’t have this around to test the solution. This might work, I wasn’t aware of the fix. Go through the post on the forum and see what others have to say.

  58. Travis

    November 29, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Sorry, I’m blowing up your comment section lol. But let me ask this pertaining to the ux303(ln) and the hinge issue. Outside of maybe limiting the open/close of the screen, not picking it up by the screen, etc…is there anything I could purchase additionally that would better protect it from damage? I’d assume 100% NO, but maybe there’s something that could be done internally/externally to prevent it from weakening to the point of breaking. Not holding my breath on this question lol.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Well, not really. I’d be careful about never pulling the screen on and off from the corners; grab it from the middle instead. Also about not pushing it too hard on the back, beyond the hinge’s maximum opening angle.

      I can’t really explain why that hinge shatters. I’ve been in contact with a few users who went through that problem and everyone said they took really good care of the laptop and the hinge just broke out of the blue. That for me is hard to understand, so either they were not completely honest, or there’s just something wrong with the mechanism.

      • Travis

        November 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking…per the hinge issue. To be honest, it sucks that a seemingly ~great ultrabook (ux303ln/12gb) considering the price, is plagued with an issue like this. And price, as in today’s market price…lowest I found is a newegg refurb for $640 (free shipping)…if I went that route, I’m debating if purchasing an extended 1 or 2 year warranty would be a viable option. I still have a bit more reading on the warranty topic to determine what’s what with newegg and/or Asus in the seemingly likely event it could happen to me. Well, you’ve certainly gained a reader in me. I just subscribed. Thanks again! You really helped me out a lot.

  59. Travis

    December 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm


    Alright Andrei, I actually ended up with 2 asus ux303’s. A ux303LN(-DB71T) and a ux303LB. One i7-5500, the other, an i7-4510u. The i7-4510u was refurbished, while the other was not. I got considerably good deals on both. I can tell you without doubt, that the hinge is still an issue. It’s far more loose on the non-refurb (ux303LB), than it is on the refurbished. But there is a video on tightening it up a bit, that I’ll try, regardless if it voids the warranty. Frankly, the Asus horror stories are enough to keep be from bothering with it all.

    The video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAP-NwyE4H4

    The yellows are definitely like “mustard”. I just wish I had one QHD (which I do), and an FHD to test out the difference.

  60. eduardo

    August 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Hi and thanks for your reviews! Do you know how to know which of the actual Zenbooks will come with an IPS display? I guess the MODEL NUMBER should have a clue. Thanks!

  61. Jack

    October 15, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Be aware of buying any ux303 series zenbook .Week and poorly designed hinges
    will crack after few months of use.

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