Asus Zenbook UX305 Ultrabook Review: Core M Powered
Asus UX305 Design
The UX305 is available in two finishes: white Ceramic Alloy or Obsidian Stone. We have the Obsidian Stone model in house for testing. The casing is very attractive and features spun-metal hairline details. The finish on the bottom of the UX305 matches the interior finish. Overall, the machine feels solid. Occasionally, we noticed a few fingerprints that collected on the exterior of the UX305, but they were easy to clean up.
This ultrabook has a tapered wedge design and measures 12.3mm at its thinnest point. Near the base of the display, the ultrabook measures only slightly more than the thinnest point. Our test model has the 1920x1080 IPS FHD display that features a matte finish. The matte finish on the display was especially refreshing to see, since most ultrabooks ship with glossy displays. The matte finish is less prone to glare and prove to be easy on the eyes in a variety of lighting conditions.
Above the display, you’ll find the integrated webcam at the center. To the left of the camera, there’s an ambient light sensor. A camera indicator light is located to the right of the camera. The UX305’s microphone is located above the F1 key.
When you turn the UX305 over, you’ll notice four large rubber feet that keep the UX305 in place on your desk, ensuring it won’t slide around. When you open the UX305, you’ll notice the machine raises slightly, resting on two small feet that are on the lower side of the screen frame.
On the left side of the UX305, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports as well as the SD/SDHC card reader. The right edge of this ultrabook holds the 3.5mm headset jack, micro HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port, and the AC adapter plug. The USB 3.0 port on the right side of the UX305 features USB Charger+ technology, which offers higher output than typical USB ports, and can hence charge batteries somewhat faster, even if the UX305 is in sleep mode or turned off. Asus ships a USB to LAN adapter, cable tie, and micro-fiber screen cloth with the UX305.
To enhance the sound on the UX305, ASUS developed something it calls SonicMaster which incorporates ICEpower, a Bang & Olufsen technology. SonicMaster aims to provide deep, rich bass and clear vocals through the machine's relatively small speakers. The speaker grills are located on the underside of the UX305. In our experience, however, the speakers sounded average for an ultrathin laptop such as this. The maximum output volume seemed low but we didn’t notice much distortion even at maximum volume.
The UX305’s chiclet keyboard is very comfortable to use while typing. Keep in mind that this keyboard is not backlit, so if you frequently work in low-light conditions this could be a drawback. The Power button and a Power indicator light are integrated into the keyboard as the top right key. The touchpad is nice and roomy, though its responsiveness wasn't always good. For the most part, the touchpad works well, however. We suspect a future driver update may alleviate this issue, though.
Our test model of the UX305 has a 256GB SSD. But Asus also offers Asus WebStorage, giving you cloud services to store important files and access them from anywhere. You’ll receive 16GB of WebStorage for three years with the UX305.