It’s hard to go wrong with the 13.3-inch Asus Zenbook UX305UA. It’s built from the same cloth as its thinner cousin — the excellent Zenbook UX305CA — but packs more horsepower thanks to its Core i5 Skylake processor. In fact, just a few months ago we deemed this laptop the best ultrabook value on the market. Currently at $750, it’s the best price you’ll find for this laptop by $140.
Design-wise, the UX305UA’s matte silver metal exterior is elegant without being gaudy. It weighs in at a somewhat plump 3.2 pounds, which is about a half-pound heavier than its rival the Dell XPS 13, but the extra weight gives the system a nice, sturdy feel without any flex.
The UX305UA features a spacious, full-size keyboard accompanied by an equally generous touchpad that trumps some of the best Windows touchpads we’ve seen, including the smaller touchpad found on the XPS 13. In our tests, we noticed no trouble or delays when using the touchpad with Windows 10’s multi-touch gestures. One con is that the keyboard is not backlit, a small mistake for an otherwise stellar notebook.
The machine is fueled by a 6th-generation Intel Core i5-6200U 2.3GHz processor coupled with 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SDD. The 1080p panel is powered by Intel’s HD Graphics 520 chipset, which in our graphics tests performed on average with other Core i5-6200U-based notebooks.
Battery life is respectable for a machine with this CPU lasting about five and a half hours. On less strenuous battery tests the laptop maxed out at almost nine hours.
The Zenbook UX305UA has no serious weaknesses and at $750, it offers more pros than cons. In fact, most machines at this price range offer half the power of the UX305UA: such as a Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD.
Asus doesn’t hold back with the UX305UA and you’ll find it’s good to great in almost every area, including price. The next lowest price for this machine is $890 via Newegg.