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Asus unveils Broadwell-powered Zenbook UX305

Asus Zenbook UX305

Asus announced its latest entry in the Zenbook Ultrabook line, the Zenbook UX305, at the IFA today. Sporting an all-aluminium chassis and a 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 display with a pixel density of 267 ppi along with a new Intel low-power Broadwell-based Core M CPU, Asus claims that the Zenbook UX305 can offer over 10 hours of battery life. In terms of storage, Asus is offering a 256 GB or 512 GB SSD.

During the announcement, Asus was quick to point out that at 12 mm, the Zenbook UX305 is thinner than the MacBook Air, which has a thickness of 17 mm at its widest point. At 2.6 pounds, it is also lighter than the MacBook Air at 2.98 pounds. In terms of connectivity, the Zenbook UX305 offers a full-size HDMI out, Wi-Fi ac, three USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader.

The Windows 8.1-toting Zenbook UX305 will be offered in Obsidian Stone and Ceramic Alloy, and will be available in time for the holidays.

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Reader comments

Asus unveils Broadwell-powered Zenbook UX305

43 Comments

The Air always seemed underpowered for it's price to me. If this is the same, then the whole "thin and light" is a lost cause, since you can't really do much. I'm not talking gaming, but to pay $1000 for a productively machine with a boost in battery life seems a bit meh.

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as a percent of marketshare OSX is a lot like windows phone. Yes it sells...somewhat ok, and is also not useless but let's face it, the app ecosystem matters, as iOS users often remind us, well same applies to OSX due to its single digit marketshare.  

define productively machine? You realize most people don't really need to simulate material flow models on the go right?

Productivity machine need a productivity OS, iOS is a joke, should be installed on cheap netbook only (eeepc like)

I believe this machine comes with windows 8.1 regular or maybe even pro.

anyway, to compare iOS to windows RT is a joke itself? lol iOS is a mobile operating system locked down in Apples walls. Windows RT is full featured Windows OS locked down at the desktop walls if you will.

anyway, im one of the few that believes iOS and Windows RT are the future operating systems but to say iOS is on par with the power of Windows RT is silly. Both systems though have security that full Windows or Mac osx will never achieve.

If you think RT is a joke, its a reflection of your ignorance.

Productivity (in my eyes) is someone who has to do real work.

i.e. Not a teenage kid, who just look at youtubes of PewDiePie and updates Facebook.

Not someone on the board who has someone type their emails and only read things.

No, the masses of working adults who use a PC on a daily basis who need a precision input device (ie a mouse) and edit and create documents in office automation tools like Office.
As someone who uses RT to do that every single day I can tell you it CAN do that, when my iPad cannot.

So stop talking sh*t about RT, its tedious to read numpties slaughter RT as it can't run any old X86 programs, when in fact that actually the beuaty of it. No viruses, long battery life. The only real thing it needs is touch friendly office (Which is coming "Gemini") and Visio and MS Project to complete the suite.

 

The ultrabooks are aimed at road warriors. So I imagine documents and spreadsheets, browsing, and maybe some picture and video editing. This what I see as productive use. Media consumption falls under a different use.

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Its certainly not underpowered in terms of being an ultrabook. In terms of pure hardware specifications, it beats the SP3 by $100 or so iirc once you include the keyboard, and that's with an HD5000 GPU on all models. (that said I prefer the SP3 when you consider anything other than the basic CPU hardware)

Now, if you compare any ultrabook to a similarly priced desktop, or even a laptop, of course they're objectively less powerful. But mobility isn't cheap.

Also don't knock OSX when you haven't used it. It has some fantastic advantages over windows, especially as a developer creating anything that isn't using .NET. A more powerful terminal and some things like virtual desktops give it some nice advantages. That said, as a consumer OS I don't think it is nearly as robust as Windows.

Source: Work on OSX at work, windows at home for hobbies and personal

But when they harp on the weight, I don't see it as a great selling point. The battery life maybe, being able to go out for a day and not take a charger is pretty amazing. And I'm not really knocking the Air. I think it's underpowered, but I only see the hardware as pointless. Although I'm not a fan of OSX, I've seen it in the hands of a friend that knows how to use it and it does have advantages over Windows. Especially virtual machines. BTW, thanks for a relevant comment.

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I've been able to run VM's on windows for years, including window 8/8.1 by going to control panel, Programs and Features, Turn windows features on or off, check hyper-V......create a vm and you ready to go.

But with OSX having a pretty agreed upon OS advantage. And the only thing better on this is the weight and thinness, in a direct comparison how do you think this Zenbook will fare?

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if you're a visual studio warrior you don't have to be a .net developer. And VS is the gold standard in IDEs so I can't say OSX is bad, but certainly nothing we envy in windows. Virtual destktops for windows can be had for free from sysinternals so that is no advatage. The one advantage I'll agree is that OSX does ship with a nice shell so if you're developing for that environment you have more of a turn key solution. Nothing you cannot really get on a windows machine however. It is just slightly more complex for this niche scenario. And as you say, the inability to develop for .NET in OSX in any pleasing manner other than parallels is a non starter.

Virtual desktops an advantage?  Have you heard of Hyper-V?  I'm running 8.1, ubuntu, and mavericks on ONE WINDOWS MACHINE RIGHT NOW.  Truth is, there is no perceivable advantage with owning a Mac.  After owning a core 2 duo 2.66 unibody 15mbp for 3 years, simple things like 1 min boot times and no touchscreen support kills me.  Went to Thailand and picked up an Asus UX32LN and I'm done with Macs for a while.  Can you say 9 sec boots?

It begins. And as usual MSFT timing is as lousy as ever. THIS is what surface pro 3 and surface 3 should have shipped with. Not the same old hot hasswell chip that is on my SP2.

If they took this chip, slap it inside a mag vapor case, they'd have a winner.

Well Broadwell was supposed to have much better battery life than Haswell but if Asus could only get 10 hours out of a bigger, heavier body I don't think Microsoft would have gained anything by waiting.

I'm not sure that is the case. we already know SP3 runs hotter than SP2. This was confirmed by anandtech and other reputable sites. So even if battery life gains would be modest, they are gains in the right direction and the 14nm process should yield a chip with lower heat dissipation requirements. I'm not sure it would be the promised "fanless" surface, but it is getting there. Certainly if MSFT hopes to compete with ipads, specially the rumored 13 inch one, it needs to reach the fanless stage sooner than later.

Good analysis. If I may add, Core M, to my knowledge, is the next gen 'Y' series Core processor, which are mostly used in convertibles/hybrids than ultrabooks. Lower heat dissipation, which allows fanless design, and lower performance than the 'U' series used in SP3 (except the i3 model, which has a Y series processor). If they indeed used Broadwell Core M, SP3 could have been fanless. They could have waited, as well, since it hadn't even been a full year of SP2 when they announed SP3. Let's see what the benchmarks for these Core M processors are...

Possible fanless design is in my view the most important feature with the m line but almost all articles I've read today, and earlier about e.g. the transformer book chi, doesn't even mention this. Gone are the days of laptops imitating hairdryers!

The Surface Pro is already miles ahead of the iPad. It has a kickstand, better and larger (for more) screen, way better support for a keyboard, runs actual programs instead of just apps and runs full Windows so you can do actual work.

Comparing prices between the iPad and SP3 is just stupid. While the cheapest Surface costs $800, that is with 64GB of storage. The 64GB iPad costs $700, so even with the $130 for the keyboard, the SP3 are miles ahead for just a little more.

GOOD ANSWER! ALL THEY WOULD HAVE GAIN WAS A LATER LAUCH DATE AND THE CRYING WOULD HAVE BEGAN.

... If that was the case, the surface pro 3 still wouldn't have even been announced.

There were enough changes to merit a new product. I wholeheartedly agree that the surface pro 3 is just being for broadwell, but its possible that design, timing, or even delays from Intel pushed it to the SP4.

well we don't know yet. After all SP3 came less than a year after SP2. So maybe SP4 will ship sooner than most expect. Broadwell has nice GPU improvements. These are badly needed for productivity apps like those from adobe.

i am still confused...

core m is the new atom branding ?

or is it like the i5 u series ?

 

i mean how does it compare to current gen processors 

Core M is the follower to Haswell architecture.  They are both Core (like i3,i5 or i7).

 

Atom is another architecture, focused in low energy consume.  

I think they are more like a Y series than a U series. But intel hasn't really been clear yet on how it maps to the prior series. Whatever the case, it is not a Z series (atom).

12m thickness is darn impessive, as is the battery life.

These new gen CPUs will enable some awesome laptop/hybrid and productivity tablet designs.  The Surface Pro 4 is gonna be really nice :o)

I love ASUS because they periodically make devices that offer too much for less money than compeition. But I have a feeling this thing will cost a literal fortune.
I'll still drool over it though. :')