Ultrabooks like ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T are often wanted by people who use their laptops for heavy-duty stuff but also travel with them. Indeed, in this ASUS, there are powerful components such as the latest i5-5200U processor, 8GB RAM and a fast 256GB solid-state drive. The screen size is 13.3″ with the sweet Full HD support, so portability of this item should be great. But negatives are not always so obvious so we must take a closer look at this item to reveal them. Read on to find out if the pros of this notebook outweigh its cons or not.
Does it run programs without lagging?
ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T has a lot of performance, that must be said. You’re greeted with i5-5200U processor of two cores, 2.2GHz base speed and 2.7GHz max turbo frequency. Belonging to the Broadwell architecture, this chip is a so-called 5th generation processor and it was released only some months ago. The unit gets a decent ~3500 CPU Mark score, placing it well ahead of older Core i3s and even some Core i5s. Usually power users favor i5s or i7s because of their excellent performance, so if you will be running complex software, the i5-5200U should be a good choice.
The laptop comes with 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz system memory. The distribution is not typical, 4GB seems to be soldered on the mainboard while another 4GB is installed on a replaceable stick. There are no free slots, which means the maximum this laptop accepts is 12GB if you replace the 4GB stick with a bigger 8GB one.
Storage drive is golden here, a 256GB solid-state drive. From what I can tell, it’s a half length mSATA drive so you’ll need to find similar drive if you’re planning to upgrade. ASUS officially says the storage drive swap is not supported, but I’ve read people do it. So with a little knowledge you can perform the upgrade it, too.
How about games?
ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T is not a true gaming laptop because there is no dedicated graphics card installed. You’ll be left with the processor-integrated Intel HD 5500. It’s not bad, in fact you can run most games on it, but enjoy just mediocre frame rates with lower settings. For example, folks have been successfully running GTA V and reaching ~20FPS on medium details and 1366×768. If your gaming repertoire consists of easier titles, such as World of Warcraft or browser-based games, you will have no problems with the frame rates.
Does it have a decent screen?
The screen seems to be the better part of this laptop. It’s a 13.3″ display with nice 1920×1080 resolution and IPS panel. Hence, professionals and power users should like this. Also touch is supported here, although the display doesn’t rotate 360 degrees, meaning it can’t be used as a real tablet.
What things can I connect to it?
You’ll be able to plug in the usual peripherals to ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T. It features three USB 3.0 ports – often there are less of those and more of USB 2.0 so a plus point must be given here. You’ll also find microHDMI and miniDP ports on the laptop, they’re there for an HDTV or desktop monitor.
Networking is handled by an excellent 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card. RJ-45 (cable) is not supported by default, but a cheap USB adapter can always be used for that.
Also DVD drive is something this computer does not have. A way around this is to use an external optical drive. Another thing is to use the built-in SD card reader for your files on memory cards.
The laptop has 1MP webcam ready for your video chat sessions on Skype.
ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T isn’t a heavy laptop, it weighs just 3.2 pounds. Taking such a lightweight 13.3″ unit on your travels is not a problem. The included 3-cell battery is also solid, several people have been getting 6 hours with light to moderate loads.
It looks like the keyboard is a backlit one. Dedicated numpad is not available because of the small computer size.
ASUS Zenbook UX303LA-DS52T is a laptop that exceeds the requirements of an everyday user, thus I’d recommend it mostly for power users and SMB offices. There’s enough performance in the CPU and RAM to run special programs, such as VirtualBox, Photoshop and some video editors. The solid-state drive will increase system performance a big time and also decrease boot-up time to less than ten seconds. Games will work as well, if only on low details thanks to integrated graphics card. If this kind of a set-up sounds appealing to you, checking this ASUS out further might be a good idea.