ASUS ZEN­BOOK UX301

HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

Two years ago, ASUS in­tro­duced its Zen­book se­ries of Ul­tra­books, a pre­mium range of ul­tra por­ta­ble note­books with high-end hard­ware and lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als. The lat­est ad­di­tion to that range, the Zen­book UX301 (known in other parts of the world as the Zen­book In­fin­ity), con­tin­ues that tra­di­tion, and is one of the first Ul­tra­books to use In­tel’s new Core i7-4558U 2.8GHz pro­ces­sor with In­tel Iris 5100 in­te­grated graph­ics. It also sports dual 128GB SSDs in RAID 0 con­fig­u­ra­tion and a 13.3-inch QHD+ 2560 x 1440 res­o­lu­tion dis­play.

The Zen­book UX301 shares much of the de­sign phi­los­o­phy of pre­vi­ous Zen­books, with a full alu­minum build and the Zen­book’s trade­mark swirl pat­tern lid. Like the Acer S7, the UX301 lid is also ex­tra durable with a Gorilla Glass panel over the alu­minum pro­vid­ing ex­tra scratch and tor­sion re­sis­tance. Es­chew­ing the usual sil­ver or grey col­ors, ASUS has opted for an in­ter­est­ing dark me­tal­lic blue for the UX301, which cer­tainly helps it stand out from the crowd.

On the in­side, the Zen­book’s wrist rest sports a matte Gorilla Glass cover, which pro­vides a very com­fort­able and smooth typ­ing sur­face. The back­lit, chi­clet key­board has firm, if slightly shal­low, keys, but the over­all typ­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is fairly pleas­ant. The orig­i­nal Zen­book was let down by its of­ten un­re­spon­sive track­pad, but three gen­er­a­tions later, the UX301 has no such is­sues, track­ing both ac­cu­rately and re­spon­sively. Like HP’s Spec­tre 13, the Zen­book UX301 boasts a 2560 x 1440 res­o­lu­tion dis­play, which ri­vals the 2560 x 1600 res­o­lu­tion dis­play found on Ap­ple’s 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Clar­ity is ex­cel­lent, and the dis­play is also bright with de­cent view­ing an­gles. Un­for­tu­nately, all of the Zen­book UX301’s pre­mium touches don’t come cheap. At $2,798 it is, by far, the most ex­pen­sive Ul­tra­book in this shootout.

“ASUS OPTS FOR A DARK ME­TAL­LIC BLUE

FOR THE UX301, WHICH HELPS IT STAND

OUT.”

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