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ASUS Zenbook UX305FA-ASM1 Intel Core M 8 GB Memory 256 GB SSD 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: In general, I found the UX305FA ZenBook to perform as one would expect from published specs and benchmarks, evaluated at length in formal online reviews. Which is to say: outstanding for a low power consumption, non-gamer laptop; a significant advance relative to even the best "Atom" series processors, heretofore common in small, lightweight systems. Asus ads claim nearly Core i5 class performance, and that may almost be true wrt some low end i5 systems. 8GB DDR3 and a 256GB SSD are more than adequate for any mobile/portable PC application/need I anticipate. However, as supplied, the SSD seemed less than ideally partitioned for common use: with a 96GB OS partition and 128GB set aside for user files; BUT with all user folders/libraries located, by default, on the (C:) system partition. Of course user library reorg is a simple matter, though not as simple as drag&drop or a single click. Nor are novice users alerted to the file-system organizational issue. There is a further 15GB Windows system recovery partition.

The 1/2 inch thick (overall, when closed), aluminum, fanless case seems barely larger than the minimum physical requirements to house a 13" HD IPS LCD screen plus an essentially full-sized, responsive laptop keyboard. The kb provides adequate though limited keystroke tactile feedback (of course there's simply no room for a separate numeric pad.) Truly outstanding mechanical design and construction, setting a new price/performance comparison benchmark; the aluminum chassis further serves to heatsink the fanless system.

The 13" full HD (1920x1080) IPS screen has a matte anti-reflection surface which seems effective under common lighting conditions; HOWEVER, max screen brightness is limited, a compromise to accommodate the remarkably low power budget. The audio components achieve arguably "reasonable" fidelity from miniature, internal, advertised "Bang & Olufsen" loudspeakers; however, no surprise, with very limited max volume. Headphones can play more loudly, testing Sennheiser Momentum (20 ohm), HD448 (32 ohm) and Velodyne (40 ohm) over-the-ear models; but be aware that, presumably as an ear-safety feature, Windows master volume is automatically lowered upon detection of headphone plugin, so just bump that back up if desired.

In addition to internal, dual-band WiFi, Asus supplies a small USB/Ethernet-J45 dongle. Paired with my N900 wireless router, UX305FA 2.4GHz WiFi yields low (2Mbps, or occasionally 10-12Mbps) network access, relative to various other PCs I tested concurrently, including an Asus T100A (which consistently attained 20Mbps.) The ethernet dongle occupies one of three UX305FA USB jacks; but Newegg sells a somewhat larger alternative, with RJ45 plus 3 USB3-hub jacks, which I've been using instead.

Cons: Asus registration popup nag dialog boxes are relentless, and lack a "remind-me-in-a-week" option. Nor is it explained by Asus that immediate registration will negate NewEgg retail purchase product return options.

Initially, I was unable to drive an external monitor in any fashion from the micro-HDMI port, getting only a dark screen (Asus advertises up to 4K external video capability.) Ultimately I discovered that manually setting the UX305FA's external video to 1920x1080 with 60p refresh would generate a stable, full screen display on my 4K/UHD auto-sync monitor. Intel's supplied HD Graphics 5300 driver/utility software didn't list 4K as a supported mode; and it may be that if you still have an obsolete HD monitor lying about, that may present no problem.

While investigating the external display problem, I discovered that I was unable to enter the UX305FA ROM-BIOS (currently v.206) by pressing the F2 key during POST (pre-boot), as described in Asus' current v.1.0 (9/2014) user manual. By Google search I learned from others that this has been a reported problem with other Asus Zenbook models running Windows 8, since 2013. But the suggested remedy (disabling Windows 8 "fast startup" feature) proved disastrous for me, leading to UX305FA boot times exceeding 5 minutes!!! Oddly, but happily, if/when choosing the Windows 8.1 "restart" option, rather than "shutdown", Windows docs assert that a system image "fast restart" file isn't created (I'm guessing that may be to allow for rebooting when loading/configuring system updates???) And I found that access to the UX305FA ROM-BIOS can be reliably achieved during POST with the F2 key, following Windows 8.1 "restart" (but in my experience NOT from a cold-start following Windows 8.1 "shutdown".)

Other Thoughts: The UX305FA ZenBook may be the best general use, small, lightweight, low-power (non-touch screen) laptop available today, certainly for its price. I also have a small, so-called 2in1, with both keyboard and 10" touchscreen, and had not become a touchscreen fan from experience with that. Nevertheless, after reflexively touching the much superior UX305FA display on occasion (of course to no effect), I do now find myself wondering if a touchscreen might be desirable after-all. But I'd say not at the cost of added weight or power consumption. The UX305FA ZenBook is nearly perfect as is.

READ FULL REVIEW
ASUS Zenbook UX305FA-ASM1 Intel Core M 8 GB Memory 256 GB SSD 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: In general, I found the UX305FA ZenBook to perform as one would expect from published specs and benchmarks, evaluated at length in formal online reviews. Which is to say: outstanding for a low power consumption, non-gamer laptop; a significant advance relative to even the best "Atom" series processors, heretofore common in small, lightweight systems. Asus ads claim nearly Core i5 class performance, and that may almost be true wrt some low end i5 systems. 8GB DDR3 and a 256GB SSD are more than adequate for any mobile/portable PC application/need I anticipate. However, as supplied, the SSD seemed less than ideally partitioned for common use: with a 96GB OS partition and 128GB set aside for user files; BUT with all user folders/libraries located, by default, on the (C:) system partition. Of course user library reorg is a simple matter, though not as simple as drag&drop or a single click. Nor are novice users alerted to the file-system organizational issue. There is a further 15GB Windows system recovery partition.

The 1/2 inch thick (overall, when closed), aluminum, fanless case seems barely larger than the minimum physical requirements to house a 13" HD IPS LCD screen plus an essentially full-sized, responsive laptop keyboard. The kb provides adequate though limited keystroke tactile feedback (of course there's simply no room for a separate numeric pad.) Truly outstanding mechanical design and construction, setting a new price/performance comparison benchmark; the aluminum chassis further serves to heatsink the fanless system.

The 13" full HD (1920x1080) IPS screen has a matte anti-reflection surface which seems effective under common lighting conditions; HOWEVER, max screen brightness is limited, a compromise to accommodate the remarkably low power budget. The audio components achieve arguably "reasonable" fidelity from miniature, internal, advertised "Bang & Olufsen" loudspeakers; however, no surprise, with very limited max volume. Headphones can play more loudly, testing Sennheiser Momentum (20 ohm), HD448 (32 ohm) and Velodyne (40 ohm) over-the-ear models; but be aware that, presumably as an ear-safety feature, Windows master volume is automatically lowered upon detection of headphone plugin, so just bump that back up if desired.

In addition to internal, dual-band WiFi, Asus supplies a small USB/Ethernet-J45 dongle. Paired with my N900 wireless router, UX305FA 2.4GHz WiFi yields low (2Mbps, or occasionally 10-12Mbps) network access, relative to various other PCs I tested concurrently, including an Asus T100A (which consistently attained 20Mbps.) The ethernet dongle occupies one of three UX305FA USB jacks; but Newegg sells a somewhat larger alternative, with RJ45 plus 3 USB3-hub jacks, which I've been using instead.

Cons: Asus registration popup nag dialog boxes are relentless, and lack a "remind-me-in-a-week" option. Nor is it explained by Asus that immediate registration will negate NewEgg retail purchase product return options.

Initially, I was unable to drive an external monitor in any fashion from the micro-HDMI port, getting only a dark screen (Asus advertises up to 4K external video capability.) Ultimately I discovered that manually setting the UX305FA's external video to 1920x1080 with 60p refresh would generate a stable, full screen display on my 4K/UHD auto-sync monitor. Intel's supplied HD Graphics 5300 driver/utility software didn't list 4K as a supported mode; and it may be that if you still have an obsolete HD monitor lying about, that may present no problem.

While investigating the external display problem, I discovered that I was unable to enter the UX305FA ROM-BIOS (currently v.206) by pressing the F2 key during POST (pre-boot), as described in Asus' current v.1.0 (9/2014) user manual. By Google search I learned from others that this has been a reported problem with other Asus Zenbook models running Windows 8, since 2013. But the suggested remedy (disabling Windows 8 "fast startup" feature) proved disastrous for me, leading to UX305FA boot times exceeding 5 minutes!!! Oddly, but happily, if/when choosing the Windows 8.1 "restart" option, rather than "shutdown", Windows docs assert that a system image "fast restart" file isn't created (I'm guessing that may be to allow for rebooting when loading/configuring system updates???) And I found that access to the UX305FA ROM-BIOS can be reliably achieved during POST with the F2 key, following Windows 8.1 "restart" (but in my experience NOT from a cold-start following Windows 8.1 "shutdown".)

Other Thoughts: The UX305FA ZenBook may be the best general use, small, lightweight, low-power (non-touch screen) laptop available today, certainly for its price. I also have a small, so-called 2in1, with both keyboard and 10" touchscreen, and had not become a touchscreen fan from experience with that. Nevertheless, after reflexively touching the much superior UX305FA display on occasion (of course to no effect), I do now find myself wondering if a touchscreen might be desirable after-all. But I'd say not at the cost of added weight or power consumption. The UX305FA ZenBook is nearly perfect as is.

READ FULL REVIEW
ASUS Zenbook UX305FA-ASM1 Intel Core M 8 GB Memory 256 GB SSD 13.3
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: In general, I found the UX305FA ZenBook to perform as one would expect from published specs and benchmarks, evaluated at length in formal online reviews. Which is to say: outstanding for a low power consumption, non-gamer laptop; a significant advance relative to even the best "Atom" series processors, heretofore common in small, lightweight systems. Asus ads claim nearly Core i5 class performance, and that may almost be true wrt some low end i5 systems. 8GB DDR3 and a 256GB SSD are more than adequate for any mobile/portable PC application/need I anticipate. However, as supplied, the SSD seemed less than ideally partitioned for common use: with a 96GB OS partition and 128GB set aside for user files; BUT with all user folders/libraries located, by default, on the (C:) system partition. Of course user library reorg is a simple matter, though not as simple as drag&drop or a single click. Nor are novice users alerted to the file-system organizational issue. There is a further 15GB Windows system recovery partition.

The 1/2 inch thick (overall, when closed), aluminum, fanless case seems barely larger than the minimum physical requirements to house a 13" HD IPS LCD screen plus an essentially full-sized, responsive laptop keyboard. The kb provides adequate though limited keystroke tactile feedback (of course there's simply no room for a separate numeric pad.) Truly outstanding mechanical design and construction, setting a new price/performance comparison benchmark; the aluminum chassis further serves to heatsink the fanless system.

The 13" full HD (1920x1080) IPS screen has a matte anti-reflection surface which seems effective under common lighting conditions; HOWEVER, max screen brightness is limited, a compromise to accommodate the remarkably low power budget. The audio components achieve arguably "reasonable" fidelity from miniature, internal, advertised "Bang & Olufsen" loudspeakers; however, no surprise, with very limited max volume. Headphones can play more loudly, testing Sennheiser Momentum (20 ohm), HD448 (32 ohm) and Velodyne (40 ohm) over-the-ear models; but be aware that, presumably as an ear-safety feature, Windows master volume is automatically lowered upon detection of headphone plugin, so just bump that back up if desired.

In addition to internal, dual-band WiFi, Asus supplies a small USB/Ethernet-J45 dongle. Paired with my N900 wireless router, UX305FA 2.4GHz WiFi yields low (2Mbps, or occasionally 10-12Mbps) network access, relative to various other PCs I tested concurrently, including an Asus T100A (which consistently attained 20Mbps.) The ethernet dongle occupies one of three UX305FA USB jacks; but Newegg sells a somewhat larger alternative, with RJ45 plus 3 USB3-hub jacks, which I've been using instead.

Cons: Asus registration popup nag dialog boxes are relentless, and lack a "remind-me-in-a-week" option. Nor is it explained by Asus that immediate registration will negate NewEgg retail purchase product return options.

Initially, I was unable to drive an external monitor in any fashion from the micro-HDMI port, getting only a dark screen (Asus advertises up to 4K external video capability.) Ultimately I discovered that manually setting the UX305FA's external video to 1920x1080 with 60p refresh would generate a stable, full screen display on my 4K/UHD auto-sync monitor. Intel's supplied HD Graphics 5300 driver/utility software didn't list 4K as a supported mode; and it may be that if you still have an obsolete HD monitor lying about, that may present no problem.

While investigating the external display problem, I discovered that I was unable to enter the UX305FA ROM-BIOS (currently v.206) by pressing the F2 key during POST (pre-boot), as described in Asus' current v.1.0 (9/2014) user manual. By Google search I learned from others that this has been a reported problem with other Asus Zenbook models running Windows 8, since 2013. But the suggested remedy (disabling Windows 8 "fast startup" feature) proved disastrous for me, leading to UX305FA boot times exceeding 5 minutes!!! Oddly, but happily, if/when choosing the Windows 8.1 "restart" option, rather than "shutdown", Windows docs assert that a system image "fast restart" file isn't created (I'm guessing that may be to allow for rebooting when loading/configuring system updates???) And I found that access to the UX305FA ROM-BIOS can be reliably achieved during POST with the F2 key, following Windows 8.1 "restart" (but in my experience NOT from a cold-start following Windows 8.1 "shutdown".)

Other Thoughts: The UX305FA ZenBook may be the best general use, small, lightweight, low-power (non-touch screen) laptop available today, certainly for its price. I also have a small, so-called 2in1, with both keyboard and 10" touchscreen, and had not become a touchscreen fan from experience with that. Nevertheless, after reflexively touching the much superior UX305FA display on occasion (of course to no effect), I do now find myself wondering if a touchscreen might be desirable after-all. But I'd say not at the cost of added weight or power consumption. The UX305FA ZenBook is nearly perfect as is.

READ FULL REVIEW

Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 04/11/06

  • Reviews: 23
  • Helpfulness: 13
  • First Review: 04/06/08
  • Last Review: 07/04/16
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