Analysts like to lớn bemoan the PC industry"s penchant for "racing to the bottom," but they always seem khổng lồ forget the benefits of low-kết thúc competition: Bargain prices for better hardware.

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Asus new ZenBook UX305F is proof that racing to the bottom doesn"t always have sầu lớn end in a duffel bag of compromises and tears. In fact, the ZenBook UX305F is one those laptops that defies conventional wisdom on build quality, specs and price.

I"ll hit you with the big news up front: The ZenBook"s decidedly budget price of $699 (và now a bit cheaper at Amazon). For an ultrabook, that"s a big giảm giá khuyến mãi. That"s because most "ultrabooks" at this price really aren"t that ultra. They"re clunky and chunky bricks that paông chồng 10rpm hard drives that load Windows so slowly you can practically watch the pixels fill in one by one.

Hãng Asus

Despite its budget price, there"s very little low rent about the ZenBook UX305 that I could find.

One look at the ZenBook tells you it"s not a plus-sized laptop masquerading as an ultrabook either. Outside, there"s no cheap plastic, it"s an aluminum skin. Hãng Asus says the shell is constructed of .5milimet thichồng aluminum, which makes it one of the thinner 13.3-laptops around. The Dell XPS 13 2015, for example, measures at 18mm. The original ultrabook, Apple"s MacBook Air 11 is 16.8mm. The Asus? 13mm.

Inside you won"t find a Celeron, Pentium or similar low-rent Bay Trail-based Atom SoC, Hãng Asus instead taps Intel"s low-wattage Chip Core M 5Y10 CPU. That"s a Broadwell chip, but the Core M is locked down khổng lồ consume a third of the power of a Vi xử lý Core i5 or bộ vi xử lý Core i7 Broadwell.

That lets Asus actually build the ZenBook as a true fanless laptop, so it"s utterly silent. The company says the ZenBook features "IceCool" thiết kế, using chromium copper alloys to lớn keep the CPU và internals of the máy tính xách tay from cooking. That may be true for the insides, but I did find the outsides could get hot. After running an encoding test for an hour, I snapped thermal images of the baông chồng & front of the ZenBook và saw temps of 1đôi mươi degrees & 118 degrees. A similar HPhường EliteBook that I"m reviewing, with its (admittedly slower) Vi xử lý Core M chip, was almost 20 degrees cooler.

Gordon Mah Ung

The fanless ZenBook UX305F after a one hour encode gets almost too warm.

The ZenBook is the second Chip Core M-equipped máy tính xách tay I"ve seen. Ultraportable performance isn"t as critical as it is for, say, a gaming desktop or workstation, but it"s still worth measuring.

To do that I first looked at how well that bộ vi xử lý Core M does against Dell"s XPS 13 2015 & a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon in PC Mark 8"s chạy thử for work tasks. It"s nothing to write home about & that"s what I"d expect. The demo is designed khổng lồ measure office drone tasks, & we can all agree that it plateaus pretty quickly once you get lớn a certain performance cấp độ. The upshot is that you really don"t need an overclocked 8-core Vi xử lý Core i7 lớn run Microsoft Word or human-màn chơi Excel tasks.


PC Mark 8"s Work Convetional load measures how fast a máy tính xách tay can handle boring old office drone tasks.

I also ran our standard encoding tasks, where we take a 30GB MKV file và transcode it using HandBrake lớn a form size & format friendly lớn an Android tablet. It"s a heavy workload for a máy tính xách tay, but not unheard of considering the capability of laptops.

While you don"t need a big CPU in office tasks, you can see where the dual-core Chip Core i5 chips, with their greater power consumption và higher cloông chồng speeds, have an advantage. With a third of the thermals to lớn work with, the dual-core Core M 5Y10 just doesn"t have sầu the megahertz lớn keep up with the paông xã, but it"s still respectable. I wouldn"t let this be a deal-breaker unless CPU-intensive chores are Job no. 1. If so, it"s worth paying for a Chip Core i7 part instead, but in general, most people won"t notice much of a difference with a Chip Core M.


The fanless Core M definitely gives up pure CPU performance but not as much as you"d think.

Core M lacks in graphics power, too

The Chip Core M CPU is about low power & low thermals. What you get is better than Atom/Celeron/Pentium performance, but still far less than a full-tilt bộ vi xử lý Core i5 chip using a CPU that consumes three times its power. That becomes very apparent in our HandBrake encoding thử nghiệm, và also running the graphics chạy thử 3DMark Cloud Gate. As you can see, you give sầu up a lot of performance. Granted, the integrated graphics in an i5 won"t let you play a graphically intense game at any reasonable frame rate, but the Core M"s gaming chops take a definite backseat—they"re about the equivalent of HD4000 graphics in an older Ivy Bridge CPU.

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You do give sầu up considerable graphics performance by going with the low wattage Chip Core M Broadwell chip over the Vi xử lý Core i5 Broadwell U part.

Decent battery life

Perhaps one of the most important metrics in a máy vi tính is battery life. I ran MobileMark 2014 on the ZenBook và then compared its numbers khổng lồ the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon và both Dell XPS 13 units.

MobileMark 2014 is a real-world rundown thử nghiệm, using off-the-shelf popular apps such as Office & Photosiêu thị & replicating a typical work session. The test simulates a person pulling up an tin nhắn & sitting there và actually reading the tin nhắn for five minutes, for instance, rather than simulating a person typing lượt thích an automaton for eight hours straight.

With its 45-watt-hour battery và power-sipping Vi xử lý Core M chip, the Zenbook lasted a healthy 638 minutes. The Dell XPS 13 2015, with its even larger 52-watt-hour cell (but higher-res screen) comes in a bit worse, at 602 minutes. I also had time to lớn kiểm tra the most natural competitor here: Dell"s XPS 13 năm ngoái with 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD và 1920x1080 screen. With a sticker price of $799, it"s the most direct competitor to the ZenBook. You can see what happens lớn the Dell XPS 13 once you shed the high-resolution panel và touch option: A healthy bump from 602 minutes to lớn 728 minutes.

The older ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014, with its 46-watt-hour battery, does the worst at 431 minutes. I"m expecting to lớn see the updated ThinkPad X1 Carbon soon, so we"ll see whether the X1 Carbon can stage a comebaông xã.


The ZenBook UX305F and its bộ vi xử lý Core M has admirable battery life of 10 hours. Only the 1080p version of the Dell XPS 13 năm ngoái out runs it at 12 hours.

There"s nothing budget about the specs

Moving back to lớn the physical attributes of the ZenBook, I have sầu to say I expected far more corners to be cut. For example, I expected the 13.3-inch screen khổng lồ be an inferior TN panel. Instead, Hãng Asus uses a 1920x1080 resolution IPS screen and an anti-reflective sầu coating. Hãng Asus makes a version with a 3200x1800 panel & also offers optional touch. The 1920x1080 display is competent. I didn"t see any terrible color banding, & although Hãng Asus rates it at 300 nits in brightness, it pegged our meter at 340. I did see noticeable light leakage from the backlighting when cranked up lớn maximum in a dark room. But at normal brightness levels for a darkened room, it"s not atrocious.

In storage, I also expected a budget move sầu too, lượt thích a hybrid drive sầu or a leftover mSATA drive sầu. Nope. Hãng Asus actually surprises with a 256GB M.2 SATA SSD. Let me say that again: A 256GB SSD. If you think about it, that"s far more than what you"re getting anywhere else. Period.


Few corners seem khổng lồ have been cut from the UX305 despite its price.

The keyboard isn"t bad either

I even found the keyboard to lớn be pretty good. One of my complaints with Dell"s XPS 13 năm ngoái Mã Sản Phẩm is a slightly compressed keyboard and small keys. Its keys measure 14.7milimet wide & tall. The ZenBook"s are 16.2mm wide & 14.7milimet tall. That may sound lượt thích nothing, but my typing was more accurate on the ZenBook"s even though the keys felt a little spongy to lớn my digits. If I were nitpicking, I"d note the lack of backlighting—và then Hãng Asus would just throw the $699 price in my face và tell me where lớn go.

The trackpad on the unit appears lớn be an Hãng Asus design. My reference is the Google Chromebook Pixel"s excellent etched-glass trackpad. This is not in the Pixel"s class & has a definite metallic feel, but it"s quite usable, and palm rejection on the mặc định settings was quite good.

If you were looking for something to complain about, it would be the wireless. Asus put in a dual-b& 802.11n radio instead of 802.11ac. For most people it won"t matter and is probably worth the trade-off for the extra RAM và storage.

Conclusion: The best khuyễn mãi giảm giá in town

What this comes down khổng lồ is a major breakthrough in price for an ultrabook. I thought Dell"s XPS 13 2015, with its $799 price was a big breakthrough (& it is), but you give sầu up in RAM and storage khổng lồ get lớn $800. The same goes with Apple"s MacBook Air 11, which has a tiny, low-res screen &, like the Dell, a limited 128GB of storage & 4GB of RAM.

At $699, the ZenBook sets a new standard in what to expect in a budget ultrabook. I dare say it feels lượt thích an injustice even to lớn gọi this a budget ultrabook. In fact, maybe it"s not that the ZenBook is low-priced, maybe it"s that the others are overcharging you.

Correction: Our initial Đánh Giá incorrectly stated the resolution of the panel. It is 1920 x 1080. regrets the error. 

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