Asus Zenbook UX305 Is Easy on the Eyes and the Wallet

Over the last four years, Ultrabooks -- a category created by chip manufacturer Intel to denote high-end, small form-factor laptops with relatively long battery life -- have grown from just 1.8 percent of global notebook units to a projected 42.7 percent for 2015.

Much of that success is attributable to the enormous popularity of the MacBook Air, which was projected to sell more than 10 million units in 2013 alone. Ever since Steve Jobs pulled the original Air out of an interoffice envelope, PC manufacturers have been scrambling to develop laptop models which rival the Air in size, weight, resolution and performance.

Eagerly Awaited Zenbook UX305

One of the latest entrants in the Macbook Air-killer category was first introduced by laptop manufacturer Asus at IFA 2014 last September. Dubbed the Zenbook UX305, the product was teased but not made available. The UX305 was re-introduced at CES in January 2015, and is now finally available for purchase at an attractive price.

The visual appeal of the UX305 is immediately obvious. The computer consists of an aluminum shell that's just over a half-inch thick with a black finish that Asus has dubbed "Obsidian." As the company described its new machine in an introductory press release, "[a] refined new shape that incorporates the DNA of the classic Zenbook gives the UX305 a subtle new wedge design with elegantly-tapered and smooth diamond-cut edges that emphasize the sleek ultra-thin chassis."

Inside is an Intel Core M-5Y10 processor, a low-power CPU that promises an estimated 5 to 8 hours of battery life per charge. Other key specifications include a 13.3-inch HD display (1920x1080), 256 GB SSD storage, and 8 GB of RAM. Asus says that a QHD+ screen (3200x1800) touchscreen option will be available at some point in the future, but has not announced a date yet.

Carrying the Zenbook is well...

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