So I usually haven’t done any UltraBook reviews in the past. As many of you know I am a PC user who has a Gaming PC. I really used to under-estimate the power of laptops, especially due to their price. Asus Malaysia was kind enough to offer me their UX305C to check out. I gave it a chance! Did it impress me? Let’s find out!
01| Design & Build Quality!
When I first saw this laptop, I was shocked by how thin it is! Sure its not much of a shocking thing to many, but it’s been long since I’ve came back to laptops. The laptop is sturdily built of metal and plastic with a soft touch finish. The size of the display is 13.3 inches which is a good form factor in my opinion. Sure this isn’t a laptop for everyone, but in my case, moving from a gaming machine to the UX305C just impresses me. Yeah sure, it’s performance is no where near to a full fledged desktop gaming machine but still I really love the performance offered at this form factor by the UX305C.
Asus has always been one of the most innovative laptop manufacturers, Asus has smartly ditched the stuff they think were right and my opinion the did it right. On the right of the laptop you’ll find two USB 3,0 ports and an SD card reader, that’s all. Towards the left of the laptop you’ll find a charging port, USB 2.0 port, a mini-HDMI port, a headphone jack, and two LEDs to show if the laptop is charging or not. For those who want to use Ethernet on this laptop, Asus has bundled a USB to Ethernet port with the UX305C. Even in this form factor I think that the expansion options given by Asus are pretty good. Kudos to Asus here!
The performance on the ZenBook is good enough for its form factor in my opinion. I tested the laptop is daily tasks just as surfing, some productivity apps and even Adobe Illustrator CC which ran flawlessly. Oh did I forget to mention that this laptop could run most of your favourite mobile games on the MS Store like a beast? Well yeah, the laptop played games very well, that’s for sure, but only mobile ones. I didn’t try to waste my time torturing this device with high end games. While playing games, as usual I noticed the bottom of the laptop heating a bit. Some people may be saying, where the heck are the vents? Well Asus has hid them towards the hinge of the laptop.
As of the storage options, Asus sent me their 128GB M.2 SSD model which at first glance I was like, WTH! but then soon I realized, people who do general tasks and some productivity don’t need much storage in the first place. In my opinion the Intel Core m3-6Y30 paired with 4GB of RAM is pretty good. Opening multiple tabs is like a breeze on this laptop and the M.2 SSD just makes everything much much snappier.
I also did a test in GFXBench, here are the results
Here’s a test from Cinebench R15
03| Display & Speakers
The display on the UX305C is pretty decent in my opinion, it has a matte finish, 13.3 inches in size, 1080p Full HD and has a pixel density of 166PPI. However, looking around I found that by shoving some more money could get you a QHD screen on this laptop 3200 x 1800. However, I am not quite sure of the availability of the QHD model.
Though I really don’t hate the matte finishing used on the screen of this laptop. Color reproduction is good and viewing angles are good as well. Browsing the web is also an enjoyable experience.The brightness of the display is okay as well, however, the display seems a bit washed out while outdoors.
The speakers on the UX305C are on the bottom of the laptop. Though, due the angular body underneath the laptop, it gives the speakers some room. In my opinion, the speakers are pretty average. They are clear but not loud enough, sure I wasn’t expecting much in the first place for an ultrabook, but they get the job done.
04| Battery life
Battery life is one of the biggest concerns when choosing a laptop. Though, most of the time I had it plugged in I did test how long the battery lasts. Asus claims that the battery will last 10 hours, but in my testing in normal browsing it lasted me for 5-7 hours with Wi-Fi on and 100% brightness. Charging time was also pretty okay, it usually charges within 1 and a half hour from 7% to 100%.
05| Pricing and Conclusion
The UX305C retails for RM2899 in Malaysia, which is approx. US $760. The price tag my my opinion seems a bit high for such a device, sure I know Ultrabooks do come expensive but not always, they also have their 15.6 inch counter-parts which are thicker and bulkier but do have better internals. Overall the UX305C isn’t a bad laptop, its a pretty good laptop that made me realize that I don’t always need a high end gaming machine. The only thing that’s hard for me to swallow is the price. That’s all. Anyways, a huge thanks to Asus Malaysia for letting me review the UX305C.