Some of us want Core i5 or i7 notebooks even though what we really need is a balance between just enough processing power (for our daily work), a thin and light body (to lessen bag-carrying pains on our backs and shoulders), and battery life (the notebook has to last at least one full work shift). Intel Core M processors can now handle moderate usage (browsing, document edits, video streaming, light image edits) while pushing the battery stamina past what many Core i5 and i7 notebooks can offer. Meet the ASUS ZenBook UX305CA. It is so thin and light and is fast enough that you’ll end up doing most of your work on it, and bringing it with you, all thoughout an 8-hour work shift. Here’s why we gave this sub-P40,000 notebook 5 STARS.
ASUS ZenBook UX305CA-FC050T Full Specs
- 13.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Display
- Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor 2.2GHz (4M Cache, up to 2.20GHz)
- 128GB SSD (M.2 2280) | 4GB DDR3L 1866 MHz SDRAM
- Integrated Intel HD Graphics | Windows 10 Home
- 2 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDXC)
- HD 720p CMOS module camera
- Integrated 802.11 ac
- 1 x Microphone-in jack
- 1 x Headphone-out jack†
- 3 x USB 3.0 port(s) *3
- 1 x micro HDMI
- 1 x SD card reader
- 1X AC adapter plug
- Bang & Olufsen ICEpowerÆ (audio)
- 45 Whrs Polymer Battery
- 324 x 226 x 12.3 mm (WxDxH) | 1.2 kg (with Polymer Battery)
- USB Security Lock Cable Solution
- Price at Villman: P39,984.00
The Surely Good
Awesome display, crisp details, punchy colors, great vertical and side viewing angles.
Really thin and really light. Incredibly portable. No matter how compact the UX305CA may look in these images, the “reality” of it is much lighter. Trust us.
Strong, durable build. Barely any flexing on the display, some flexing on the middle of the keyboard (but when typing, you won’t notice it since the keys require so little pressure to register input). When the lid is closed, there’s a solid but slight heft (a light metallic one, a weight that tells you it’s not plastic).
Long battery life (8 hours) – in part due to the “only” full HD display and the latest Intel Core M processor.
Comfy to use keyboard has a soft and somewhat shallow travel, but it’s actually nice in the long run. Nothing like the annoying shallow key travel of the new MacBook (preferences, preferences).
Large and generous touchpad is very responsive, doesn’t skip, has a precise “bite” when you click on it, and never feels cheap, even though the touchpad isn’t glass. Smooth surface texture makes for smooth swiping and pinching gestures.
All the ports you need. You can dedicate the right side USB port to a mouse and the left side to two USB flash /hard drives and even stick in a full-sized SD card.
The recipe of a Core M3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD make for an adequately fast multitasking experience. 10 tabs on resource-hogging Chrome, MS Word and Skype open, and Photoshop running – this notebook can handle it, not as fast as a Core i5 notebook, but doable. Core M has actually improved in performance. We were also able to play World of WarCraft but at a lower framerate.
Matte display reduces glare, which enhances screen clarity when outdoors. That means you can watch movies, work on documents, and show your client presentations even when at a cafe’s outdoor area.
Ambient light sensor (which can be deactivated) adjusts the display’s brightness so you can bring the UX305CA from outdoors and into a shaded area and the display will adjust accordingly. Useful when moving from the living room to your dimly lit bedroom to watch a movie.
The palm areas never get warm. Those of us who work long hours on notebooks will appreciate this.
White color variant has a soft, talcum-like texture that’s pleasurable to touch.
While the lid is closed and the notebook is on a flat surface, you can lift the lid with one hand. Impressive!
You won’t notice how often you bring this notebook everywhere, because of how thin, light, nice to touch, great to use, how long the battery is (8 hours), and how rarely it gets uncomfortable on your lap.
The Maybe Bad
Non-backlit keyboard. We don’t mind, actually. Others might.
No touchscreen. Not needed. The touchpad is so good and responsive.
Not so loud underbelly-placed speakers. You can hear the audio better in a quiet room. Better use earphones.
White color variant is a magnet for fingerprints, smudges, hair, and stains. It’s a losing war to keep it clean and scratch-free, but you will try (as we did), because the notebook is a pleasure to use (the white variant, at least, in part because of the talcum powder-like surface). (The thick, gray laptop above is the Dell Inspiron 13.)
P40k price range gets you higher spec’d but obviously thicker and heavier laptops (see image above) with a shorter-batter life. So if portability along with user comfort and battery life are your priorities, this is a great notebook that ticks all those boxes.
Mark our words – you WILL bring this notebook everywhere. There’s a “sturdy” quality to the ZenBook UX305CA – you’re hands will know it when you lift it, open the lid with one hand, and type on it either on your lap or on a table. It’s thin but there’s no fear that it would bend. And the ceramic white unit we reviewed really does have this talcum-power-like surface that’s nice to touch.
Intel Core M processors have come of age, providing the ASUS ZenBook UX305CA not just 8 hours of battery life but the multitasking load capability close to a Core i3 – that means multiple tabs on resource-hog Chrome, MS Excel, light image edits on Photoshop, and switching between them.
The cocktail of Intel Core M3-6Y30, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, anti-glare display, a comfy keyboard, a responsive and large touchpad, an 8 hour battery life, 3 USB ports, and a thin and light but sturdy body, all make the ASUS ZenBook UX305CA a great buy. This is what you want if you value a balance between thin and light on one hand, and enough speed and battery life on the other.
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