It's been over a year, but the Asus Zenbook UX305 ultrabook is finally on its way. Announced last September at the IFA show in Berlin, Asus announced Monday that its new super-slim laptop is available to order now at the wallet-friendly price of $699.
The Asus Zenbook UX305 comes in two configurations: one with a matte, anti-glare 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display and another, claimed by Asus to be the world's slimmest 13.3-inch laptop with a QHD+ display touchscreen, sports a 3200x1800 resolution. The latter model has a juicier $999 price point and an April release date.
So let's focus on the first model, the Asus UX305FA-ASM1: it also comes with a 256GB solid-state drive, 8GB of memory, a modest GPU in the Intel HD Graphics 5300, and the Windows 8.1 operating system. As for ports, it includes three USB 3.0 ports, a 2-in-1 card reeader for SD and SDHC formats, a microphone-in/headphne-out jack, one micro HDMI port and of course, the AC adapter plug. It weighs 2.6 pounds and Asus claims a battery life up to ten hours. And to give you an idea how skinny the Asus UX305FA-ASM1 is, its thinnest point is 12.3mm. Both models are powered by the new Intel Core M, a processor that was built for ultra-thin, fanless notebooks.
As you can see by the specs, the ultrabook is meant for casual users who want to perform everyday tasks like Internet browsing, email checking and document editing. The sleek form factor and long battery life ought to accommodate all that easily.
For comparison to other Core M laptops, the Samsung ATIV Book starts at $1,200 and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro goes for $1,299 and up. Factor in the MacBook Air, the dominant ultra-thin-and-light notebook on the market, and the Asus UX305FA-ASM1, at $699 is $200 less than the 11-inch MacBook Air, and $300 less than Apple's 13-inch model. The Zenbook also has more RAM, a larger storage drive and a screen with a higher resolution than the 13-inch MacBook. With those prices and factors in mind the new Asus Zenbooks look like they might be worth the wait.