HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

The ASUS Zen­Book UX305 is the only Ul­tra­book in our shootout to fea­ture a 5th gen­er­a­tion Broad­well pro­ces­sor in­stead of the newer Sky­lake ones. While it is a mat­ter of time when an upgrade comes along, at the time of writ­ing, ASUS did not have a Core i Sky­lake variant of the UX305, which was why we had to stick to a Broad­welle­quipped unit for our test­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately for the UX305, this means that it is al­ready hand­i­capped from the out­set. Sky­lake of­fers both bet­ter per­for­mance and power ef­fi­ciency, so the UX305 lagged be­hind the oth­ers in terms of per­for­mance and bat­tery life. More tellingly, its heftier 56Wh bat­tery didn't last as long as the HP ENVY 13's smaller 45Wh pack.

Nev­er­the­less, the Zen­Book's slim pro­file – it is just 14.9mm thick – and light weight make it quite por­ta­ble. Its en­tire body is also con­structed out of alu­minum, and the lid fea­tures a cir­cu­lar brushed metal pat­tern. The over­all im­pres­sion is of quite an ap­peal­ing, min­i­mal­is­tic de­vice that is very solidly-con­structed.

The dis­play it­self is a 3,200 x 1,800 IPS panel, in the same ball­park as the ma­jor­ity of its ri­vals. How­ever, there's no touch­screen sup­port here, but most users of Ul­tra­books prob­a­bly aren't go­ing to miss it. We also like the fact that the screen fea­tures a matte coat­ing in­stead of a glossy one, as this should help re­duce prob­lems with re­flec­tions and us­ing the screen di­rectly un­der over­head light­ing.

The key­board is also a stan­dard chi­clet de­sign that is quite easy to get used to. The row of func­tion keys at the top works with the Func­tion but­ton to pro­vide quick ac­cess to fea­tures like bright­ness and vol­ume con­trols.

When it comes to dis­play out­puts, the UX305 re­lies on a sin­gle Mi­cro-HDMI port, so be sure that you have the right dis­play cables if you're in­tend­ing to hook this up to an ex­ter­nal mon­i­tor. Of the two USB 3.0 ports, one of th­ese sup­ports what ASUS calls Charger+, which al­lows you to charge your pe­riph­er­als more quickly and also while the note­book is sleep­ing or pow­ered off. If you have mul­ti­ple devices, this could ef­fec­tively give you an ex­tra charg­ing point with­out hav­ing to leave your lap­top on overnight.

The matte dis­play helps cut down re­flec­tion from over­head light­ing.

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