Asus ZenBook UX310UA Review: Lean, mean and devilishly good looking
Asus ZenBook UX310UA Review – THE SLIM, TASTEFUL design of Asus’s ZenBook range calls to mind Apple’s now-defunct MacBook Air, but with a wider range of configurations, and much more palatable pricing. In this case, the resemblance isn’t purely aesthetic.
Like the MacBook Air, the ZenBook UX310UA is designed for a specific role. It’s a lightweight travelling companion rather than a desktop replacement. That much is evident from the internals. Unlike many Windows-based ultraportables, the UX310UA comes with a dual-core Core i3-6100U processor rather than something from the Core m series, but the i3 still limits its multitasking capabilities. We wouldn’t call this a slow system, but with an overall score of 34 in our desktop benchmarks, plus 20 in the multitasking test, it’s not exactly overpowered either.
- Thin and light design
- Good performance
- SSD/hard disk combination
- Very low starting price
- Mediocre battery life
- No Intel Iris Graphics
- Less attractive and heavier than rivals
Where to buy?
- 13.3 inch wide-view full HD NanoEdge bezel Display with a 95% screen-to-body ratio; sleek and lightweight at 2.6 lbs for comfortable portability
- Intel Core i7-8565u Quad Core Processor (Up to 4.6GHz)
- Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB RAM; Windows 10 Professional
- Exclusive dual function touchpad: a touchpad with switchable numeric keypad for immediate data entry to enhance productivity
- Exclusive ErgoLift hinge designed for an improved typing position with a backlit keyboard, optimized cooling System, and enhanced audio performance
- Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign in with Windows Hello
- Tpm security chip to encrypt data and MIL-STD 810G military standard for reliability and durability of the all-metal body
- Extensive connectivity with HDMI, USB Type C, gigabit-class Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC), Bluetooth 5.0 and Micro SD card reader
- Carry Sleeve and USB3.0 to RJ45 cable are included
- 13.3-inch wide-view Full-HD Nano-edge bezel display
- Latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U Quad Core Processor (6M Cache, up to 4.0 GHz)
- Fast storage and memory featuring 256GB SATA SSD with 8GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Extensive connectivity with HDMI/USB Type C, 802.11a/c Wi-Fi and Micro SD card reader
- Sleek and lightweight 2.5 lbs. aluminum body for comfortable portability
- Carry sleeve and USB3.0 to RJ45 cable included
- Windows 10 Home Pre-installed
- A specially designed 50Wh lithium-polymer battery gives UX331 up to 14 hours of autonomy, with fast-charge technology that takes just 49 minutes to recharge to 60% capacity
- Stunning NanoEdge 14" FHD display with 86% screen-to-body ratio in 13" body
- Super Compact & Slim at less than 0.65" thin, weighs only 3.2 lbs
- Latest Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8265u Processor (Up to 3.9 GHz)
- 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, 256GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11AC), Bluetooth 4.2
- Exclusive ErgoLift hinge automatically tilts The keyboard to the most comfortable typing position. Backlit keyboard
- 47Whr Li-Polymer battery providing up to 12 hours of battery life.
- Windows 10. Built-in fingerprint sensor for enhanced security and one-touch login using Windows Hello feature
- Harman Kardon Certified quad-speakers for high-quality surround-sound onboard Audio
- Mil-std-810g military-grade durability
- Carrying Sleeve and optical mouse included in the box
Asus ZenBook UX310UA Review: GAME’S UP
Gaming capability is limited, too. In our Dirt Showdown test, running at 720p with High settings, the ZenBook averaged a just-about playable 29fps.
Note, too, that this ZenBook model comes with just 4GB of RAM, and a stingy 128GB SSD. That’s fine for emails and spreadsheets, and a lot more than you’ll get from any Chromebook, but if you regularly deal with weighty workloads, it could prove constraining.
Yet the ZenBook has some significant strengths.
Let’s start with the one that shines out as soon as you open the lid: the screen is fantastic, with a maximum luminance of 341cd/m2.
While it’s not quite the brightest laptop display around, a superb contrast ratio of 1,282:1 makes it an excellent all-round visual performer. It’s also worth mentioning that the 13.3in panel has a native resolution of 1,920×1,080, for a sharp pixel density of 165ppi.
From a typical operating distance, text looks beautifully crisp, and the matt screen keeps distracting reflections to a minimum. This isn’t a touchscreen, mind you: with its conventional hinged laptop design, the ZenBook entirely rejects the hybrid vision.
That’s fine by us, because the conventional input methods work very nicely. The backlit keyboard is comfortably sized, with a good responsive feel – if a little more spongy than we’d really like – and the touchpad is luxuriously large, so you never feel constrained by its edges.
Connectivity is pretty good, too. As you’d hope, there’s 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.1. You also get a decent set of USB ports, comprising USB3, twin USB2 connectors and a USB Type-C socket, for newer phones and peripherals.
It would have been nice to use the faster USB3 platform exclusively, but then this probably isn’t a system that will be regularly hooked up to multiple high-bandwidth devices.back to menu ↑
Asus ZenBook UX310UA Review: BALANCING ACT
As for sound, the system’s speakers are pleasingly balanced – predictably, there’s not much in the way of bass, and the maximum volume won’t fill a room, but watching videos at your desk is perfectly agreeable.
A final feather in the ZenBook’s cap is battery life. In our tests, the UX310UA delivered 8h 6m of video playback on a single charge. Yes, there are devices out there that will last longer, but those all rely on ultra-low-power Core m processors.
If you’re looking for a more capable Windows system that will make it through an entire working day, the ZenBook UX310UA is your answer.
Clearly, even with all this going for it, the ZenBook’s mid-table performance and old-school design mean it’s not for everyone. Yet with its excellent screen, impressive battery life and portable dimensions – it’s just 18.4mm thick, and weighs a mere 1.4kg – we can’t deny the ZenBook’s charms.
If we have a caveat, it’s this: the UX310UA currently uses sixth generation Skylake processors, but a Kaby Lake update is due in the next few weeks. Any performance benefit is likely to be modest, but if you’re not in a rush to buy, it makes sense to hold out.
Darien Graham-Smithback to menu ↑
It’s no powerhouse, but this highly portable laptop has a great screen and a practical battery life