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Asus ZenBook UX305CA review: A great example of an increasingly rare breed

Asus ZenBook UX305CA lead
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £600
inc VAT

The, now cheaper, Asus ZenBook UX305CA is a well built ultraportable but its battery life could be better


Benchmarks and Performance

With the updated processor inside, I came in expecting a modest performance increase from this new model – both have 8GB of RAM. The reality, however, was that it performed moderately worse than its predecessor. It managed an overall score of 19, which is a single point less than last year’s model.

The same Intel Core m3-6y30 managed a score of 23 in the HP Spectre X2 recently, meaning there’s some throttling going on, probably to keep heat under control, which is a shame. This was with our tougher 4K-based benchmarks, so it’s still going to have enough performance for general everyday computing. Expecting more demanding tasks from a laptop of this size and weight was always going to be unrealistic. Don’t expect much in the way of gaming from the integrated Intel HD Graphics 515, either.

Asus ZenBook UX305CA closed

Battery performance during our video playback test was a little underwhelming at 6 hours 4 minutes. This was with the screen set to 170cd/m2, our standard indoor-use brightness that we test all displays at. Under more general everyday use you can likely just about eke out ‘all day battery’ of 8 hours with more general tasks.

It’s still a little disappointing that you don’t get more longevity out of Intel Core M processors, though. While they help to reduce weight and size and keep the noise down with fanless designs, they don’t add much in the way of stamina. Still, this laptop’s high-resolution screen could be partially to blame for sapping the battery.


The previous UX305 we looked at had a comparatively bog-standard, but perfectly acceptable, 1,920×1,080 resolution display. For the new model, there’s now a 13.3in 3,200×1,800 resolution panel option, which is the model I reviewed. The extra resolution makes everything appear incredibly crisp. You’ll likely need to tweak Windows 10’s scaling to get text and icons up to a viewable level.

It’s also incredibly bright. Asus states it has a brightness of 300cd/m2, but the model I tested had white levels of an incredibly bright 409cd/m2. This had an adverse effect on black levels, which were very high at 0.77cd/m2. Similarly, a contrast ratio of 513:1 also sounds a little low, but considering this is a matte panel it’s not too bad.

Certainly under more superficial scrutiny, the panel appears vibrant with bold colours. The panel’s sRGB coverage of 90.2% certainly is very respectable for a laptop of this price, and its Delta-E average of 2.79 is fine provided you’re not looking for a colour accurate screen. Viewing angles are slightly acute, but in part, the ridiculous brightness makes it seem worse than it is.

You’re able to quickly toggle on and off the ambient light sensor from the keyboard, which is a handy shortcut and there’s also Asus’ Splendid display profile software if you want to make colour adjustments. Vivid mode, for example, boosts saturation and makes colours pop but it was a bit too extreme for my tastes.


There’s undoubtedly a lot to like about the ZenBook UX305CA. Its build quality and design are still excellent and the high-resolution screen is equally great. However, its performance took a puzzling step backwards and its battery life was a little disappointing. Still, considering it’s now considerably cheaper than when we first reviewed it, it’s still worthy of recommendation for those looking for a thin, light and extremely portable laptop, especially for those not looking to stretch to the Apple MacBook.

Buy the Asus ZenBook UX305CA now from John Lewis

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Core specs
ProcessorDual-core 900MHz Intel Core m3-6y30
Memory slots (free)1 (0)
Max memory8GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Screen size13.3in
Screen resolution3,200×1,200
Graphics adaptorIntel HD Graphics 515
Graphics outputsMicro HDMI
Graphics memoryIntegrated
Total storage128GB SSD
Optical drive typeNone
Ports and expansion
USB ports3x USB3
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi
Memory card readerSD
Other portsNone
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyOne year RTB
Price inc VAT£600
Part numberUX305CA

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