There s no denying the heritage of this new Zenbook. The UX302L is unmistakably Asus, the overall design is almost identical to the original Zenbook UX32A, just a tiny bit bigger and heavier. The lid has also acquired a shinier blue appearance, courtesy of a Gorilla Glass 3 coating, but the rest it the classic Asus bluish brushed aluminum. The glass top is a bit of a fingerprint magnet but, it cleans up easily.
The UX302 comes with a 1920 x 1080 IPS 10 point touch screen. The screen resolution is a bit pedestrian among current Ultrabooks but is is bright and sharp with an impressive angle of view. The screen is driven by a Nvidia Geforce 703m graphics chip which allows for pretty decent game play.
My test unit is equipped with a pretty speedy Fourth Generation Intel Core™ i7-4500U processor with 8Gb of RAM as well as a 500Gb hard drive with a 16Gb SSD so it is a pretty snappy performer. Startup from cold is about 15 seconds and it wakes up from sleep in about a second. While it is not quite as speedy as a similar unit equipped with a SSD only it does load applications pretty quickly. I found the two quiet fans kept the UX302L cool even under the most stressful situations.
The Keyboard is spacious and comfortable to use, I had no trouble touch typing on it. The touchpad however is a bit quirky. I found it awkward to use and at times too sensitive; it would often surprise me by opening apps as I slid the cursor over them. The 10 point touch screen was perfect, behaving as you would expect with Windows 8.1.
The combination of the Haswell processor and good power management allowed me a full day of mixed use on a battery charge this, despite the considerable power under the hood.
The Asus Zenbook UX302L is a solid well built notebook with excellent performance but a bit expensive at $1399.