Notebookcheck

Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T Notebook Review

Allen Ngo, 01/13/2016

High resolution at a cost. The UX303 series has been around since the days of Sandy Bridge, but this is the first Skylake QHD model to make it into our labs. Unfortunately, the upgrade comes with a couple of consequences.

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Asus was one of the first manufacturers in line to launch the Ultrabook platform back in 2011 with the Zenbook UX31E. Now, over four years later, the Zenbook series continues to live strong with some of the more popular Ultrabooks under its belt.

We've tested our fair share of the ever-expanding Zenbook UX303 series with a handful of those pages listed below. Today's model is the QHD SKU of the last UX303 we published earlier last month. Does the new resolution bring any changes to the table?

Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T (Zenbook Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940M - 2048 MB, Core: 1071 MHz, Memory: 1800 MHz, 353.84, Optimus
Memory
20380 MB 
, Dual-Channel, 1066.7 MHz, 11-11-11-28, DDR3, (4 GB soldered)
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3200x1800 pixel, Capacitive, IPS, Name: Samsung 133YL03-P01, ID: SDC394A, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB, 1024 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Qualcomm Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1525 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.2 x 323 x 223 ( = 0.76 x 12.72 x 8.78 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Bag, DisplayPort-to-VGA adaptor, USB-to-Ethernet adaptor, , McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), WPS Office, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.52 kg ( = 53.62 oz / 3.35 pounds), Power Supply: 214 g ( = 7.55 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Price
1299 USD

 

Case

We refer to our previous reviews for our comments on case quality and construction on the UX303. Instead, we'll mention here that this particular Zenbook is thicker than most other recent 13-inch offerings including the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, and the recent Lenovo Yoga 900. The Asus is also heavier by over 200 grams compared to the Dell and Lenovo and 50 grams compared to the HP. In turn, the UX303 includes dedicated Nvidia graphics for superior graphics performance than most other Ultrabooks.

Connectivity

Connectivity features remain identical to the UX303LN. It's still worth noting that the system includes dual video-out options, which is not common for its size class. Asus will likely include USB Type-C should the manufacturer unveil a complete redesign of the series in the future.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 3.5 mm earphones, HDMI-out, USB 3.0, mDP, AC adapter
Right: 3.5 mm earphones, HDMI-out, USB 3.0, mDP, AC adapter
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: 2x USB 3.0, SD reader
Left: 2x USB 3.0, SD reader

Communication

Wireless is outfitted with a dual-band Qualcomm Killer 1525 M.2 NGFF adapter and promises theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. Less costly UX303 SKUs may sport an Intel adapter instead, though all configurations should be 802.11ac compatible. We experienced no latency or dropout issues during our time with the test model.

Accessories

Included extras are a protective case, cable tie, screen wipe, mDP-VGA adapter, and USB-Ethernet adapter. There are more extras here than what most other manufacturers offer as standard with their Ultrabooks. Note that the USB-Ethernet adapter is fast Ethernet only and does not provide Gigabit speeds.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is easy to remove provided that you have both Torx and Philips screwdrivers. There are two additional screws hidden underneath the rear rubber footing, which can be difficult to remove. Users are otherwise granted full access to the dual system fans, M.2 slot, single SODIMM slot, 2.5-inch bay, battery, and cooling system.

CUKUSA provides a detailed disassembly manual with step-by-step instructions and images for the UX303UB.

Warranty

Aside from the standard 12-month manufacturer warranty, additional warranty options are available from reseller CUKUSA for up to three years with diagnostic support via phone or email.

Relatively easy maintenance
Relatively easy maintenance

Input Devices

The backlit keyboard and touchpad have been largely untouched since the old UX32 days. The touchpad is now slightly larger (10.5 x 7.5 cm), but still feels nearly identical with very firm feedback from the integrated mouse keys. Travel and feedback from the keyboard keys are good for an Ultrabook especially when compared to the Samsung Series 9 notebooks. Still, the right half of the keyboard surface warps slightly more easily to pressure than the left.

Tactile feedback from clickpad is on the loud side
Tactile feedback from clickpad is on the loud side
Good feedback and travel for an Ultrabook keyboard
Good feedback and travel for an Ultrabook keyboard

Display

With a PPI of 276, there's no arguing that the QHD panel on the Asus is gorgeous. Texts and images are extraordinarily crisp and the touchscreen only adds to the fun factor. Its Samsung 133YL03-P01 panel is not found on any other notebook currently in our database.

With that said, the QHD panel is a downgrade in more ways than one compared to our UX303UB FHD SKU. Maximum brightness has dropped and black levels are much higher for an average contrast of around 300:1. The display uses a RGBW matrix similar to the Yoga 900, which also suffers from lower-than-expected contrast. There is also some minor backlight bleeding on our test unit that only becomes noticeable when under darkened environments and content.

Light backlight bleeding on bottom left and top right corners
Light backlight bleeding on bottom left and top right corners
RGBW subpixel matrix
RGBW subpixel matrix
280.9
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
288.5
cd/m²
250.9
cd/m²
291.4
cd/m²
259.6
cd/m²
245
cd/m²
272.7
cd/m²
263.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 291.4 cd/m² Average: 269.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 291.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 305:1 (Black: 0.954 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.63 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 5.65 | - Ø
85.2% sRGB (Argyll) 55.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.16
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
13.3, 3200x1800
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
13.3, 1920x1080
Asus Zenbook UX305LA-FC012H
13.3, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 13-4104ng
13.3, 2560x1440
HP Envy 13-d000ng
13.3, 3200x1800
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
13.3, 3200x1800
Response Times
-46%
47%
13%
93%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44.4
68
-53%
24
46%
37.6
15%
40
10%
Response Time Black / White *
36
35
3%
19
47%
26
28%
30
17%
PWM Frequency
1389
178
-87%
1316
-5%
4900
253%
Screen
48%
58%
43%
23%
66%
Brightness
270
394
46%
338
25%
324
20%
276
2%
281
4%
Brightness Distribution
84
89
6%
87
4%
90
7%
82
-2%
90
7%
Black Level *
0.954
0.41
57%
0.25
74%
0.34
64%
0.63
34%
0.18
81%
Contrast
305
939
208%
1396
358%
953
212%
462
51%
1583
419%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.63
3.84
17%
5.49
-19%
4.36
6%
2.76
40%
4.89
-6%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.65
3.79
33%
5.43
4%
4.62
18%
2.61
54%
5.16
9%
Gamma
2.16 111%
2.23 108%
2.17 111%
2.18 110%
2.31 104%
2.15 112%
CCT
6320 103%
6499 100%
7055 92%
6857 95%
6731 97%
7106 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
55.2
60
9%
60
9%
60
9%
57.5
4%
59
7%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
85.2
92
8%
92
8%
93
9%
88.7
4%
93
9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
1% / 22%
58% / 58%
45% / 44%
18% / 20%
80% / 74%

* ... smaller is better

Discussion

Color coverage is 55.2 percent and 85.2 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. This is representative of a high quality display as cheaper panels typically cover much less than half of AdobeRGB and around 60 percent of sRGB.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Asus Zenbook UX305LA
vs. Asus Zenbook UX305LA
vs. Dell XPS 13 InfinityEdge QHD
vs. Dell XPS 13 InfinityEdge QHD

Colors and grayscale are only average out-of-the-box. Many other high-end 13.3-inch notebooks or even the FHD SKU of the UX303 exhibit more accurate colors without necessitating end-user calibration. We recommend a quick calibration as this will noticeably improve grayscale and colors across the board. Colors become slightly less accurate the higher the saturation level due to imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.6 ms rise
↘ 20.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 89 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.6 ms rise
↘ 24.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 250 (maximum) ms. » 65 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1389 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 1389 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 1389 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 443 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 10420) Hz was measured.

Outdoor usability is worse than existing UX303 models due to the lower maximum brightness of almost 100 nits on the QHD configuration. It's certainly still usable on overcast days, though glare will be more apparent.

Viewing angles from the IPS panel is good with slight to moderate shifts in colors and contrast from extreme angles.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Wide IPS viewing angles. Contrast degradation at extreme angles.
Wide IPS viewing angles. Contrast degradation at extreme angles.

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz

Unlike the thinner and fanless UX305 series, the UX303 can be equipped with ULV Core ix processors and dedicated GPUs. Our test model is the higher-end SKU with a Core i7-6500U and GT 940M able to operate up to 3.1 GHz and 1163 MHz, respectively, depending on the system load. The HD Graphics 520 is available via Optimus for additional power savings and the CPU itself can idle as low as 800 MHz.

4 GB RAM is soldered directly onto the board with one free SODIMM slot for an additional 16 GB for up to 20 GB total like we have here. LatencyMon shows no recurring latency spikes even with the wireless radio active.

Processor

The Skylake i7-6500U is roughly 20 percent and 5 percent ahead of the Haswell i5-4200U and the Broadwell i7-5600U, respectively, in single-threaded operations according to CineBench. Perhaps more notably, performance is within just a few percentage points from the standard voltage i7-4720HQ that is popular on gaming notebooks. The performance delta between our ULV core and more standard mobile processors grows larger in multi-threaded operations due to the more limited Turbo Boost potential under these conditions.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6500U for more technical information and comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
CineBench R15 64-bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
127 Points ∼69%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
136 Points ∼74% +7%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
121 Points ∼65% -5%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
106 Points ∼57% -17%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
100 Points ∼54% -21%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
286 Points ∼17%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
596 Points ∼36% +108%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
277 Points ∼17% -3%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
292 Points ∼18% +2%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
231 Points ∼14% -19%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
1.45 Points ∼5%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
1.59 Points ∼6% +10%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1.46 Points ∼5% +1%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.24 Points ∼5% -14%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.11 Points ∼4% -23%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3.17 Points ∼4%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
6.45 Points ∼9% +103%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3.14 Points ∼4% -1%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3.24 Points ∼5% +2%
Toshiba Tecra Z40 A-147
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.49 Points ∼3% -21%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
4820 Points ∼68%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
5224 Points ∼74% +8%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4986 Points ∼71% +3%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
4396 Points ∼62% -9%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
9954 Points ∼29%
Eurocom Shark 4
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
18041 Points ∼52% +81%
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G2
HD Graphics 5500, 5600U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
9886 Points ∼28% -1%
Dell Inspiron 17 5759-5118
Radeon R5 M335, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
9842 Points ∼28% -1%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6396
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9954
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4820
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
27.49 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.17 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.45 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
35.07 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
286 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
127 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark scores are consistently ahead of the fanless UX305 by as much as 11 to 18 percent depending on the benchmark and comparable to other Ultrabooks in its size class including the HP Spectre 13 and Dell XPS 13. The scores diverge a bit more under PCMark 8 where the MacBook Air 13 is shown to be ahead on all accounts.

Subjectively, we experienced no system crashes or unexpected hardware issues. The screen exhibited jitters and behaved oddly during a single 3DMark 11 run, but we were unable to reproduce the results.

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
5135 Points ∼64%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
5205 Points ∼65% +1%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
5103 Points ∼63% -1%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4977 Points ∼62% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-EHM1
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
4635 Points ∼58% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3862 Points ∼63%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4367 Points ∼71% +13%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
3675 Points ∼60% -5%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3735 Points ∼61% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-EHM1
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
3657 Points ∼60% -5%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
3837 Points ∼45%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4432 Points ∼52% +16%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
3691 Points ∼43% -4%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-EHM1
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
3241 Points ∼38% -16%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
2918 Points ∼51%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3579 Points ∼63% +23%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
2895 Points ∼51% -1%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
2822 Points ∼50% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-EHM1
HD Graphics 515, 6Y30, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
2833 Points ∼50% -3%
PCMark 7 Score
5135 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2918 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3837 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3862 points
Help

Storage Devices

Only a single 2.5-inch SATA III bay is available for internal storage. CUKUSA has outfitted our system with its own 7 mm Cyclone SSD. Unlike many other OEM drives, the Cyclone runs on the MEX controller and provides AES 256-bit Encryption and Auto Garbage Collection.

According to AS SSD, the drive is comparable to high-end 2.5-inch SSDs like the Samsung 850 EVO in our Ideapad Y700. Newer NVMe solutions found on the latest Ultrabooks or Apple MacBooks will still handily outperform the SSD in our Zenbook.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
Transfer Rate Minimum: 304 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 413.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 403.1 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 134.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.3 %
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
Aorus X3 Plus v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Lenovo Ideapad Y700-17 80QK7709PB
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB
AS SSD
151%
54%
18%
11%
Copy Game MB/s
392.83
926.86
136%
298.73
-24%
Copy Program MB/s
233.66
368.58
58%
249.62
7%
Copy ISO MB/s
382.51
1158.3
203%
364.49
-5%
Score Total
882
2652
201%
1603
82%
1129
28%
853
-3%
Score Write
373
630
69%
391
5%
429
15%
279
-25%
Score Read
333
1345
304%
809
143%
458
38%
372
12%
Access Time Write *
0.051
0.032
37%
0.034
33%
0.039
24%
0.035
31%
Access Time Read *
0.14
0.041
71%
0.071
49%
0.054
61%
0.053
62%
4K-64 Write
261.11
368.27
41%
263.69
1%
302.97
16%
138.65
-47%
4K-64 Read
256.89
1113.27
333%
697.53
172%
374.84
46%
285.95
11%
4K Write
71.32
113.97
60%
97.63
37%
80.56
13%
93.66
31%
4K Read
25.99
46.24
78%
38.21
47%
32.29
24%
34.86
34%
Seq Write
409.84
1474.07
260%
301.24
-26%
454.57
11%
470.16
15%
Seq Read
504.52
1859.14
268%
735.32
46%
504.97
0%
513.67
2%

* ... smaller is better

GPU Performance

3DMark benchmarks rank our Asus system well ahead of the integrated HD Graphics 520 while being slightly behind the Iris Graphics 540 in the higher-end Microsoft Surface Pro 4. When compared to the previous generation GeForce 840M, the 940M shows an advantage of only a few percentage points.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
2178 Points ∼4%
Nexoc M731III W670RBQ
GeForce 940M, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
2536 Points ∼5% +16%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2450 Points ∼5% +12%
Lenovo Flex 2 Pro-15
GeForce 840M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2323 Points ∼5% +7%
HP Envy 13-d000ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1299 Points ∼3% -40%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
2291 Points ∼9%
Nexoc M731III W670RBQ
GeForce 940M, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
2662 Points ∼11% +16%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
2624 Points ∼10% +15%
Lenovo Flex 2 Pro-15
GeForce 840M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2370 Points ∼9% +3%
HP Envy 13-d000ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1447 Points ∼6% -37%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
1347 Points ∼6%
Nexoc M731III W670RBQ
GeForce 940M, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
1457 Points ∼6% +8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1395 Points ∼6% +4%
Lenovo Flex 2 Pro-15
GeForce 840M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
1366 Points ∼6% +1%
HP Envy 13-d000ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
793 Points ∼3% -41%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
5995 Points ∼16%
Nexoc M731III W670RBQ
GeForce 940M, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
7531 Points ∼20% +26%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
7822 Points ∼21% +30%
Lenovo Flex 2 Pro-15
GeForce 840M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
5939 Points ∼16% -1%
HP Envy 13-d000ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5710 Points ∼15% -5%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
17839 Points ∼9%
Nexoc M731III W670RBQ
GeForce 940M, 6440HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB
71504 Points ∼36% +301%
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i7
Iris Graphics 540, 6650U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
73990 Points ∼37% +315%
Lenovo Flex 2 Pro-15
GeForce 840M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
45336 Points ∼23% +154%
HP Envy 13-d000ng
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
54790 Points ∼28% +207%
3DMark 11 Performance
2291 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
17839 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5995 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1347 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
680 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The dedicated Nvidia GPU is not designed for enthusiast-level gaming. Even mainstream settings on more recent and demanding titles like Arkham Knight are off-limits for the GT 940M let alone for gaming on a native resolution of 3200 x 1800. Even the Razer Blade 14 and its GTX 970M has trouble playing titles at such high resolutions.

More technical details and comparisons on the Nvidia 940M can be found on our dedicated GPU page.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 60.332.716.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 43.238.513.3fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 32.921.810.8fps
Thief (2014) 23.919.38.9fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 21fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 20119fps

Stress Test

The system stabilizes at a relatively low 55 C when under Prime95 stress. When FurMark is introduced, however, core temperatures rise dramatically to the 90 C range for both the CPU and GPU. Unigine Heaven stress will cause temperatures to hover in the high 60 C range. Thus, much of the heat output from the system is from the Nvidia GPU itself. Otherwise, we're impressed to see consistent Turbo Boost and GPU Boost when gaming out of the thin system.

Running on battery power will not drop GPU performance, but CPU performance will suffer slightly with less frequent Turbo Boost. A 3DMark 11 run on battery power returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4062 and 2218 points, respectively, compared to 4300 and 2178 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Maximum stress
Maximum stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Stable Clock Rates and Temperatures Under Stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (C) Average GPU Temperature (C)
Prime95 Stress 2.4 - 2.5 -- ~55 --
FurMark Stress -- 1163 -- ~71
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.4 1124 ~91 ~89
Unigine Heaven Stress 3.0 1163 ~68 ~67

Emissions

System Noise

Larger 45 mm fan
Larger 45 mm fan
Smaller 30 mm fan
Smaller 30 mm fan

The cooling system consists of a pair of asymmetric heat pipes alongside a pair of asymmetric fans. The system stays quiet and almost noise free when under light to even moderate loads. Running Unigine Heaven will bump fan noise to the 37 dB(A) range or even higher over extended periods or higher loads (FurMark, Prime95, etc.).

Unfortunately, we noticed the same electronic noise on our QHD model as we did on our previous FHD model. It's quite faint, but detectable by ear nonetheless when up close to the notebook.

Fan noise. Idling (Yellow) and Unigine Heaven (Magenta)
Fan noise. Idling (Yellow) and Unigine Heaven (Magenta)
Pink noise (Pink) and White noise (Gray)
Pink noise (Pink) and White noise (Gray)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, CUK Cyclone SSD 1TB
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
Noise
3%
-2%
-0%
3%
Idle Minimum *
29.8
29.7
-0%
31.8
-7%
29.6
1%
31.5
-6%
Idle Average *
29.8
29.8
-0%
31.8
-7%
29.6
1%
31.5
-6%
Idle Maximum *
29.8
30
-1%
34.8
-17%
29.6
1%
31.5
-6%
Load Average *
37.4
32
14%
34.8
7%
38.6
-3%
32.4
13%
Load Maximum *
40.3
38.5
4%
34.8
14%
41
-2%
32.3
20%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29.8 / 29.8 / 29.8 dB(A)
Load
37.4 / 40.3 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Surface temperature development is relatively flat when the system is idling with warm spots nearest the center of the keyboard. The hot spots only becomes more noticeable when under extreme loads whilst the palm rests and touchpad up front remain cool. The right side of the notebook is generally warmer than the left when under load due to the positioning of the heat pipes, CPU, and GPU.

We were able to measure a surface temperature of 45 C at the highest. This is compared to 47 C on the Yoga 900 and 57 C on the XPS 13, both of which sport the same i7-6500U CPU.

Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 37.2 °C45 °C33.8 °C 
 29.8 °C40.6 °C35.2 °C 
 27.8 °C31.6 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 45 °C
Average: 34.6 °C
38.6 °C42 °C35.2 °C
34.6 °C37.6 °C31.6 °C
31.2 °C31.6 °C29.6 °C
Maximum: 42 °C
Average: 34.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.2 °C | Room Temperature 19 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Battery Life

Runtimes are good at just over 5.5 hours under our WLAN testing conditions (150 nits brightness, looping browsing script, Balanced profile, iGPU active). The higher power demands of the QHD screen can be felt as runtimes are noticeably lower across the board compared to our UX303UB FHD configuration under the same conditions. Newer models with higher battery capacities like the Yoga 900 and XPS 13 can last for even longer than our Asus.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T
50 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
50 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 900-13ISK 80MK
66 Wh
HP Spectre x360 13-4104ng
56 Wh
HP Envy 13-d000ng
45 Wh
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
56 Wh
Battery Runtime
32%
26%
47%
-5%
18%
Reader / Idle
617
997
62%
844
37%
517
-16%
784
27%
Load
103
118
15%
128
24%
108
5%
103
0%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
341
410
20%
403
18%
500
47%
324
-5%
432
27%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 17min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
5h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 43min

Pro

+ no major use of PWM for QHD configuration
+ very high resolution panel
+ full CPU and GPU performance whilst running Unigine Heaven
+ easy end-user maintenance
+ dual video-out; included VGA and RJ-45 adapters

Cons

- reduced brightness, color accuracy, and contrast compared to FHD SKU
- response times could have been better
- no M.2 storage options
- GPU can be get quite warm
- no USB Type-C port

Verdict

In review: Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King CUKUSA.com
In review: Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King CUKUSA.com

The Zenbook series still holds some of the better Ultrabooks available assuming that novel features like 360-degree hinges or detachable keyboards are of no interest to the user. This QHD configuration, however, is both a step forward and a step backward. Yes, the resolution upgrade is fantastic and crisp, but there is more to a display than a simple resolution bullet point. Factors such as backlight brightness, contrast, and color accuracy are worse than its FHD SKU. Response times are also below average, though the display thankfully does not utilize pulse-width modulation for brightness control. Lastly, battery life has taken a hit as the internal module has not been upgraded in capacity to compensate for the more demanding screen.

We don't have any qualms about QHD or UHD displays. Nonetheless, such high resolutions should not come at the price of other important factors. Opting for a less expensive FHD Zenbook SKU may be the better choice for most users.

Asus Zenbook UX303UB-DH74T - 01/12/2016 v4.1(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
90 /  98 → 92%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
68 / 80 → 85%
Weight
70 / 78 → 81%
Battery
86%
Display
79%
Games Performance
82 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
90 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
83 / 91 → 91%
Noise
90%
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 UX303UB-DH74T Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-01-13 (Update: 2016-01-15)