Asus is counting on consumer love for thin and light with its latest entry into the ultrabook marketplace.
It's heralding its newest ZenBook UX305 as the world's slimmest, given its 0.48-inch girth, and weighing in at just 2.6 pounds. The 13.3-inch QHD is claimed to be "ultraportable" with a price tag starting at $699.
The wedge-shaped all-aluminum form factor even comes in a new color option, Obsidian Stone. But whether its sleek figure is enough to grab market attention and consumer adoration is yet to be seen as there are more than a few thin and light laptops on the shelves, though early reviews of the ZenBook UX 305 are making big note of its price, which is nearly half of some competitor's offerings.
The ATIV Book 9 from Samsung and Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro, which are compatible competitors, start at about $1,200, as one industry report notes.
The Asus option also features pretty decent battery life, which is likely another big user draw, given a 10-hour battery promise. And while it's small in nature, its display isn't too shoddy either with 1080p screen. Reportedly there's a higher-end version in the pipeline that will boast a 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen, though it's doubtful that will come in at under $700.
One reviewer calls the laptop "exceptional for the price," and "impressive" when it comes to specifications.
"At this price it's going to be very difficult to beat the UX305 considering what's under the hood, as this configuration contains double the memory and storage space compared to many ultraportables in this price class," states the tech review, which notes the laptop's HD 5300 graphics and the device's fanless design. In making it so quiet and fanless, ASUS is tapping what it calls its "IceCool" technology. The laptop sports 802.11ac wireless, a USB Ethernet adapter and three USB 3.0 ports. There's also a 720p webcam and the B&O ICEpower amplifier.
By all accounts the ZenBook is ultraportable, powerful and potentially a great fit for those on a tight laptop budget. Whether it's a contender to take on Apple's MacBook Air, however, remains to be seen.
In related news, the Taiwanese PC maker is also making a big stride with its smartphone strategy, announcing it plans to bring additional Android handsets to European and U.S. markets this year. Again, it's a bit early to tell whether such a move will put the vendor in the running considering the competitive marketplace, but given it seems to know consumers want good performance at a good price it may just win over some market share.
Last year it shipped 8.5 million smartphones and the goal is to double that figure this year.