ASUS' Zenbook UX305: Core M and QHD+by Jarred Walton on September 3, 2014 6:27 PM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
- Core M
- IFA 2014
Today at IFA ASUS announced a couple of new laptops. The first continues the refinement of the Zenbook line with an update geared around Intel's Core M line of processors. Andrei is at IFA Berlin and can hopefully provide some hands-on impressions later, but the design language looks similar to the existing 13.3" Zenbook. The big news outside of the Core M processor is that the display has been upgraded yet again, this time to a 3200x1800 QHD+ panel. Other aspects include three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, micro-HDMI, and 802.11ac WiFi connectivity.
We'll have more information on the Core M processors as well coming next week at IDF, but in the meantime it's interesting to note that ASUS has made the switch from the U-series line of Intel CPUs to what is effectively the Y-series Broadwell replacement. This is even more surprising as the UX301 shipped with the Core i7-4558U, which was a 28W CPU with a GT3-based Iris Graphics 5100 GPU. What we know of Core M suggests that the TDP has been cut way down, and the UX305 may actually be fanless, though it's likely Intel will have configurable TDP support as well. In any case, we may very well see a regression in performance from the UX301 to the UX305, though battery life should improve in the process.
Pricing and availability on the UX305 has not been announced, but there should be 128GB and 256GB SSD models, and likely multiple CPU SKUs. We'd expect the price to be similar to the existing UX301 – i.e. $1500+, depending on model – but the switch to Core M may result in prices being closer to $1000. For students and businesses that need highly portable laptops, the UX305 may be exactly what they want.
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dunemessiah - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkIf you look at the screenshots from other sites, the vents on the bottom are missing. Either they went the Apple route and are drawing air from the vents or this is indeed the Core M, which is suited for fanless devices.
dunemessiah - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkDrawing air from the hinge*
JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkOh, we know for sure it's Core M, and given the TDP it could very well be fanless -- after all, Intel is talking about fanless 11.6" tablets with Core M, so a 13.3" laptop should be easy enough. Performance is the real question.
IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkBased on what Intel said on the Core M presentation, the CPU performance may not be too far off. The GPU is the question. They've noted improved CPU performance before, but nothing about the GPU.
It's probably worth it for them since the UX301 was way too expensive. The Iris 5100 Graphics wasn't all that great either. 10-20% gain over HD 5000 on a device costing $1500-2000 is a ripoff.
fokka - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linklooks like micro HDMI to me.
and even with the "lowly" core-m, seeing the price of the current 1440p zenbook, i somehow doubt this thing will be under 1500 bucks.
fanless sounds great though (no pun) and i don't mind the absence of a touchscreen, but i think they really should have sticked with a 1080p screen, for battery life's sake. also, coupling a 1800p screen to a ULV CPU with low power graphics just seems wrong to me.
Hulk - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkI just hope it's at least 8GB RAM.
IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkI can believe the $1000 price. The Asus Transformer Book Chi with 25x16 display is said to aim for $799 price. So with the next generation, the cost adder for high res displays are really going down.
Also there will be absolutely no issues running 1800p display, even for Atom's graphics, of course unless you are doing anything intensive 3D.
Bob Todd - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - linkWith a screen this small or smaller, I'd rather have the 1800p to use 200% scaling. 1080p at this size can make some desktop elements pretty small (i.e. using Outlook). I'd rather deal with the slow progression of app updates to support the high DPI, and have the flexibility for a really good looking 900p effective resolution or up to 1800p when I need a lot of screen real estate.
dragantoe - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkExcellent, if it really is Core M then it should throttle when gaming, making this a serious choice for a consumer around $1000 as the 5100 is more than enough to play most games
MadMan007 - Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - linkThe question with such a premium laptop is whether each component will be very good, or if there will be one 'deal breaker' component. I am thinking in particular about the high DPI screen - there is a history of yellow-tinted high DPI panels which seems to be a cost-cutting measure. Asus has denied any issue despite massive evidence. Will this premium panel be defective in this way too?