Display

The UX305 comes with two display options. The base model is a 13.3 inch 1920x1080 IPS display, and no touch available. The display has a matte finish to it, which helps with glare. ASUS will also be offering a 3200x1800 Plane-to-Line Switching (PLS) model with a matte finish, and that model should be available in April or so. Optionally, both models can be equipped with touch.

The model that we received is the 1920x1080 version, and the display is from AU Optronics and is model AUO212D.  At 166 pixels per inch, it is a good resolution for this size of display. It is a full RGB stripe, which is pretty typical for this resolution and size panel.

The anti-glare coating causes the sub-pixel distortion seen on this image. The AU display is a 6-bit model, but that is unsurprising given the low cost of this device. As an IPS display, it has great viewing angles and is a big step up over the TN panels that you may still find at this level of cost.

To test the display accuracy and its ability to reproduce color, we use SpectralCal’s CalMAN 5 software suite, with an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter for brightness and contrast readings, and the X-Rite i1Pro spectrophotometer for color accuracy. 

Display - Max Brightness

Display - Black Levels

Display - Contrast Ratio

The maximum brightness for the UX305 is an impressive 376 nits. This combined with the anti-glare coating should make this a great laptop for any sort of bright room, or even outside. Even better, the panel has excellent black levels. ASUS rates the display for a contrast ratio of 500:1, but the model we received blew past that for a 1410:1 ratio which is fantastic.

Display - Grayscale Accuracy

Display - White Point

Unfortunately the great brightness and contrast is about where this display ends. The grayscale average is actually flattering the ASUS with a score of just over 9, because the error rate is between 12 and 13 from 70% brightness on. These are huge errors, since anything over 5 is a poor result, and really we are aiming for scores under three. The white point is off, and there is a huge green shift in the display by default.

Display - Saturation Accuracy

The saturation sweeps are not quite as bad as the grayscale, with the UX305 coming in just over 6. It is oversaturated on blue, undersaturated on red, and there is a green shift which pulls the yellows and teals off of their axis.

Display - Gamut Accuracy

Display - GMB Accuracy

The GMB test is a more comprehensive test, and it scores very poorly again with a score over seven. The worst offenders were of course the white levels, which are very off, and the flesh tones on this display all had errors way over many of the other colors.

This is a very poor result and throws us back several years in terms of calibration. As far as out of the box performance goes the display can hit the entire sRGB colorspace, and as an IPS display it has great viewing angles, but otherwise there is nothing good to be said about this display as far as out of the box color accuracy goes.

To see if the display can be improved on with aftermarket calibration, I have run the display through our calibration software to try to fix some of the errors we encountered. Generally icc profiles will only really have a major effect on the grayscale, but that is the worst part of this display so hopefully we will be able to fix some of these issues.

Once calibrated, the display is almost completely different. There is still a large error on 100% white, but the overall grayscale drops to 0.9582, with a bit too much green but it is barely noticeable on most levels. The gamut drops to just 3.1256, saturation plummets to 1.9571, and the GMB test comes in at 2.3099.

If ASUS would take the time to include an icc profile for this display from the factory, it would be a lot better. It is amazing to me that ASUS would ship this display with it so far out of calibration, especially when calibrated it is almost perfect. Yes, the $699 price point is a factor, but the hard work was already done in getting a display that can produce these numbers. The easy part is taking the time to make it do that.

Design and Chassis System Performance
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  • metayoshi - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    I may be in the niche group right now, but I am pretty excited at what these 5W chips bring to the table. These chips are really where Windows on a tablet will stand out in my opinion. With much better performance than you get with the crappy Atom line of CPUs and with way better performance than anything ARM will provide, and then add in the millions of legacy programs that you can use on a full x86 Windows platform, and in my opinion, it's a winning combination. With products like Dell's Venue 11 Pro already upgraded to Core M, and with the upcoming Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi also coming in with Core M, and all for around $800, I find it worth the extra $300 to get better performance and get full blown Windows instead of being stuck in the limited Chromebook world. At this point, I'm waiting on reviews, and both of Anandtech's Core M reviews so far show me what I expected.

    Of course, I agree that this platform is not for everybody. A gamer should build their own gaming desktop, or invest in something like the Razer Blade if they want mobility, and a content consumer should just go Android Tablet, iPad, or Chromebook. But personally, I already have a gaming desktop at home that is overpowered for the task in my mind and would benefit from being mobile, but the task is incompatible with anything but Windows, so my smartphone or non-Windows tablet can't even run to program, and Atom is far too weak, so something with Core M is ideal.

    In other words, if you don't want it, don't buy it. But to answer your top question, who asked for a 5 W notebook chip? I did.
    Reply
  • eanazag - Monday, March 30, 2015 - link

    I'm excited about these chips too because of battery life. For personal use I'd rather have some more gaming chops.

    I use a Surface Pro 1 for work and am happy with it except for battery life. The battery life isn't bad; I just know there is better out there and in consideration to my iPad I can't ditch the iPad.
    Reply
  • r00fus - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    Hyperbolic post is hyperbolic.

    Let us know how all your existing software runs on an ARM chip.

    Go buy yourself a monster laptop if you want. I like having an option of a slim, sleek fanless form factor, even if the performance isn't top notch.
    Reply
  • wetwareinterface - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    because the MAINSTREAM of the notebook market won't even use the paltry power this offers. the MAINSTREAM user needs a web browser, a picture viewer, video playback software and at rare intervals the ability to run office. 8GB of ram means they won't need an upgrade for a long time. Reply
  • V900 - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    But after a couple of weeks the MAINSTREAM will start to get annoyed with the slowdowns, the heat and the fact that you can't have more than a few programs running at once, whitout the laptop throttling down constantly. MAINSTREAM is especially annoyed how everything comes to a crawl when they're doing the virus scans. Because 8GB RAM doesn't change the fact that the puny 5 watt ceiling means that it spends half the time below 1 GHZ and with one core turned off.

    MAINSTREAM quickly realizes that much of the time, their iPad does a quicker and better job at looking something up online, or replying to an email.
    Reply
  • V900 - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    Hey now! Apple certainly didn't put this halfassed, asthmatic excuse of a CPU in the MacBook Air.

    It's the craptastic 12 inch MacBook that has to suffer the indignity of being powered by a CoreM.

    (And while I love Apple products and got an i-everything myself, both Apple and Apple fanboys have finally jumped the shark with the 12 inch MacBook. And the Koolaid-swillers can't believe how innovative it is: "It only has ONE port! So brave and futuristic!"
    Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, March 28, 2015 - link

    It's also fabless, with PCIe storage that flat FLIES, an excellent iGPU that'll help that meager Core m processor that is essentially as fast as the quickest core2duos (mobile)! As well, an operating system that scales your UI properly and sure, a single port. It's 'portable'. Not meant to be connected.
    You can certianly (& already) buy the proper docks and/or adaptors necessary to utilize USB 3, HDMI or VGA, & power it simultaneously. The traditional bottleneck for the 'mainstream' has NEVER been the CPU. Rather it's memory, storage sub system, OS or a combination of all at the above...including GPU. While you're an Apple fan, you should know just how great these displays and their HiDPI scaling through OS X (& iOS) has gotten since the release of the 2012 models and 'new' iPad (3).
    This IS the computer for the 'Apple fanboy Kool-Aid swillers' unlike you and I that obviously need a bit more horsepower, I/O or 'strength' from our laptops. Most, don't. They're doing the 'lifting' at work on a supplied work station. They're using their MacBook to edit family photos, videos, neither using Premier, AE, Smoke or even FCPx ...nor photoshop. They're using iPhoto and iMovie, NEITHER of which will be slowed down to the point of frustration as they're doing what they NEED it to. Surf the web, check email, Facebook and Twitter, watch a flick or listen to music, even ALL those processes, simultaneously running won't create any 'perceived slow down' by the end user of they're not in need of the processing power and amount of ports you somehow believe we all need.
    I get it. And own a pair of 15" rMBPs and they're the best computers I've ever owned, and to think it started on a IIe and monochrome display! That said, we get it, you're disgusted but guess what? ASUS literally JUST released the same 'halfassed, asthmatic of an excuse of a CPU' in their latest Ultralight line. Bit less money, but lesser IGPU, lesser storage speeds, and severely lacking display OOB without calibration. It's got your ports, but again I ask, Why?
    Why the ports? Why a quad core i7 Xeon with GPUs in SLI? When no one wants anything p,urged in to their laptop on the train, on the plane or on the go? No need to charge, it lasts ten hours --- but if u need it, buy the 13" rMBP. Same tech, all the IO you seem to need and not so anemic a CPU
    As an Apple fan myself, it's sad to see another 'fan' so clueless and ignorant to what a portable, laptop design should and shouldnt be (like the crappy hinge on the ASUS)
    And you get OS X, an operating system built and 'intended' for maximum end user enjoyment and Performance --- 'real or perceived', it's irrelevant.
    It's always nice to leave work at home
    Reply
  • Haravikk - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    Who asked for a 5W notebook chip? To me the answer is anyone concerned about battery life and/or size; having to put a fan in a notebook adds to its bulk, not to mention making noise, reducing room for batteries and, if the processor needs a fan, reducing that battery life even further.

    Granted the screens are really the most demanding component these days, especially high-densisty screens requiring stronger backlights, but hopefully this will go down too (and you can run at reduced brightness to get some extra time out of the battery). But yeah; battery life improvements require everything to get more efficient, and that includes the processor. It might not be a massive leap in performance (or an improvement at all, depending upon what you're doing with it), but the efficiency improvements are enormous.
    Reply
  • ragenalien - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    Because it's easier for intel to improve the power to performance ratio than merely making the chips faster with the same power. They've been doing this since sandy-bridge and it doesn't seem like they'll change that any time soon. Reply
  • frodbonzi - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - link

    Except this laptop is $699.... not $1300...And for that "extra" $200, you get a thin, shiny laptop capable of doing 99% of what the "normal" user will want...

    You want to play uber games... buy an Alienware 18!
    Reply

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