Notebookcheck

Asus Zenbook UX303LA Subnotebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 04/15/2015

Well-rounded indeed. The Zenbook doesn't just impress with its looks alone. The subnotebook also delights with good input devices, a long battery life and low emissions.

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For the original German review, see here.

The UX303LA-R4342H is yet another entry in the Asus Zenbook-lineup. We have already reviewed the family members Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H (Broadwell) and the Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H (Haswell), both of which come with a dedicated GeForce 840M graphics card. The review notebook makes use of the integrated Intel GPU instead.

Among the competition are the Dell XPS 13 and the Toshiba Portégé Z30-A. The Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (Early 2015) is a worthy competitor as well, but it carries a significantly higher price tag.

Since the previously reviewed models feature identical construction, we will omit the sections on the chassis, connectivity, input devices, display and speakers. For details, please refer to our review of the Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H. Please note: the pictures of the chassis in this review show the Zenbook UX303LN, but the photos depicting the inside are shots of the review notebook. 

Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 300-950 MHz, Dual-Channel, 10.18.10.4013
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3-1600, Dual-Channel, one slot (in use), 4 GB soldered onto the motherboard
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei N133HSE-EA3, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Conexant CX20751/2 @ Intel Broadwell PCH-LP High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: Audiokombo, Card Reader: SD, Sensors: Brightness sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19 x 323 x 223 ( = 0.75 x 12.72 x 8.78 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Mini-displayport to VGA, USB to Ethernet, case, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.45 kg ( = 51.15 oz / 3.2 pounds), Power Supply: 214 g ( = 7.55 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Price
999 Euro

 

The review Zenbook ships with the same exact panel type as the aforementioned brothers. Addendum 04.08.2015: since the measurements are off by more than what we normally see, we have asked Asus for a second notebook to re-evaluate the display. According to the CalMAN measurements and the observed black value, our review notebook features a contrast ratio of 410:1.

343
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
351
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
369
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
366
cd/m²
370
cd/m²
369
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 370 cd/m² Average: 358.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 369 cd/m²
Contrast: 527:1 (Black: 0.7 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.21 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.7 | - Ø
60.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.28
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Graylevels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
IPS 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
IPS 2560x1600
Dell XPS 13-9343
IPS 3200x1800
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
IPS 3200x1800
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
IPS 3200x1600
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
TN 1366x768
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
IPS 1920x1080
Screen
37%
53%
26%
10%
-34%
18%
Brightness359342
-5%
372
4%
231
-36%
309
-14%
265
-26%
368
3%
Brightness Distribution9281
-12%
77
-16%
82
-11%
90
-2%
82
-11%
88
-4%
Black Level *0.70.361
48%
0.178
75%
0.25
64%
0.75
-7%
0.8
-14%
0.7
-0%
Contrast5271000
90%
2063
291%
928
76%
413
-22%
338
-36%
537
2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *5.211.82
65%
5.92
-14%
3.63
30%
2.49
52%
8.96
-72%
3.09
41%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *6.71.8
73%
4.79
29%
2.57
62%
1.89
72%
9.76
-46%
2.4
64%
Gamma *2.282.492.422.172.362.172.24
CCT7495 87%6417 101%7013 93%6422 101%6573 99%11579 56%6781 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)60.561.9
2%
63
4%
58
-4%
54
-11%
39.8
-34%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)96.996.483.1

* ... smaller is better

Performance

The Asus Zenbook UX303LA is a long-lasting 13.3-inch subnotebook with more than adequate performance to handle the tasks encountered on a daily basis. Our review model sells for around 1000 Euro (~$1050), but Asus offers other, differently equipped versions as well. The models in the Zenbook UX303LN-series feature a dedicated GeForce 840M GPU.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMon
System information Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H

Processor

The CPU is soldered onto the motherboard.
The CPU is soldered onto the motherboard.

The Zenbook comes equipped with a dual-core Intel Core i7-5500U (Broadwell) processor. This particular CPU features a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz, although the Turbo can overclock both cores to 2.9 GHz and a single core to 3 GHz. The Turbo is active both when the notebook is plugged in and while it is running on battery. Compared to the Haswell-predecessors, which had Core i7-4500U and Core i7-4510U processors, the Core i7-5500U is up to 15% faster according to the synthetic benchmark tests. The increase can be attributed to the slightly higher processing speed and the improvements in the Broadwell architecture.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3778
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10040
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4598
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
24.4 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.26 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.4 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
30.06 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
302 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
103 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
103 Points ∼56%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
123 Points ∼66% +19%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
88 Points ∼48% -15%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
109 Points ∼59% +6%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
82 Points ∼44% -20%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
106 Points ∼57% +3%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
116 Points ∼63% +13%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
121 Points ∼65% +17%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
302 Points ∼19%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
287 Points ∼19% -5%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
217 Points ∼14% -28%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
255 Points ∼16% -16%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
155 Points ∼10% -49%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
261 Points ∼17% -14%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
265 Points ∼17% -12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
303 Points ∼20% 0%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1.4 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1.41 Points ∼5% +1%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
0.98 Points ∼4% -30%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
1.27 Points ∼5% -9%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
0.95 Points ∼4% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
1.21 Points ∼4% -14%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
1.31 Points ∼5% -6%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1.42 Points ∼5% +1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3.26 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3.12 Points ∼4% -4%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2.33 Points ∼3% -29%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
2.79 Points ∼4% -14%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
1.74 Points ∼2% -47%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
2.92 Points ∼4% -10%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
2.88 Points ∼4% -12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3.16 Points ∼4% -3%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4598 Points ∼65%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
4631 Points ∼66% +1%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2656 Points ∼38% -42%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
4175 Points ∼59% -9%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
3100 Points ∼44% -33%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
4831 Points ∼69% +5%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
4268 Points ∼61% -7%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4615 Points ∼66% 0%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
10040 Points ∼29%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
9825 Points ∼28% -2%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
7208 Points ∼21% -28%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
8673 Points ∼25% -14%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
5404 Points ∼16% -46%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
10604 Points ∼30% +6%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
8918 Points ∼26% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
9964 Points ∼29% -1%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
6017 Points ∼37%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
6078 Points ∼37% +1%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
5346 Points ∼33% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
5634 Points ∼34% -6%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5991 Points ∼37% 0%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2898 Points ∼62%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2925 Points ∼63% +1%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
2676 Points ∼57% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
2701 Points ∼58% -7%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2898 Points ∼62% 0%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
99.6 ms * ∼2%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
99.1 ms * ∼2% +1%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
115.4 ms * ∼3% -16%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD (IE 11)
121.4 ms * ∼3% -22%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
157 ms * ∼4% -58%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F (1.0.2 Safari 7.0)
144 ms * ∼4% -45%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
106.7 ms * ∼3% -7%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
2308.8 ms * ∼4%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
2313.4 ms * ∼4% -0%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2604.2 ms * ∼4% -13%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD (IE 11)
2576.3 ms * ∼4% -12%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
3324 ms * ∼6% -44%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F (Safari 7.0)
2292.2 ms * ∼4% +1%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
2289.1 ms * ∼4% +1%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
13309 Points ∼29%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
13536 Points ∼30% +2%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD (IE 11)
12663 Points ∼28% -5%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
9344 Points ∼21% -30%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
13913 Points ∼31% +5%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
2729 Points ∼44%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB (IE 11)
2630 Points ∼42% -4%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD (IE 11)
2038 Points ∼33% -25%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G (IE 11)
2735 Points ∼44% 0%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The powerful processor in combination with the solid-state disk make for a very responsive system and the results of the PCMark Benchmark tests are very good indeed. The Asus Zenbook UX305FA-FB003H clearly trails its sibling since it is equipped with a weaker processor and GPU. The model with the dedicated GeForce 840M GPU does not outperform the other notebooks, which goes to show that even a powerful GPU is no guarantee for better everyday performance.

PCMark 7 Score
5006 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3087 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3683 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4001 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3087 Points ∼54%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2719 Points ∼48% -12%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
2582 Points ∼46% -16%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
2805 Points ∼49% -9%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
2037 Points ∼36% -34%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U, Apple SSD SM0256F
2457 Points ∼43% -20%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3057 Points ∼54% -1%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5006 Points ∼62%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
4934 Points ∼61% -1%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
4001 Points ∼50% -20%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
4812 Points ∼60% -4%

Storage Devices

The Zenbook comes equipped with a 2.5-inch SSD from SanDisk, which offers a capacity of 256 GB. The usable space is about 200 GB split up into an OS (95.3 GB) and a data (130 GB) partition. The rest of the space is taken up by the Windows installation itself and the recovery partition. The overall transfer rates of the drive are good, but not top-notch.  

Just like its two siblings, the Zenbook UX303LA offers an open half-sized mSATA slot designed for an SSD in that particular format. The user could theoretically replace the existing SSD with an mSATA SSD and use a conventional hard drive as well. The result would be a notebook with a fast system drive, but also larger available storage. The weight would increase a little though and the battery life would drop a bit as well.

The task above is accomplished quickly and easily. Even a re-install of Windows 8.1 might not be necessary since it should be possible to clone the 2.5-inch SSD to the mSATA drive. We have illustrated this procedure when we reviewed the HP ProBook 450 G2. Although this notebook is equipped with an M.2 slot, the procedure is nonetheless identical.

The subnotebook comes equipped with a 2.5-inch SSD.
The subnotebook comes equipped with a 2.5-inch SSD.
An mSATA-SSD slot (half size) is on board as well.
An mSATA-SSD slot (half size) is on board as well.
SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
Sequential Read: 440.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 425.7 MB/s
512K Read: 320.1 MB/s
512K Write: 355.7 MB/s
4K Read: 33.47 MB/s
4K Write: 100.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 339.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 291.7 MB/s

GPU Performance

An Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU handles graphics duties. The card supports DirectX 11.2 and operates at up to 950 MHz. Since the RAM runs in dual-channel mode, our Zenbook did better when running the 3D Mark benchmarks test than competing notebooks equipped with only one RAM module and the RAM operating in single-channel mode.

3DMark 11 Performance
1159 points
3DMark (2013) Ice Storm Standard Score
52880 points
3DMark (2013) Cloud Gate Standard Score
5342 points
3DMark (2013) Fire Strike Standard Score
725 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1159 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1252 Points ∼6% +8%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
1109 Points ∼5% -4%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1828 Points ∼8% +58%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
1130 Points ∼5% -3%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
686 Points ∼3% -41%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
1032 Points ∼5% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2499 Points ∼11% +116%
3DMark (2013)
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
725 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
781 Points ∼3% +8%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
746 Points ∼3% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
981 Points ∼4% +35%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
724 Points ∼3% 0%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
407 Points ∼2% -44%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
646 Points ∼3% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1446 Points ∼6% +99%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2735 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2822 Points ∼7% +3%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
2665 Points ∼7% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5541 Points ∼14% +103%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5342 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
5370 Points ∼15% +1%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
5025 Points ∼14% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
6190 Points ∼18% +16%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
5059 Points ∼14% -5%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
2958 Points ∼8% -45%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
4900 Points ∼14% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
6774 Points ∼19% +27%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
52880 Points ∼27%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
50151 Points ∼25% -5%
Dell XPS 13-9343
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Lite-On IT L8T-256L9G
46293 Points ∼23% -12%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
53847 Points ∼27% +2%
Acer Aspire R7-371T-52EL
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3256GD
46421 Points ∼23% -12%
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10, SanDisk SD7SN3Q256G1002
27325 Points ∼14% -48%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
40279 Points ∼20% -24%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
54160 Points ∼27% +2%

Gaming Performance

The combination of the Core i7 processor with the HD Graphics 5500 GPU makes occasional gaming possible, provided that the user selects a low resolution and low to medium quality. Less power-hungry games allow for higher graphics settings as well. Games also profit from the RAM running in dual-channel mode: the frame rates are higher by about 5% to 40% compared to notebooks with their RAM running in single-channel mode. The sibling Zenbook UX303LN, which is equipped with a GeForce 840M GPU, offers significantly better gaming performance. Models in that series start around 1000 Euro ($1050).

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 55.828.518.68.9fps
Thief (2014) 17.111.39.24.6fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 27.719.78.14.9fps
Tomb Raider
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
28.5 fps ∼5%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
34.3 fps ∼6% +20%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
30.7 fps ∼5% +8%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
25.9 fps ∼5% -9%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
63.8 fps ∼11% +124%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
55.8 fps ∼9%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
64.6 fps ∼10% +16%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
58.2 fps ∼9% +4%
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
49.9 fps ∼8% -11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
131.4 fps ∼21% +135%
Discussion

Emissions

System Noise

The Zenbook never gets very hot and during idle, the fan frequently does not spin at all, which makes the subnotebook more or less inaudible. Even under load, the fan noise is subdued and we measured a maximum of only 36.6 dB(A) during the stress test. The reason: both the CPU and the GPU are subjected to throttling during major system stress.

The fan doesn't turn fast most of the time.
The fan doesn't turn fast most of the time.

Noise Level

Idle
30.2 / 30.8 / 31.6 dB(A)
Load
36.4 / 36.6 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
5500/5500U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
6100/5257U
Dell XPS 13-9343
5500/5200U
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
5500/5500U
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
4400/4500U
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
840M/5500U
Noise
-5%
-4%
-7%
-6%
-2%
Idle Minimum *30.229
4%
30.2
-0%
29.6
2%
29.6
2%
31
-3%
Idle Average *30.829
6%
30.3
2%
29.6
4%
29.6
4%
31
-1%
Idle Maximum *31.629
8%
30.4
4%
33.2
-5%
31.6
-0%
31
2%
Load Average *36.442.5
-17%
34.4
5%
43.2
-19%
41.5
-14%
36.6
-1%
Load Maximum *36.645.6
-25%
48
-31%
43.2
-18%
44.2
-21%
39.3
-7%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The Zenbook during the stress test.
The Zenbook during the stress test.

The Zenbook handles the stress test (Prime95 and FurMark in parallel for at least one hour) in identical fashion no matter if it is plugged in or running on battery power. While the processor cores fluctuate between 1.3 - 1.4 GHz, the GPU hovers around 650 - 700 MHz. The chassis does not get very warm during the test and only exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) slightly in one spot.

Max. Load
 29.8 °C35.6 °C34.8 °C 
 28.7 °C41.1 °C35.7 °C 
 28.5 °C30.7 °C31.2 °C 
Maximum: 41.1 °C
Average: 32.9 °C
37.4 °C37.5 °C31.6 °C
36.5 °C36.7 °C31.4 °C
32.8 °C32.8 °C30.6 °C
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 34.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  43.8 °C | Room Temperature 22.6 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
5500/5500U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
6100/5257U
Dell XPS 13-9343
5500/5200U
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
5500/5500U
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
5300/5Y10
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
4400/4500U
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
840M/5500U
Heat
-10%
-13%
-1%
-5%
-2%
-10%
Maximum Upper Side *41.145.1
-10%
40.6
1%
43.4
-6%
43.1
-5%
40.8
1%
47.1
-15%
Maximum Bottom *37.539.6
-6%
41.2
-10%
37
1%
41.2
-10%
36.2
3%
43.4
-16%
Idle Upper Side *25.328.5
-13%
31.2
-23%
25.9
-2%
26.3
-4%
27.7
-9%
27.1
-7%
Idle Bottom *25.728.3
-10%
30.6
-19%
25.1
2%
26.2
-2%
26.2
-2%
26.3
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Nothing is out of the ordinary as far as the power consumption is concerned. When idle, the subnotebook consumes less than 10 watts; during the stress test, we recorded a maximum of 30.5 watts. The power consumption could theoretically be higher, but both the CPU and the GPU are throttled during the stress test. The power adapter can supply up to 65 watts and could handle higher loads.

The power adapter...
The power adapter...
...is rated at 65 watts.
...is rated at 65 watts.
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.6 / 6.2 / 9.2 Watt
Load midlight 30.4 / 30.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
5500/5500U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
6100/5257U
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
5500/5500U
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
5300/5Y10
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
4400/4500U
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
840M/5500U
Power Consumption
-40%
-48%
-3%
8%
-20%
Idle Minimum *2.62.8
-8%
6.6
-154%
3.1
-19%
3.5
-35%
2.6
-0%
Idle Average *6.27.8
-26%
9.3
-50%
7.5
-21%
4.1
34%
6.8
-10%
Idle Maximum *9.28.1
12%
11
-20%
8.6
7%
7.1
23%
7.9
14%
Load Average *30.452.4
-72%
32.2
-6%
25.2
17%
27.3
10%
40.1
-32%
Load Maximum *30.562.8
-106%
33.2
-9%
30.6
-0%
27.6
10%
52.1
-71%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

In idle mode, the Zenbook lasted 19 hours and 7 minutes, which falls between the MacBook Pro Retina 13 (28 hours 10 minutes) and the Dell XPS 13 (15 hours 12 minutes). Here, we use the Battery Eater Reader’s Test with the display set to the lowest brightness, the power-saver profile active, and all wireless modules turned off. Under load, the Zenbook needed to be plugged in again after 1 hour and 55 minutes - once again a run time in the middle between the MacBook Pro (1 hour 34 minutes) and the XPS 13 (2 hours 20 minutes). 

During the more relevant WLAN test, the ASUS notebook shut down after 8 hours and 27 minutes, which is a result that trails both the MacBook Pro (8 hours 59 minutes) and the Dell XPS 13 (9 hours 41 minutes). Here we use the balanced profile and set the display brightness to about 150 nits; a script then visits a different web page every 40 seconds. To check the run time during video playback, we loop the clip Big Buck Bunny (H.264 codec, 1920x1080 pixels). Here we once again disable the wireless modules and set the display brightness to around 150 nits. The Zenbook kept going for 8 hours and 3 minutes during this test; the MacBook Pro lasted longer at 9 hours and 41 minutes.  

The Zenbook and the Dell XPS 13 are pretty even as far as their respective battery life is concerned. It is not surprising that the MacBook Pro outperforms them both, as its battery capacity is substantially higher (Asus: 50 Wh, Dell: 52 Wh, Apple: 74.9 Wh).

The battery is attached with 5 screws and could be swapped out.
The battery is attached with 5 screws and could be swapped out.
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
19h 07min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (IE 11)
8h 27min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 03min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 55min
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
5500/5500U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
6100/5257U
Dell XPS 13-9343
5500/5200U
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
5500/5500U
Asus ZenBook UX305FA-FB003H
5300/5Y10
Toshiba Portege Z30-A-12U
4400/4500U
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
840M/5500U
Battery Runtime
14%
1%
5%
13%
5%
Reader / Idle11471690
47%
912
-20%
781
-32%
1195
4%
Load11594
-18%
140
22%
189
64%
139
21%
WiFi v1.3507539
6%
530
5%
H.264483581
20%
396
-18%
WiFi580421408457

Pro

+ Bright and matte IPS display
+ Quiet
+ Doesn't get very hot
+ Good input devices
+ Fast SSD
+ Open mSATA slot
+ Very good battery life

Cons

- Inferior webcam
- Display lacks contrast

Verdict

The Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H, courtesy of cyberport.
The Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H, courtesy of cyberport.

The Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H is a compact and mobile 13.3-inch subnotebook. For all intents and purposes, we could just reiterate our verdict with which we concluded the review of the UX303LN-sibling. The notebook offers enough processing power for everyday tasks, is very quiet and does not get very warm, either. Good input devices and a long battery life are added bonuses. The solid-state disk guarantees speedy performance and the removable bottom cover makes maintenance tasks easy.

The matte IPS display is somewhat disappointing. The brightness is quite good, but the contrast of the Zenbook is simply not acceptable for the given price point.

Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H - 05/18/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
90 /  98 → 92%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
68 / 81 → 84%
Weight
70 / 78 → 81%
Battery
89%
Display
86%
Games Performance
67 / 68 → 99%
Application Performance
83 / 87 → 95%
Temperature
91 / 91 → 100%
Noise
91%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
78%
85%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus Zenbook UX303LA Subnotebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-04-15 (Update: 2015-04-17)