We are seeing a lot of Windows 10 computers storming our test labs lately and it could well be the sign that personal computers are seeing a revival. If statistics are anything to go by, Macs have been gaining sales every quarter for the past couple of years while PC sales took the downward slide. This year, probably Windows PCs will even the sales record after a long time.
I think HP has already shown what a great Windows 10 machine should look like. I thought HP Envy 13 was the most elegant Windows machine, but it seems there is a Taiwanese contender for that crown.
Asus is a company that produces everything from robots to computers. With over 200 million computers running Windows 10, Asus is refreshing its own Zenbook offering with the latest Intel Core processors to catch up with the competition.
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Asus Zenbook UX305LA
Asus Zenbook UX305LA is one of the flagship offerings from the Taiwanese consumer electronics giant. Asus has been the most profound Windows OEM when it comes to keeping a flare in every device. Our review unit Zenbook UX305LA is no different.
Having tried detachables, convertibles and even one with dual display, the Asus Zenbook UX305LA is a proper laptop that is extremely lightweight. So is Asus Zenbook the biggest threat to HP Envy 13? We find out in our review
Specs: Windows 10 Home 64-bit | Intel Core i5-5200U | 4GB DDR3 SDRAM | 256GB SSD storage | 13.3-inch Full HD(1920 x 1080) LCD | HDMI | USB x3 | 1.30 kg
Price: Rs 71,990
What is good?
The Zen in Asus Zenbook UX305LA has to be its design, it is one seriously beautiful looking machine. If HP Envy 13 is ‘HIM’ then Asus Zenbook UX305LA has to be that ‘HER’. Our review unit came in brushed gold metallic finish with the Asus logo embellished at the front. Asus has done away with texturing and made it look clean and simple.
The Asus Zenbook UX305LA’s design is definitely clean but not understated. It features the fan on the underside and the vents are nearly tucked upfront. It is hardly visible and it is even hard to hear it vent out the hot air. Asus Zenbook UX305LA is proof of great engineering on which Asus will bank for the next couple of years.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA comes with a 13.3-inch full HD matte display. Yes, it is matte and not glossy and it is beautiful. The display is very accurate when it comes to scattering the unnecessary light and yet makes sure that it is never harsh on the user. It mostly stays bright and the auto setting works profoundly well. This is an impressive display in fact better than the previous UX series notebooks.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA weighs under 1.3kg and yet packs decent mix of ports. Firstly, it houses a full SD card slot and has three USBs in total. There is also a mini HDMI slot that covers up almost every connectivity option.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA has a class leading keyboard. The chiclet style keyboard offers comfortable typing with well laid out keys. The travel may not compare with Macbook Air, but there is definitely no chance of hitting a wrong key.
Also you get the latest and greatest from the Redmond team in the form of Windows 10. Every Windows 10 feature works here well like Cortana, split screen view, task view option. There is absolutely no performance issue.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA betters Envy 13 in one area: battery life. For my kind of use, it lasted me over 10 hours with good mix of streaming. This number can improve further with Skylake hardware.
What is not good?
I am very concerned about the trackpad that comes with a laptop. It has to be fast and accurate. It needs to differentiate well between two finger scrolling and two finger tap. In the case of Asus Zenbook UX305LA, I was not impressed. The trackpad fails to understand gestures and at times keeps scrolling down the page even after you take your fingers off the trackpad. There were times when I had to restart the laptop for the trackpad to work. Asus has got some job to fix this trackpad.
Asus Zenbook UX305LA lacks one more important thing – backlit keyboard. The keyboard is good, but won’t be useful in a dark environment. For the asking price, I don’t see a reason why this isn’t standard.
Should you buy?
Honestly, this is a great laptop and it’s comparatively inexpensive. But it fails to deliver on some practical things like trackpad and keyboard.
I think HP Envy 13 stays the undisputed king in terms of overall performance. In fact, Asus has announced new range of Zenbooks with flagship specs and backlit keyboard.
If you like Zenbook design then you should check those out and stay tuned for our review of new Zenbooks.