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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  • Nuke_off - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    It seems they use an Core M 5Y10 which includes a HD 5300.
  • MadeOfDirt - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    I hope that ASUS will produce a laptop that is the ideal road machine for those of us who have virtual offices and need high portability and long battery life. Intel M processors might be the key, but will the UX305 fit the bill?

    A few years ago ASUS produced the superb UL30A, which even today when retrofitted with an SSD drive and a wireless AC card performs admirably well with 10-12 hrs. battery life and weighs approximately 1.4 Kg. with standard office apps running well. Once you have true all day battery on a 3 lb. or less platform, it is hard to go back. Portability is even better when you consider that most of the time, you don't need to carry the charger.

    Unfortunately, for the last 4 years, most laptops fall into two categories; either they are cheap, bulky and heavy or they are expensive and have more power-user features than required for the mobile business user. There have been very few middle-ground offerings that are very portable with all day batteries.

    What is needed is a mid-priced, high quality, laptop with good computing power, fast startup and second to none battery life all on a sub 3 lb. platform. We are not talking bare bones either since most mobile small businesses users also share the device with their personal use. With this in mind, some tactical nice features would be great such as a decent high definition screen without going overboard trying to have the highest res touch screen available.

    Since ASUS has a history of producing such a product, those of us who run mobile businesses are turning to them for a solution for our underrepresented market segment.

    A suggested configuration would be:
    M Processor
    250-256 GB SSD
    1080P or better screen
    touch-screen NOT required
    wireless AC
    USB 3 ports
    8 GB RAM or better
    No DVD
    True all day battery life (Note that an 8 hr. rating is NOT good enough)

    I hope that ASUS reads this forum.
  • MadeOfDirt - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    To follow up on my earlier comment about the need for a long battery life Ultralite for mobile businesses, I hope that ASUS will take a look at their competitor: Samsung ATIV Book 9 2014. They almost got it right. They are boasting huge 14 hr. battery life, but unfortunately, at 4 lbs., t is simply to heavy. I should have also added to the ideal configuration list that it would be great to have changeable SSD using either a 2.5" or mSATA form factor so we can use the SSD drives that we prefer since I have no idea what SSD ASUS uses. One of the best things about the Samsung competition is that, presumably, they use Samsung SSDs, which are among the best in performance and are definitely the best for power consumption. Ca you get a Samsung SSD in a UX305?
  • deeps6x - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Someone is going to do it right. Core M, 1080P MATTE screen, 256GB (non-proprietary connection) SSD. Proper power connector (a la macbook).

    Too bad it doesn't appear to be Asus with a Zenbook. I love my UX31A, but it is breaking down.

    Looks like the replacement won't be from Asus.
  • deeps6x - Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - link

    Nobody needs QHD+, not on such a small screen. At least, not until MS fixes the Windows scaling issues.

    To all manufacturers, quit trying to 'check marketing boxes' and focus more on what your customers want and need! Since I'm ranting, NO MORE TOUCH panels. Should all be matte on this format of a laptop. Touch is great, on tablets, convertibles, super heavy laptops with super strong hinges, but definitely NOT on this small ultrabook format.

    Other than that, very nice looking laptop. I just wish the screen didn't have such a large border.

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