Asus introduced its new ZenBook series in India in March this year, with three new notebooks on the market: the Zenbook UX303UB, UX305UA and Zenbook UX305CA. The Zenbook UX303UB is the flagship version and comes with the high-end sixth generation Intel Core i5 processor. The new Zenbook notebook too has Asus’ trademark metal finish but is still extremely light and sleek.
We recently reviewed the Asus Zenbook UX305LA, and thought that it was a good Windows 10 notebook, but felt that it was no match for the HY Envy 13. Now we have the latest Zenbook UX303UB with us for review and here’s our take.
Asus Zenbook UX303UB
I didn’t particularly like the Icicle Gold version of the Zenbook that we got for review. This brownish gold colour can be a bit off-putting for some. Otherwise, this is a perfect notebook for professionals.
It is also super-light, with the fan at the bottom and the ports on the sides. I had no problems lugging this around in my backpack and there were no issues propping it up on my legs while typing away furiously on the bed.
Specs: 13.3-inch FHD display | Intel Core i5 6200U Processor| DDR3L 8GB RAM + 1TB storage space | NVIDIA GeForce 940M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM| 2 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDHC) | HD Web Camera |WiFi 802.11 a/g/n or 802.11 ac (WiDi)| BT 4.0 support (on WLAN+ BT 4.0 combo card) | 3 x USB 3.0 port(s) | 1 x HDMI | 1 x mini Display Port | 1 x SD card reader | Windows 10 Home
Price: Rs 71,490
The first thing that stands out in the Zenbook UX303UA is the screen. Asus has put a full HD display, which is vivid and crisp, with the right colour balance. After the Zenfones, Asus is bringing the warmer eye care mode to laptop screens too to help those working late into the night and in darkness.
The 8GB RAM and Intel Sixth Gen i5 processor means that this Zenbook UX303UB is equipped to handle pretty much anything. I didn’t face any issues working on this. There were no app crashes, be it browsing, gaming, videos or any other work.
The Audio by ICEpower with Bang & Olufsen technology ensures good quality audio as well and I don’t see the need to rely on extra speakers with this Notebook.
Unlike the earlier Asus Zenbook we reviewed, this one has a backlit keyboard, which is quite nice, and frankly important given how much this costs. The Zenbook UX303UB’s keyboard has the same chicklet-style keyboard we’ve seen on the earlier device, and the travel is pretty decent. I didn’t find myself hitting the backspace too many times, and that’s an achievement by my standards.
What’s not so good?
The trackpad problem continues to persist with this Zenbook UX303UB as well. One doesn’t know when the Chrome tab you’re working on is going to blow to 200 per cent at just the slightest touch. Frankly the trackpad takes time to get used to, and I tried to avoid using it because it would keep doing the opposite of what I wanted, even though I was treading with caution. Asus needs to get this bit right.
I also faced some connectivity problems with the Zenbook where it refused to detect the WiFi connections in my house. I had to restart the Notebook in order to ensure that it found the WiFi. Even otherwise, it would keep disconnecting constantly. Someone pointed out router incompatibility could be an issue, so keep that in mind when getting one of the newer Notebooks.
The battery life on this is not so great. I’d say on a heavy work day you can stretch this to get around 6 hours, depending on how bright you like to keep the screen, which is not so good if you look at the pricing.
The Zenbook UX303UB is prone to heating and can get quite warm under the hood.
Should you buy ?
The Asus Zenbook UX303UB version we got has with 8GB RAM, 1TB storage space and the MRP on the box says Rs 78,990. So yeah this one is right on top, both in terms of price and the specs. This one is not touch-enabled and I don’t consider that as a must-have feature.
This one is slightly cheaper than the HP Envy 13, a notebook my colleague loved, and calls the best Windows 10 Notebook so far. I’d say the Zenbook UX303UB comes pretty close; the performance is flawless and shouldn’t give any trouble; I like what Asus has done with the design and display, even though I can’t say I loved the colour.
In my opinion, Zenbook UX303UB is a good enough choice to consider if you’re trying to look beyond the HP or Dell series.