Notebookcheck

Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T Subnotebook Review

Andreas Kilian, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 03/07/2016

There is strength in tranquility. The Zenbook UX303 series has been available since 2014 and Asus now ships the devices with Skylake processors from Intel. Our review unit with an i7 CPU can score with quiet operation and low temperatures, but can the performance convince as well?

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Asus UX303UA Teaser Image

For the original German review, see here.

We already reviewed the Asus Zenbook UX303 series a couple of times, including the sibling UX303UB with dedicated Nvidia GPU as well as the predecessors with Broadwell and Haswell processors. All models share the same design, which did not change since the launch in 2014. Our review will show if the Skylake model has advantages over its predecessors.

Rivals for the Zenbook are, among others, the Acer Aspire V3-372Dell's XPS 13 as well as HP's Spectre 13. If you don’t need Windows, the Apple MacBook Air 13 could be an alternative as well.

The Zenbook UX303UA is similar to the previously reviewed models in many respects, so we won’t have a closer look at the Case as well as the Connectivity in this article. The corresponding information is available in the review of the Zenbook UX303LN, for instance.

Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T (Zenbook UX303UA Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 800-1000 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, 10.18.15.4279
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3L 1600 MHz Dual Channel (4 GB onboard)
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, ChiMei N133HSE-EA3 (CMN1361), IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND, 256 GB 
, 204 GB free
Soundcard
Conexant SmartAudio HD
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: SD(HC) card reader, Brightness Sensor, TPM 2.0
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.2 x 323 x 223 ( = 0.76 x 12.72 x 8.78 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 3-cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, USB-to-Ethernet adapter, sleeve, 65-Watt PSU, Cyberlink PhotoDirector LE 5, Cyberlink PowerDirector 12, Dropbox, Evernote, Foxit PhantomPDF, WildTangent Games App, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), WPS Office, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.417 kg ( = 49.98 oz / 3.12 pounds), Power Supply: 247 g ( = 8.71 oz / 0.54 pounds)
Price
1099 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Asus Zenbook UX303UA
Asus Zenbook UX303UA
Asus Zenbook UX303UA
Asus Zenbook UX303UA
Asus Zenbook UX303UA
Asus Zenbook UX303UA

Input Devices

Input devices of the Zenbook
Input devices of the Zenbook

The input devices do not differ from the other UX303 models at a first look. The keys of the keyboard offer a decent travel – at least for a subnotebook – and a firm stroke. However, there is still some bouncing on the right side, but this does not affect the typing experience. The touchpad has a big surface and recognizes movements very precisely. The physical buttons of the ClickPad also have a firm pressure point. You will, however, touch the ClickPad surface and move the cursor a bit when you put your wrists down during typing. Gesture controls also refused to work from time to time and we had to restart the device. 

It is unfortunate that the test model – contrary to the Zenbook UX303UB – does not sport keyboard illumination. You get status lights for CapsLock, Plane Mode and NumLock though.

Display

The Zenbook UX303UA is equipped with the same matte 13.3-inch FHD-IPS display ChiMei N133HSE-EA3 we already know from all the other reviewed models of the series. It convinces with high luminance results, wide viewing angles, even brightness distribution as well as accurate colors ex-works. The measured contrast is, however, pretty average at 616:1. Subjectively, the picture quality is very good.

It is, however, unfortunate that the panel uses pulse-width modulation at a rather low frequency of 198 Hz to control the luminance below the maximum level. This can be quickly tiring for the eyes when you are sensitive in this respect.

The outdoor usability benefits from the matte panel surface and the high luminance.

AdobeRGB coverage: 60%
AdobeRGB coverage: 60%
sRGB coverage: 93%
sRGB coverage: 93%
Subpixel array
Subpixel array
343
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
357
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
373
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 373 cd/m² Average: 351.3 cd/m² Minimum: 20 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 229 cd/m²
Contrast: 616:1 (Black: 0.58 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.39 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 2.36 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
93% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.2
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS)
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS)
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS)
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
3200x1800 px 13.3'' (IGZO)
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
1440x900 px 13.3'' (TN)
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
2560x1440 px 13.3'' (IPS)
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
1920x1080 px 13.3'' (IPS)
Response Times
-63%
770%
-29%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
31 (12, 19)
68 (25, 43)
-119%
40 (10, 30, Schwankungen auf kleinstem Niveau (Akku/Netz ident))
-29%
46 (19, 27)
-48%
Response Time Black / White *
22 (9, 13)
35 (15, 20)
-59%
30 (7, 23)
-36%
24 (5, 19)
-9%
PWM Frequency
198 (70)
178 (90)
-10%
4900 (100)
2375%
Screen
3%
-33%
2%
-12%
-39%
-21%
Brightness middle
357
385
8%
369
3%
285
-20%
329
-8%
324
-9%
250
-30%
Brightness
351
394
12%
359
2%
281
-20%
310
-12%
315
-10%
247
-30%
Brightness Distribution
90
89
-1%
92
2%
90
0%
82
-9%
80
-11%
87
-3%
Black Level *
0.58
0.41
29%
0.7
-21%
0.18
69%
0.405
30%
0.59
-2%
0.43
26%
Contrast
616
939
52%
527
-14%
1583
157%
812
32%
549
-11%
581
-6%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.39
3.84
-13%
5.21
-54%
4.89
-44%
3.96
-17%
5.69
-68%
4.51
-33%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
6.76
7.51
-11%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.36
3.79
-61%
6.7
-184%
5.16
-119%
3.51
-49%
8.02
-240%
3.18
-35%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.23 99%
2.28 96%
2.15 102%
3.83 57%
2.3 96%
2.43 91%
CCT
6653 98%
6499 100%
7495 87%
7106 91%
6711 97%
6398 102%
6743 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
60
0%
60.5
1%
59
-2%
38.4
-36%
59
-2%
37
-38%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
92
-1%
93
0%
59.8
-36%
91
-2%
58
-38%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-30% / -14%
-33% / -33%
386% / 194%
-12% / -12%
-39% / -39%
-25% / -22%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

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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
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 9 ms rise
↘ 13 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
31 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 19 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 636 (maximum) ms. » 17 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 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 198 Hz ≤ 70 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 198 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 70 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 198 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor use under direct sunlight
Outdoor use under direct sunlight

Performance

The latest model generation of the Asus UX303 is available with Intel Core i5 as well as Core i7 CPUs. There are also configurations with a dedicated GeForce GPU like the UX303UB-R4100T we already reviewed, for instance. Our test model on the other hand uses a combination of Intel Core i7 processor, integrated graphics and 256 GB SSD. Thanks to the powerful components, the compact notebook is well-equipped for almost every scenario. The additional charge for a dedicated Nvidia GPU should pay off if you plan to play modern PC games.

Processor

The test model is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6500U processor from Intel's current Skylake generation. It has a nominal clock of 2.5 GHz but can reach up to 3.1 GHz (1 core) and 3.0 GHz (2 cores) via Turbo Boost. The UX303UA can utilize this performance boost both on mains as well as battery power – but the clock is reduced to the nominal frequency of 2.5 GHz when you stress both cores for a short while.

The benchmarks show that the UX303UA can slightly surpass its sibling with the dedicated Nvidia GPU and the same processor in the multi-core tests, which should be a result of the longer Turbo utilization. The predecessor with a Broadwell CPU falls slightly behind. The processor performance is therefore on the expected and good level.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
9064 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
13581 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6232 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9122
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10458
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4791
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
32.52 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.41 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.45 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.9 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
40.95 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
307 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
128 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
128 Points ∼60%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
129 Points ∼61%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
103 Points ∼48%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
125 Points ∼59%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
112 Points ∼53%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
114 Points ∼54%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
97 Points ∼46%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
307 Points ∼10%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
278 Points ∼9%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
302 Points ∼10%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
303 Points ∼10%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
296 Points ∼10%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
276 Points ∼9%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
291 Points ∼9%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
1.45 Points ∼59%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
1.47 Points ∼60%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1.4 Points ∼57%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
1.46 Points ∼60%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1.47 Points ∼60%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
1.3 Points ∼53%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1.13 Points ∼46%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
3.41 Points ∼13%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
3.14 Points ∼12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3.26 Points ∼12%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3.52 Points ∼13%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3.14 Points ∼12%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
3.01 Points ∼11%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3.2 Points ∼12%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
4791 Points ∼44%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
4874 Points ∼45%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4598 Points ∼42%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4881 Points ∼45%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4980 Points ∼46%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
4632 Points ∼43%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4397 Points ∼41%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
10458 Points ∼21%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
9869 Points ∼20%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
10040 Points ∼20%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
10973 Points ∼22%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
10008 Points ∼20%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
9606 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
9942 Points ∼20%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
82 ms * ∼2%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
80.2 ms * ∼2%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
99.6 ms * ∼2%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
85 ms * ∼2%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
96.7 ms * ∼2%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
89 ms * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The general system performance leaves a good impression since the system is always responsive and there aren't any long delays. This is possible thanks to the combination of SSD, dual-channel memory and Core i7 processor. This is also confirmed by the good PCMark scores, which usually surpass the rivals.

PCMark 7 Score
5334 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3454 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4083 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4256 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
5334 Points ∼62%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
5162 Points ∼60%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5006 Points ∼58%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
4977 Points ∼58%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
5205 Points ∼61%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
5103 Points ∼59%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
5197 Points ∼60%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
4256 Points ∼65%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
4353 Points ∼67%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4001 Points ∼61%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
3735 Points ∼57%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4367 Points ∼67%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
3675 Points ∼56%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
4155 Points ∼64%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
4083 Points ∼43%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
4042 Points ∼42%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3683 Points ∼39%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4432 Points ∼47%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
3691 Points ∼39%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
3454 Points ∼57%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
3320 Points ∼54%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3087 Points ∼51%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
2822 Points ∼46%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3579 Points ∼59%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
2895 Points ∼48%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
3209 Points ∼53%

Storage Devices

While the sibling UX303UB was equipped with a 512 GB SSD from Micron, the test model uses a 256 GB drive from SK Hynix. The measured transfer rates are on a decent level for a SATA-6 GB/s drive, but it cannot set any new records. The writing performance in particular falls behind bigger SSDs like the one from the UX303UB, for example.

We checked the performance of the integrated card reader with a Toshiba SDXC card (Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II). The maximum transfer rate was 84.6 MB/s, and the transfer rate of 250 jpg pictures (5 MB each) was 78.5 MB/s on average. These good results suggest a fast interface of the card reader.

SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
Sequential Read: 465 MB/s
Sequential Write: 321 MB/s
512K Read: 331.4 MB/s
512K Write: 321.2 MB/s
4K Read: 21.41 MB/s
4K Write: 74.63 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 325.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 262.95 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Zenbook UX303UA is not equipped with a dedicated graphics card, so the graphics output is handled by the integrated processor GPU Intel HD Graphics 520. The specifications of the chip can differ depending on the CPU model and the GPU can run at up to 1050 MHz. Our review unit manages a maximum clock of around 1000 MHz, but it can also drop to 900 MHz depending on the load scenario.

Our benchmarks do not reveal anomalies: The Zenbook manages good results on par with similarly equipped devices. The sibling with a dedicated GeForce 940M GPU is – as expected – up to 60 % faster in the benchmarks.

3DMark 11 Performance
1569 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
60415 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6374 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
867 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
1569 Points ∼5%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
2488 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1159 Points ∼4%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
1556 Points ∼5%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1459 Points ∼5%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
1220 Points ∼4%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
1487 Points ∼5%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
867 Points ∼3%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
1428 Points ∼5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
725 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
847 Points ∼3%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
903 Points ∼3%

Gaming Performance

Notebooks without dedicated GPUs are usually not considered good gaming machines, but since the integrated processor GPUs are getting faster, you can actually play modern titles on such systems when you can live with reduced graphics quality. You can, for example, actually play the ego-shooter BioShock Infinite (2013) smoothly depending on the settings. However, the integrated GPU is usually not powerful enough for modern titles in the native Full HD resolution. More benchmarks results of the Intel HD Graphics 520 are available in our gaming benchmark list.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 49.8329.2824.657.45fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

Noise development test model
Noise development test model

Despite its powerful i7 processor, the test model can impress with its very quiet operating noise. The system noise never surpasses 34.1 dB(A) even under maximum load – some gaming notebooks are already louder while idling. The fan is often completely deactivated when the Zenbook is idling, so it is basically silent – the only thing you can hear in quiet environments is a rhythmic chirping when the SSD is accessed.

Noise Level

Idle
31.3 / 31.3 / 31.5 dB(A)
Load
33.2 / 34.1 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31.3 dB(A)

Temperature

Stress test Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T (mains)
Stress test Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T (mains)

Despite the restrained fan noise, the Zenbook hardly gets warm even under load: We can only measure a lukewarm 40.3 °C. The sibling with the dedicated graphics card reaches much higher surface temperatures at up to 56.6 °C.

Our stress test will show whether these good results are made possible by throttling of the components. We stress the processor and the graphics card with the tools Prime95 and FurMark for more than one hour. It shows that the CPU quickly throttles to around 1.5 GHz (nominal clock 2.5 GHz), while the GPU can maintain between 900-950 MHz and is therefore hardly affected. That the CPU throttling is caused by the TDP limit of 15 Watts is also evident when you look at the temperatures: They reach up to 70 °C, so there is still plenty of headroom. The throttling is much lower when you only stress the CPU: The processor will run at 2.4 up to 2.5 GHz in this case. The behavior of the review unit does not change on battery power.

Max. Load
 26 °C
79 F
31.2 °C
88 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
 25.6 °C
78 F
36 °C
97 F
30.1 °C
86 F
 
 25.7 °C
78 F
38.1 °C
101 F
28.8 °C
84 F
 
Maximum: 38.1 °C = 101 F
Average: 30.5 °C = 87 F
40.3 °C
105 F
33.4 °C
92 F
27.6 °C
82 F
31.9 °C
89 F
32.1 °C
90 F
27.5 °C
82 F
29 °C
84 F
29.3 °C
85 F
26.9 °C
80 F
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 30.9 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  28 °C = 82 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 30.5 °C / 87 F, compared to the average of 30.8 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.1 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 35.9 °C / 97 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.3 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 40.3 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.1 °C / 77 F, compared to the device average of 30.8 °C / 87 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38.1 °C / 100.6 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-9.4 °C / -16.9 F).

Speakers

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The speakers have Bang & Olufsen branding, but you should not expect too much. While the sound itself does not distort at the highest volume, it is pretty tinny in general. This might be caused by the fact that the frequencies between around 70 and 220 Hz are clearly underrepresented, so a natural voice reproduction is hardly possible.

Power Consumption

The consumption measurements show that the components are very frugal. The notebook does not consume more than 7.9 Watts while idling at the highest luminance. But the UX303UA is also very frugal under load at up to 28 Watts. The sibling with the dedicated Nvidia GPU pulls much more power from the socket at up to 55 Watts.

The 65-Watt power adaptor is therefore more than sufficient for the consumption of the UX303UA.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.23 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.5 / 7.3 / 7.9 Watt
Load midlight 26.6 / 28 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

As expected, the realistic Wi-Fi runtime of the test model basically does not differ from the sibling Zenbook UX303UB, because the dedicated graphics card is not utilized in this case. The device lasts 6 hours and 47 minutes, which is a good result – but we still want to mention that the Broadwell-based predecessor lasts 100 minutes longer despite the same battery capacity of 50 Wh. Other high-priced competitors like the Apple MacBook Air 13 or HP Spectre 13 also manage much longer runtimes.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 25.10586.0.0)
6h 47min
Battery Runtime - WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256G32MND
407 min ∼117%
Asus Zenbook UX303UB-R4100T
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Micron M600 MTFDDAK512MBF
410 min ∼117%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
507 min ∼145%
Dell XPS 13 2016 i7 256GB QHD
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
432 min ∼124%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
620 min ∼178%
HP Spectre 13-4001ng x360
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, ADATA AXNS381E-256GM-B
542 min ∼155%
Acer Aspire V3-372-50LK
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
349 min ∼100%

Pros

+ high-quality metal chassis
+ decent input devices
+ very quiet operation
+ low surface temperatures
+ great system performance
+ bright display with good color reproduction

Cons

- low PWM frequency of the display
- quiet noises from the SSD
- CPU throttling during the stress test
- missing keyboard illumination

Verdict

In review: Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.
In review: Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.

The Skylake update of the Zenbook UX303 can, similar to its predecessor, win a lot of sympathy with its sophisticated metal surfaces, decent input devices as well as a bright panel, which is already well-calibrated ex-works. The test model also scores with a quiet operation in any scenario as well as a very moderate heat development of the case. The battery runtime in the realistic Wi-Fi test is also satisfying at 6:47 hours.

It is a bit unfortunate that we noticed a drastic throttling of the CPU performance during the stress test. This phenomenon should not be a big deal in practice though – where the test model convinces with a responsive operating system.

Another point of criticism is the pulse-width modulation at a pretty low frequency when you dim the display. This means we cannot rule out unnecessary irritations for sensitive users. We are also not sure why Asus does not equip the test model with background illumination for the keyboard, which is otherwise usual for the Zenbook UX303 series.

Despite these small issues, buyers of the Zenbook UX303UA will get a solid companion in practice that can convince with many positive characteristics.

Gamers should have a look at the slightly more expensive sibling Zenbook UX303UB, which comes with a dedicated GeForce 940M GPU besides the bigger SSD.

Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T - 02/17/2016 v5
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
90 /  98 → 92%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
52 / 80 → 65%
Weight
70 / 35-78 → 81%
Battery
89%
Display
87%
Games Performance
57 / 68 → 84%
Application Performance
84 / 87 → 97%
Temperature
94 / 91 → 100%
Noise
92%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
35 / 85 → 41%
Average
76%
85%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus Zenbook UX303UA-R4051T Subnotebook Review
Andreas Kilian, 2016-03- 7 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.