Early deal of the week: Asus’ ZenBook UX305 for $599

We usually do deals posts on Friday, but this is too good to pass up. The Microsoft Store has a sweet discount on Asus' ZenBook UX305. Less than half an inch thick, this ultra-slim notebook packs a Core M-5Y10 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.3" IPS display with a 1080p resolution. It's a Signature Edition, too, so there's no unecessary software bloat. The asking price usually starts $699, but promo code PCGRAD15 brings the total down to only $599 with free shipping.

For those keeping score, that's less than half the price of the new MacBook—with three times the number of USB ports. Just sayin'.

To get the deal, use the "PC only" option, which ditches the default listing's one-year trial for Office 365. The PC + Office combo is still eligible for the $100 discount if you want to shell out an extra $80 for Office. Thanks to Slickdeals for the tip.

Note from Scott: This is the laptop I bought for myself not long ago. It's a steal at $699—all-metal construction, fanless, gorgeous display, good keyboard and touchpad, thin, light, good battery life. 

Also, did I mention, perhaps the world's thinnest laptop?

Yeah, it's nice. Worth considering if you're in the market. Hard to believe they've discounted it further.

Comments closed
    • playboysmoov
    • 5 years ago

    I think the real deal is the Asus Zenbook UX303LA-US51T Signature Edition. It comes with a 13.3 QHD (3200×1800) screen and the new hotness from intel the Core i5-5200U with the same ram and SSD.. the downside is that it is $200 bucks more ($899), with the same promo code. But it’s still cheaper than a macbook pro/macbook, and macbook air of same specs.

    [url=http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/ASUS-Zenbook-UX303LA-US51T-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.313371600<]Here[/url<] is the link.

    • Blytz
    • 5 years ago

    Anyone played LOL on one of these. Plan to upgrade my wife’s aging hp dv3 with one as she’s got no use for a power house (or a gaming laptop)

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      Saw some videos of it, it’s not very fun running on this. Core M is not where you want to be for even LoL.

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3VDcUP60sE[/url<]

        • Blytz
        • 5 years ago

        cool, thank you for that, guess I’ll get it for her and stick to my desktop for gaming…

    • tipoo
    • 5 years ago

    Pretty sweet deal, that laptops great even at its original price. Though be mindful of what it is, with 5W to work with, you’re looking at high end Core 2 Duo mobile performance and a GPU around the HD Graphics 4000. Gaming, video editing, etc, not the best match for this.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Turbo should make a big difference in short-term tasks (like rendering a website)

        • tipoo
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, that’s what I was getting at, it’s perfectly reasonable for bursty work, some basic Office, web browsing, etc, anything that requires a sustained load will have it drop back to the base clocks which are pretty low. Unlike higher wattage parts where they can stay at turbo for a very long time.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 5 years ago

    I plan on using this for software development on-the-go. So I have two questions for anyone with experience with this machine (well, 3 technically, but the trackpad question was already asked and answered):

    1). How is the keyboard? I find I really like the keyboard on the old Macbook Pro I inherited, and I’m wondering if the UX305 is competitive in terms of feedback, clickiness and key travel.

    2). How’s multitasking? I typically use Notepad++, Sublime Text, PuTTY, and Filezilla for my development, none of which are that intensive. I do however tend to have a few Chrome or Firefox instances running with ALOT of tabs between them. I know how easily that can cripple a system so I’m wondering how well this laptop will hold up.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]I do however tend to have a few Chrome or Firefox instances running with ALOT of tabs between them. I know how easily that can cripple a system so I'm wondering how well this laptop will hold up.[/quote<] This is one of my concerns as well... 10+ ad-heavy tabs in Chrome brings my chromebook to its knees, and it has a Haswell in it. I sure hope that the reason is its 2GB RAM instead of the CPU, which would mean that this 8GB UX305 might be able to handle it a little better. Then again, having a Windows system allows me to use Firefox with Ad/Flash blockers, while Google's ChromeOS prefers you watch/read any/all ads that can fit into your screen. That alone should help a lot..

        • tipoo
        • 5 years ago

        Reviews of it said it did well with multitabbing. The 8GB RAM and the SSD as default help with that, and web rendering is bursty work which Core M is good at.

        • cygnus1
        • 5 years ago

        I’ve had too many issues with the Chrome variation of flash crushing my systems with it’s numerous memory leaks. If you don’t use use a flash blocking extension with Chrome, there’s pretty much no way to keep 50+ tabs open, which I have occasion to do.

    • Ochadd
    • 5 years ago

    I just went to pull the trigger on one and they’re out of stock.

    • Welch
    • 5 years ago

    WARNING:

    I have been setting this ultrabook up for a customer over the course of a day (moving tons of files from an OLD computer).

    Long of the short is that I have been unable to get the micro-HDMI port to work on a Samsung, Dell or Asus monitor with HDMI including a Samsung 50″ TV. I thought maybe it was just software settings, or it was disabled in BIOS or perhaps because its micro-hdmi that its not putting out enough signal going to full HDMI to be recognized by these displays. After attempting to get it to work with my Dell 24″ monitor the screen turned pink/purple on the Asus UX305. Multiple restarts, changing settings in Intels and Windows default display pages does nothing.

    I now believe this unit of mine has something faulty going on with it, not just drivers. I noticed there were other reviews on Amazon regarding some issue (none with display problems). Granted, some of the posts as BS like the guy who claims to have bought 6 replacement power adapters already.

    Those reviews/bashes aside though, I’m thinking we may be seeing some quality control issues here or other problems with this design. It really is the first laptop of its kind for Asus, so who knows what sort of issues you may see down a short road with this device.

    I’m going to be sending this unit back to Amazon as the customer can’t afford to have something fail on him. Sad, REALLY had high hopes for this laptop and even wanted to pickup on one for myself.

      • cygnus1
      • 5 years ago

      You didn’t mention swapping out whatever micro-HDMI cable/adapter/dongle you’re using so I’m going to assume you haven’t done that. You should really try that before you decide the laptop is faulty.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    Looks really nice. I wish it had a Trackpoint like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, I’d probably be sold.

    Great specs for the price and the build quality doesn’t look bad either.

    • CampinCarl
    • 5 years ago

    So I’m looking around for benchmarks now…but could I play something, like, Starcraft 2, Homeworld Remastered, or Space Engineers on this thing?

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      Yep. Performance feels in the “Ivy/Haswell Celeron CPU with HD4000” graphics ballpark.

      Starcraft2 runs on a slow Core2 Duo and is perfectly reasonable on even HD2000 graphics, but you can just about play anything – even demanding titles – if you are okay with 20fps or so:
      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=HD5300+gameplay[/url<]

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      It can run, it’s just not fantastic. Think high end Core 2 Duo mobile and HD Graphics 4000. The thermal envelope of 5W just doesn’t allow for burst speeds through most gaming, unlike higher TDP chips. You’d be looking at 720p and low most likely, and still not stellar frame rates. If you want to game, just get a standard wattage laptop rather than these Core M ultrabook-type-things (is that even what they’re called, or is that just the 15W ones?)

    • Welch
    • 5 years ago

    DAMNIT…. I have one sitting in front of me right this second, in the way of my desktop keyboard non-the-less. Bought it at $699.99 too!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      How long ago? You can check with your credit card for purchase price protection.

    • NeelyCam
    • 5 years ago

    Oops. Looks like I pulled the trigger on UX305.

    Guize – how likely do you think it is that I’ll return it because of touchpad issues? 30% 50%? 70%?

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 5 years ago

      Oh man! I hope it is 0%…

      • Damage
      • 5 years ago

      Touchpad has been surprisingly decent for me. Not ideal, but good.

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        How’s the scrolling up/down in Chrome? That’s the one thing that’s been breaking the camel’s back for me, so to speak…

        Also, Microsoftstore reviews mention periodic freezes/crashes. Have you had issues with freezing?

          • Damage
          • 5 years ago

          Good Chrome scrolling is a thing I value, and I find it satisfactory here.

          No freezes. I’d return mine if it did that, because it’s not normal.

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      66%

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        (almost) the number of the beast

          • cygnus1
          • 5 years ago

          66.6?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      100%, although it may not be due solely to the trackpad. You’ll never be happy with a laptop based on the multiyear saga of buys and returns you’ve posted about.

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        Thank you, mister glass half empty.

        Positive attitude – it’s good for your soul. (Before it gets crushed by another huge disappointment)

      • cygnus1
      • 5 years ago

      100% chance you’ll return it, but not because of the trackpad, because of the lack of OS X

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        Now, why would I do that…?

    • MrJP
    • 5 years ago

    Still £649 on the UK Microsoft store unfortunately. That’s $990…

      • Duck
      • 5 years ago

      With the sales tax inflating the price by 20% it is. Otherwise it’s about $50/£30 more expensive in the UK compared to the regular $699 price.

      Considering it comes with free national healthcare with unlimited levels of aftercare (even after you’ve paid privately for some procedure or treatment), it’s a steal.

        • MrJP
        • 5 years ago

        While I agree with your point that our public services aren’t bad for the tax we pay (though “unlimited” is not in reality true as there’s typically a six month wait for non-urgent hospital or consultant treatment), your math(s) is a bit off.

        Without the 20% VAT, it would still be £540, which is $820 at current exchange rates. That’s still nearly 20% on top of the non-discounted US price, or $120 for a power lead with a different plug if you want to look at it that way. Seems strange when the cheap HP tablets that were on sale earlier this year were almost a straight conversion from the US price (allowing for tax).

        Having said all that, I really like my Asus T100TA, so I’d still be tempted if I was in the market for something like this.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 5 years ago

    Thanks for the heads up. Had a friend looking for a laptop and this is perfect!

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    Also the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009769<]Acer XG270HU 27" 1440p FreeSync monitor[/url<] is on newegg for $480. That's a VERY competitive price considering it's 144Hz.

      • bill94el
      • 5 years ago

      Agreed that its a very good deal, but what’s up with that atrocious red bezel…gadzooks!

        • brucethemoose
        • 5 years ago

        Better for gaming, obviously.

        • Melvar
        • 5 years ago

        That’s Acer’s way of letting you know you need to leave your dignity at the door if you want to deal with their gaming monitors.

        I’ll never buy one again. Asus either. They care too little about build quality.

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    Yeah, but no osx, so no deal.

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      Lol

      • flip-mode
      • 5 years ago

      You don’t deserve those downvotes, bro, for straight up riffing on something mentioned in the article.

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      Actually, if a reliable hackintosh could work on this I’d be even more excited about this laptop. With the Macbook also using Core M the graphics drivers may not be an issue. Usually that and the wifi are the two pains.

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