Top-10 of the week
- Featherweight and super slim
- Outstanding keyboard
- High contrast, glare-free 1080p display
- Very affordable
- Modest performance
The premium-feeling yet affordably-priced Zenbook UX305 is a great success in my book. While it doesn't tick every box, and you can't expect it given the price with the imperfect screen and couple of rough edges. However, if you're looking for a nippy little laptop for under £550, it’s a fantastic choice. Just a fraction of the price than the 2015 MacBook Air, the UX305 has considerably more RAM and a thinner design, and it also has a higher resolution screen too. All being said, it also comes with Windows 10, which might be enough to put off a few fans of Apple's snappy operating system. When you bring it down in terms of sheer value-for-money, the Zenbook UX305 is still a superb choice.
TheZenBook UX305 is a superbly-built machine that's thin, light and downrightattractive. The full-metal build and slightly off-violet color of the chassismake it stand out from all the white Acer Aspire S7's and golden MacBooks ofthe world without being too flamboyant.
Skylakehas completely repaired Core M's reputation, and I'm thoroughly pleased withthe power of the UX305. This lightweight system' performance is mostlyconsistent whether I'm browsing the web, watching video or editing images.What's more, you can get stellar battery life lasting almost more than sevenhours in some instances.
Ofcourse, the most striking thing about the UX305 is that it comes at a $699(£599, AU$1,199) price point. This is a great price for any mobile computingmachine, but in this case you're getting a premium, full-metal Ultrabook withan excellent full HD display and a 256GB SSD to boot.
While Ienjoy an excellent overall experience with the UX305, once the laptop digs intoits reserve battery tank, the Intel Core m3 chip's performance suddenlyplummets. It's a problem you'll likely never run into until after 6 hours ofusage, but it's a huge annoyance when I struggle to even draft a single emailas the laptop slows to a crawl. Gaming performance is also a minor let down,considering it degraded from last generation.
I also wish the laptop'sspeakers were a tiny bit better especially, considering they were engineered byBang & Olufsen. The built-in tweeters are in no way the worst speakers I'veever heard, but they're nonetheless a weak point of this otherwise excellentmachine.
TheAsus ZenBook is the most affordable Ultrabook you can buy currently, thoughit's not exactly a shining symbol of innovation in this space of ultraportablenotebooks. Regardless, Asus has struck a remarkable ratio of components toprice with an excellent build quality.
I would pick the Asus ZenBookUX305 1,000 times over most Windows 10 laptops. Other than being an absolutesteal, this 13-inch laptop packs in a ton of features with a nearly perfect1080p screen, a surprising number of ports and long battery life. Next to it,the MacBook looks down right expensive.