Asus Zenbook Prime UX301LA review

Stylish and powerful, but we prefer Apple’s 13in MacBook Pro

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Page 1 of 2Asus Zenbook Prime UX301LA review


13.3 in 1,920x1,080 display, 1.4kg, 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U, 8.00GB RAM, 256GB disk, Windows 8

Asus's Zenbook laptops have always been desirable, but the UX301LA is easily the most elegant Ultrabook we've ever seen. The metallic finish on the UX301LA’s crystalline glass lid looks remarkably beautiful and its super slim chassis measures just 15.5mm when closed and weighs a mere 1.38kg.

Asus Zenbook Prime UX301LA

Fortunately, Asus has taken great care to ensure the UX301LA’s beauty isn’t just skin-deep, as it’s the first laptop in the world to use Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its lid. Gorilla Glass 3 is three times more scratch-resistant than the more common Gorilla Glass 2 coatings seen on some other laptops, giving the UX301LA even more protection when you’re mobile.

Asus Zenbook Prime UX301LA

The UX301LA has few connection ports, but it has a good selection for a laptop so thin. There are two USB3 ports, micro HDMI and mini DisplayPort video outputs, an SD card reader and a combined headphone and microphone jack. You also get a VGA and Gigabit Ethernet adaptor in case you want to connect the laptop to an external monitor or wired network.

The UX301LA model we reviewed is a supremely capable laptop, and its dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U processor and 8GB of RAM sped through our multimedia benchmarks. It scored 53 overall, which puts it just two points behind the similarly priced Sony Vaio Duo 13. You certainly shouldn’t have any problems running multiple programs at once or using processor-intensive applications such as photo- and video-editors.

Asus Zenbook Prime UX301LA

The UX301LA also performed well in our Dirt Showdown test. With graphics quality set to High quality and at a 1,280x720 resolution, the UX301LA produced a steady 23.6fps, which is roughly what we’d expect to see from this type of processor. That average frame rate isn’t quite quick enough for fast-paced racing games, but you can get higher average frame rates if you reduce graphics quality. At a resolution of 1,920x1,080 and with graphics quality set to Low and no anti-aliasing, the UX301LA produced an average frame rate of 34.9fps. This shows that you should have no trouble playing casual games, but the UX301LA will struggle with the latest 3D games.