Asus ZenBook UX302LA laptop review

The UX302LA looks dazzling but can it deliver the goods as a reliable business computer?

Price
£999
  • Beautiful design; Full HD IPS screen; Haswell i7 processor
  • Aging 5400rpm hard drive with only 16GB SSD cache; Lowly 4GB RAM

Connectivity And battery Life

The slimline design of most Ultrabooks mean connectivity is often limited, but that's not the case with the UX302LA. 

The laptop includes 3 x USB 3 ports, along with both HDMI and mini-DisplayPort interfaces for connecting a larger display. There's no Ethernet port, but Asus includes a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor, as well as a DisplayPort-to-VGA.

The UX302LA also supports the latest high-speed 802.11ac wifi, and includes Intel's WiDi for streaming video to an external display. The only omission is an internal DVD drive, but in an era where almost everything is available digitally, this isn't a big miss.

Battery life is reasonable. Asus claims up to eight hours, but in our video playback tests with screen brightness set at 75 per cent and Wi-Fi turned off, it fell just short of six hours (355 minutes). This places the ZenBook 5th in our list.

Lighter use might allow you to stretch that to around seven hours but this is still a good three hours short of the MacBook Air. There's no option to replace the battery either, as the base is fixed on with eight Torx screws and the manual specifically discourages attempts at disassembly'.

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Overall

The UX302LA is undoubtedly one of the most elegant Windows Ultrabooks we've seen so far. Its performance is more than adequate for running Microsoft Office and other productivity software, and represents good value for a laptop in this price range.

Battery life isn't atrocious but it could be better. Perhaps the bigger concerns are the limited about of RAM (4GB) and the glossy screen

Verdict

The gleaming Gorilla Glass of the UX302LA will turn heads, and its performance, battery life and IPS display represent good value for money.

Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U (3.0GHz Turboboost)GPU: Intel HD 4400 (integrated)Memory: 4GB DDR3LStorage: 500GB hard disk (5400rpm) + 16GB SSDOptical: n/aConnectivity: Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, WiDiPorts: 3 x USB 3, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, SD card reader, 1 x headphone, Ethernet (via adaptor), VGA (via adaptor)Dimensions: 325 x 226 x 17.2mm (WxDxH)Weight: 1.5kg

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