Asus Zenbook UX305 / UX305FA review – the fanless ultraportable

80 Comments

  1. Rob

    May 29, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    Hello,

    I have had my Asus Zenbook UX305FA (with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD) for almost three months and overall I am very happy with it but there are certain things that are not ideal. By the way, I find the above review very good and agree pretty much with everything that I had tried.

    First what I love about this machine:
    – It’s slick design and lightness make it ideal to slide into my backback and take it with me when before I would not consider bringing a laptop. On occasions I pulled the laptop out of my bag in a shop or a bank and quickly did what I had to do almost as if I was holding a tablet

    – The screen quality is fantastic and being non-reflective it works really well. The screen size at 13 inches is perfect for me.

    – I have a fast 100MB/s internet and I found performance more than sufficient for browsing and streaming. Occassionally, streaming does stop but not enough for me to get bothered and we also need to remember that it depends on the source of the stream

    – A major plus is the speed with which it powers up – we are talking literally 10 seconds and it’s up. That makes my life so much easier

    Issues that I found:
    – I have the 128GB version and 70GB was pretty much full very fast with system and a few apps and it was easy for me to add 30GB of some music and videos. Usable storage is only 110GB, so Im close to the limit much sooner than I would hope – Im considering an upgrade – either that or I need to carry external drive which I dont want to do

    – Despite advertised 10 hrs, I get typically 5 hours of usage that does include streaming. Running powercfg /batteryreport /output “C:\battery_report.html” shows about 5:40 hrs of expected usage. That is actually a bit of a problem. I was hoping for about 7 hrs given advertised 10 hrs. I will buy a power bank to support me when on my travels. The point is – I thought I didn’t have to do that. Incidently, I have seen many reviews of power banks for USB devices, but only sketchy ones of the power banks for laptops. (*)

    – I do not know if this is just my machine but running it on battery power for a day, usually means once/day or maybe once/two days, I the display goes dark and half a second later it returns with a message “Display driver stopped working but recovered” – First few times I ignored but it is a reasonably significant nuisance. Asus support asked me to send in the laptop but not having a laptop for several days is major inconvenience for me and interestingly I found other people in the internet suffering from the same issue (Asus claimed they do not know of this being a common problem). Of course, I tried updating all the drivers but still the problem re-occurs now and again.

    – the keyboard is not ideal but ok for me – it reminds of the new Macbook 12 inches which I really don’t like (very shallow – no spring in key presses). Asus keyboard only reminds of the Macbook 12″ version because it is deeper which makes all the difference

    – I have had issues with the Tuchpad – several times the cursor just stopped moving and I had to reinstall Touchpad drivers. Would have preferred not to do that

    – Also the Touchpad is more temperamental than one would hope and clicks are quite noisy – for me these are slight inconvenience

    – Another thing with the Touchpad is that using it for a bit even with fairly clean hands it looks a bit smudged – I don’t know what Apple cover their Touchpads with but I do not see that on their products. It is just a minor point, possibly a bit pedantic but still …

    – When the battery gets to 5% the machine powers off. It does not go to sleep, it powers off and it is impossible to get it back without charging. Not sure if the 5% is set somewhere but effectively it’s like haveing 95% battery.

    – Speakers are not great – OK, to listen to in a quiet place and good enough if you just want to listen to music yourself but you cannot expect too much in such a small space in such a slim design.

    It seems like I wrote a lot of negatives, but actually, overall I love this laptop because it is just so convenient, especially in comparison to the heavy machine I had before.

    Im definitely sticking with it and I cannot imagine upgrading in the future to anything other than a similar ultraslim laptop. Hopefully with these inconveniencies eliminated.

    Ok, so I wrote more than I intended to – sorry :-)

    Best regards

    (*) It’s a side issue but I would be interested in a review of at least the 4 power banks below (lightest, capacity 18000-30000mAh, all with 2 USB charging ports, plus two have LCD with remaining charge):
    1. RAVPower 23,000mAh Portable Charger Power Bank External Battery Pack
    2. ElectriQ Universal Laptop & USB Power Bank, 30,000mAh
    3. Poweradd Pilot Pro2 23000mAh Portable Power Bank
    4. AUKEY 18000mAh Multi-voltage

    In particular their own re-charging times are hard to find. Im looking pretty much for the lightest power banks capable of charing laptop with minimum 18,000mAh. Anything above 30,000mAh is problematic when taking on board airplanes.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Hi Rob, thanks for the detailed feedback, this is going to help other readers for sure!

      I don’t have any experience with those power banks you mentioned. You should check out the reviews on Amazon.com and you can also ask your own questions there and owners might answer.

  2. Awarru

    June 14, 2016 at 2:57 am

    The USB3 hub will default back to USB 2.0 if a device only capable of USB2 is plugged in so the comment above about only having USB3 ports is moot.

  3. Dominic Walker

    December 3, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Hi,
    I can't find the ux305 to buy anywhere in the UK. Do you know if there is much difference between the ux305, ux305ca, and ux305FA? Or what the current model is this series?
    Many thanks

  4. Sukruti

    March 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Thanks for this helpful review. I am looking for fanless laptops/ultrabooks with SSD storage and matte display. Can you please tell me of all such models you are aware of?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

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