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Asus Zenbook UX303LB (940M) Subnotebook Short Review

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 07/15/2015

Follow-up. The 13-inch laptop is an old acquaintance. We tested the GeForce 840M model only a few months ago. Now we are taking a quick look at the new 940M version. Has the racer turned into a rocket?

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Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H with Nvidia GeForce 940M
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H with Nvidia GeForce 940M

For the original German review, see here.

We gave the Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H a rating of 86% in May 2015, which only the best devices achieve. There weren't any noteworthy shortcomings: In addition to a matte, bright IPS screen, very good input devices, low emissions, and superb runtimes went hand in hand. Fused with a swift SSD, a solid 15-watt SoC, and a GeForce 840M, the 13-inch laptop featured everything in a classily built aluminum casing that many buyers want.

Now the 840M makes room for the 940M. That is reason enough for a quick glance at the configuration. Is the Zenbook UX303LB still a purchase tip, or should the buyer stick to the now supposedly cheaper 840M precursor, available with a Haswell SoC and 256 GB SSD for a price starting at 1000 Euros (~$1095)? The UX303LB-R4079H review sample with a Broadwell i5-5200U and 940M, but otherwise identical configuration, costs exactly 100 Euros (~$109) more.

Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H (UX Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940M - 2048 MB, HD Graphics 5500
Memory
8192 MB 
, dual-channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, CMN N133HSE-EA3, IPS, glossy: no
Storage
Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2, 256 GB 
, 195 GB free
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: mic + line combo, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, Sensors: ambient light
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/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-Polymer, 3 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1.0 MP
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, manual, cable ties, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.45 kg ( = 51.15 oz / 3.2 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)

 

Display

311
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 319 cd/m² Average: 309.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 313 cd/m²
Contrast: 489:1 (Black: 0.64 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.1 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.3 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.2

The screen is identical with that of the Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H sister model. Please see the test for details.

Performance

Is the GeForce 940M worth its higher price? We tend to say no. The same GM108 Maxwell chip as in the older GeForce 840M is behind the name. Nothing has changed about the technical specs - 384 Shader units, 24 TMUs, 64-bit memory interface. Only the base and boost speeds have been increased marginally.

We took a particularly detailed look at the 940M's graphics performance in Lenovo's ThinkPad T450s (i5-5200U). Its power is 50 to 60% higher than the integrated HD Graphics 5500, as Dell's XPS 13 proves. The dedicated 940M also leads to a 50 to almost 70% advantage in real games. However, the 840M is on par as the comparison in 3DMark 11 shows. It falls behind by at most 4% here. The Physics performance of our review sample is lower than in the sister models due to the Core i7 in both UX comparison devices.

An overview of games that can be played with the GeForce 940M can be found on the GPU's page. Graphics heavyweights like The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight should be crossed out on the wishlist. Dirt Rally, GTA V, Battlefield Hardline 2015, Evolve, The Crew, Far Cry 4 or Dragon Age: Inquisition belong to the many smash hits that can still be played in the HD resolution using medium details.

As to the processor, we can only provide a comparison with the Core i7 versions (5500U, 4510U) here. They reap in a small plus of 10 to 14% owing to the higher clock rates. It can sometimes even be 17% in the multi-test of Cinebench. That equals a performance plus of only 5% over the same processor type (former i5-4200U or i5-4210U) in the Haswell/Broadwell comparison. However, shrinking the build process from 22 to 14 nm has not resulted in higher power consumption. Acer's Aspire V3-572PG and Aspire R14 R3-471TG lag behind by 7 to 18% in the Cinebench tests, which is to exemplify the Haswell i5 version of the UX303L that is still on the market. The devices' varying Turbo Boost utilization prevents making an exact 1:1 comparison across different devices.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.24 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.84 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
41.46 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
108 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
258 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
60.76 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
108 Points ∼55%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
121 Points ∼62% +12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
119 Points ∼61% +10%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
123 Points ∼63% +14%
Acer Aspire V3-572PG-604M
GeForce 840M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
96 Points ∼49% -11%
Acer Aspire R14 R3-471TG-552E
GeForce 820M, 4210U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
89 Points ∼46% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
258 Points ∼12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
303 Points ∼14% +17%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
249 Points ∼12% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
287 Points ∼13% +11%
Acer Aspire V3-572PG-604M
GeForce 840M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
228 Points ∼11% -12%
Acer Aspire R14 R3-471TG-552E
GeForce 820M, 4210U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
239 Points ∼11% -7%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
1.24 Points ∼56%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1.42 Points ∼64% +15%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1.37 Points ∼62% +10%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1.41 Points ∼64% +14%
Acer Aspire V3-572PG-604M
GeForce 840M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
1.13 Points ∼51% -9%
Acer Aspire R14 R3-471TG-552E
GeForce 820M, 4210U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
1.18 Points ∼53% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
2.84 Points ∼12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3.16 Points ∼13% +11%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3 Points ∼13% +6%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3.12 Points ∼13% +10%
Acer Aspire V3-572PG-604M
GeForce 840M, 4200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2.48 Points ∼10% -13%
Acer Aspire R14 R3-471TG-552E
GeForce 820M, 4210U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
2.5 Points ∼10% -12%
PCMark 7 Score
4909 points
Help
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
1927 Points ∼12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1923 Points ∼12% 0%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
1740 Points ∼11% -10%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1153 Points ∼7% -40%
1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
3022 Points ∼18%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4141 Points ∼25% +37%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
3817 Points ∼23% +26%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3845 Points ∼23% +27%
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
2493 Points ∼5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2405 Points ∼5% -4%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2317 Points ∼5% -7%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1115 Points ∼2% -55%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H
GeForce 940M, 5200U, Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
2485 Points ∼9%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2499 Points ∼9% +1%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4141H
GeForce 840M, 4510U, SanDisk SD6SB1M256G1002
2378 Points ∼8% -4%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1252 Points ∼4% -50%
3DMark 11 Performance
2485 points
Help
Micron M600 MTFDDAV256MBF M.2
Sequential Read: 506.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 485.2 MB/s
512K Read: 465.8 MB/s
512K Write: 470.3 MB/s
4K Read: 32.91 MB/s
4K Write: 106.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 333 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 361.8 MB/s

Emissions & Energy Management

System Noise

The noise production barely differs to that of the 840M model. Unlike the waste heat, the present UX3030LB is noticeably cooler in single places in the stress test. That could, however, also be due to different ambient temperatures during the assessment.

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 29.6 / 31.4 dB(A)
Load
37.3 / 38.2 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)

Temperature

Max. Load
 30.4 °C46 °C31.2 °C 
 29.8 °C40.7 °C33.3 °C 
 26.7 °C28.8 °C28.3 °C 
Maximum: 46 °C
Average: 32.8 °C
31.8 °C35.6 °C30.2 °C
30.8 °C34 °C30.7 °C
29.1 °C29.6 °C28.3 °C
Maximum: 35.6 °C
Average: 31.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.5 / 6.7 / 8.7 Watt
Load midlight 43.7 / 60 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 960

Pros

+ High-quality, stiff aluminum chassis
+ Large SSD
+ Matte TFT, strong viewing angles
+ High brightness, good outdoor suitability
+ Input devices' feedback
+ Low noise development
+ Casual gamers
+ Maintenance options
+ Empty, internal mSATA slot
+ Low-noise microphone

Cons

- Inferior webcam

Verdict

In review: Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H. Test model courtesy of Asus Germany
In review: Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H. Test model courtesy of Asus Germany

The buyer gets a stylish, compact subnotebook with a long battery life, swift SSD, and a viewing angle and rich color IPS screen in the Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H (Broadwell i5, 940M) for presently 1100 Euros (~$1204). On top of that, a GeForce 940M that can render current games in at least the HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) smoothly is included.

In addition to the review sample, there are configurations with a Haswell SoC and/or GeForce 840M on the market. Their prices can differ greatly. If the price difference does not seem too vast, the buyer can confidently take the current Broadwell model with the 940M. However, anyone who wants to save 100 Euros (~$109) and more will do nothing wrong with the "outdated" Haswell/840M version. The performance differences in gaming and processor performance are measurable but insignificant for practical use.

Links to the reviews:

 

 

 

Asus Zenbook UX303LB-R4079H - 02/16/2016 v5
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
90 /  98 → 92%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
51 / 80 → 63%
Weight
70 / 78 → 81%
Battery
89%
Display
87%
Games Performance
65 / 68 → 95%
Application Performance
83 / 87 → 95%
Temperature
90 / 91 → 99%
Noise
92%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
76%
86%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Asus Zenbook UX303LB (940M) Subnotebook Short Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2015-07-15 (Update: 2015-07-16)