The Asus Zenbook UX305 made a bit of a splash when it launched earlier this year thanks to the thin-and-light laptop’s combination of a low price tag and surprisingly strong specs.

Now it looks like Asus is getting ready to launch an updated model featuring Intel’s next-gen Core M processor based on “Skylake” architecture.

zenbook back

Like the original Zenbook UX305, the new model features a 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, but the new model will feature a Core M-6Y54 processor which should offer better graphics performance than the Core M-5Y10 chip in the original model.

As Notebook Italia notes, there are a number of stores with product pages for the new model, showing several different configurations. It looks like Asus will offer some models with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state storage, and other models with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Both versions will ship with Windows 10 software and feature 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth.

Some models also seem to feature touchscreen displays, which might be a mixed blessing: one of the things that helped set the first-gen Zenbook UX305 apart was the fact that it had a matte, non-glossy display. Most devices with touchscreens feature glossy screens.

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22 replies on “Next-gen Asus Zenbook UX305 to feature Core M Skylake CPU”

  1. Fantastic. I’ve been wanting to get the ux305 for months but was waiting for Skylake. The second this is released, I’m ordering one. My 2011 Macbook air needs to go!

  2. I was going to order a ux305 tomorrow. I would be ordering from Ireland where we use the UK keyboard so this would unfortunately mean only a 128 GB SSD rather than 256 GB like the US version. Even so, I was going to order…

    I could wait a few weeks if this new version with Core M-6Y54 and 256 GB SSD is going to be released within that time. Anyone any idea how soon they are likely to release it?

    1. Probably october. It’s still worth the wait though. I’m using a macbook air from 2011 with %60 of the screen cracked and unusable. Hope that makes your wait feel better 🙂

  3. Throw some backlight and some USB Type-C and I’ll buy it. I really love everything of its description except the lack of backlight. Otherwise I’ll get a Zenbook Prime with last gen chip, since mine’s keyboard recently died

  4. It might just be me, but “Core M” has essentially the same mouthfeel for me as “2008-era Atom” at this point. Slower, not much better power efficiency, and not much cost difference from better options. Hmm, gee, should I get one of these, or an i5?

    Heck, why not get a new Atom, if all you need to do is light work / web surfing? They’re cheaper, have about the same processing power as a four-core Core 2 chip (nothing to sneeze at), and are *actually* power efficient. The next generation of Core M needs to do a LOT better.

    That said, Asus ought to throw a keyboard backlight into these things: there’s no excuse for a laptop form-factor machine over $500 to not have one at this point. I was pretty surprised when the first iteration didn’t.

    1. Yeah, I think MS made the right decision in using Atom Cherry Trail for the Surface 3, and keeping to Intel Core for the Pro. Core M seems too disappointing if you need the CPU power, and too expensive if you don’t. Still, Asus have options with those too.

    2. No, not really. Core M is about the same performance of a 2012 Core i5. This has been proven again and again, read Anandtech, Tech Report and other sites. It is only slower if you do constant processing (as in, video processing that takes longer times), if you do the “normal” thing (open programs, some light photoshop, etc) it will feel very similar to a contemporary i5.

      Atom is way, WAY more underpowered than a Core M. Also, you’re not being realistic: Asus has been selling the ux305 with 8gb of ram and 256 of SSD with a 1080p screen for 699, whereas Dell and HP still give you 4gb/128 ssd for 799/899. The asus is already a good deal no matter how you look at it (again, read online reviews, everybody has been saying this for the past few months).

      1. I did read the reports, which is what has informed my opinion. Your use case clearly differs; you have different needs. Opening programs and light Photoshop is not average use for me. I use my processors for… processing. An i5 wins.

        Atom *is* way more underpowered than Core M. It also is *way* cheaper than a Core M, and excels at the very same tasks you claim Core M is meant for. I can surf the web, do some light coding, even run games and do mild image processing – and certainly “open programs” pretty quickly – on my Atom. With better battery life. At a fraction of the price.

        For the laptop – yes, I’ve also read the reviews. Again, they’ve informed my opinion. And no one’s saying the Asus isn’t a decent deal. I’m saying the processor is a disappointment for people who don’t only need short bursts of speed. I’d prefer a full Core option. I’ll take the XPS 13 (with, notably, a real i5) at a higher price over a Core M any day.

        1. All I meant was that M actually comes closer to i series than it does to Atom. Atom is considerably slower than M – I’ve used both – but you’re right, depending on use patterns, many can get away with Atom. However, people who have a usage similar to mine can get a way with M and still pay less than an i series equivalent. I thought of the XPS 13 too, but the 4gb/128gb is too little when you compare to the UX305 – in my case, that is. I’ll run out of RAM much faster than I will need prolonged cpu processing. M was build for users like me. M is clearly not for users like you, you’ll be much better served with i series, I agree.

  5. I hope the XPS 15/13 get a Skylake refresh too, specifically the 15 with an infinity display.

      1. Nice. Any word on the Dell XPS 15 with an updated infinity display though? They’ve been teasing it for MONTHS as a model that should ship with Windows 10.

  6. No mention of the “Low Price Tag”. How low are we talking here? It would have to be priced under $600 for me to consider this instead of a MacBook Air.

    1. I love the MBA, but Apple really needs to update the display panel to something a little more modern (no need for a retina display IMO, just a full HD screen would already be a huge improvement).

    2. Anyone who buys that thing with its nasty low-res TN panel has no concept of value or quality.

  7. still fanless?

    When will we be seeing performance comparisons with the old Core-M’s? Seems like every review said that the M is about 1 or 2 iterations from being a great chip.

  8. I’ve been putting off buying a laptop for too long, but I’m glad I skipped the Broadwell generation (as enticing as the UX305 was).

    Lets just hope the 8gb/256gb model is going to be sold at the same $699

    1. If anything the 4GB and 128GB combo could/should be less than $699. With the new chip and wifi a/c … very tempting.

    2. I would expect they’ll keep the 8gb/256gb model at the exact same $699 or it will no longer be such a good deal. That means the 4gb/128gb should go for $599 which, at this sice/weight will be an instant success for Asus.

      If they want to keep their momentum, their only/best option is 4gb for $599, 8gb for $699 (touch models for upper tier).

      1. I wouldn’t mind paying more for the 8gb/256gb model if it bought me touchscreen. Aside from that, I don’t see myself spending more than $699 on a Core M. Above that price, you can find a U-series i5

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