Asus ZenBook UX305CA Review: Thin And Light, Great Battery Life

Introducing the Asus ZenBook UX305CA

We had good things to say about Asus’ super-slim ZenBook UX305 when we evaluated it early last year. Attractive, sturdy, and downright tiny, the UX305 was a good value for the price, and it had good looks too. A year later, the ZenBook is back with the updated UX305CA, so we got one in to see if the newer version is as balanced a machine as last year’s model.

The Zenbook UX305CA we will be showing you here has Windows 10 and an updated Core M processor, along with improved graphics, but many things haven’t changed: it’s still tiny, it has the same wedge design and the lid still props the keyboard up at angle when opened. If you liked the UX305, you’ll be happy to know that many of its best features stayed on in the UX305CA.

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Asus ZenBook UX305CA
Specifications & Features
 Processor: Core m3-6Y30 0.90GHz (Turbo 2.2GHz)
 Operating System:
 Windows 10
 Display: 13.3-inch FHD 1920x1080
 Video Graphics:
 Intel HD Graphics 515
 Storage: 256GB SSD M.2 2280
 Memory: 8GB DDR3L 1866MHz
 Audio Support:
 Bang & Olufsen ICEpower
 Camera: Webcam
 Networking: 802.11ac
 Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports (1 with Charger+), 1x micro HDMI, 1x SDXC Card Reader, 1x Mic/Headphone 
 Battery: 45Whr Polymer Battery
 Weight: 2.65 pounds
 Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.9 x 0.5 (WxDxH)
 Price:$699 - Find It At Amazon

As was the case with last year’s model, the Asus ZenBook UX305CA has two display options. Both are 13.3-inch displays, but one is a QHD 3200x1800 touchscreen, while the other is a more typical 1920x1080 screen that doesn’t include touch support. Asus sent us the latter, giving us a chance to see how an entry-level model of the ZenBook UX305CA fares. Both models have an HD camera at the top, but some versions (including our test system) don’t have the additional infra-red (IR) camera necessary to power the Windows Hello login feature.

The new ZenBook UX305CA runs Windows 10 (Home or Pro, depending on the model) on an Intel Core m3-6Y30 that can turbo up to 2.2GHz. That’s an upgrade from last year’s ZenBook, which featured an Intel Core M 5Y10. The newer processors also features updated Intel HD Graphics 515. And there's 8GB of DDR3L 1866MHz memory in the system too.

Asus came through with 256GB of storage via an M.2 2280 SSD. The capacious SSD is bound to be a deciding factor for more than a few ultrabook shoppers. Some ultrabooks are starting with 128GB SSDs, which just isn’t going to be enough onboard storage for many users. Starting at 256GB, even with its entry-level models, is a nice touch on Asus’ part. And the fact that it's a fast M.2 SSD helps as well.

The ZenBook has all of the ports you’d expect, including three USB 3.0 ports, one of which is capable of charging your phone while the ultrabook is in sleep mode. An SDXC card reader and a micro HDMI port are also onboard, as is a headphone/mic jack. The laptop also has speakers and the Bang & Olufsen ICEpower audio package.

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One of the more notable feature updates (for anyone with a modern router at home) is going to be the 802.11ac connectivity offered in the machine. The newer Wi-Fi spec is superior to 802.11n, which appeared in last year’s model, in a number of ways that can help range and performance.

So, the Asus ZenBook UX305CA has modest, but worthwhile, updates. The next question is: Does the new model still provide solid performance and a good user experience? Let's find out...

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