One of the best value laptops just got a beefy processor upgrade

Asus UX305

Asus has juiced up its popular UX305 laptop introducing a new model that features a full-blooded Intel Core i5 Skylake processor.

The affordable MacBook Air lookalike, which is a very svelte 13-inch Ultrabook, previously had a Skylake processor but of the Core M variety. As we noted in our review, that meant the notebook was a 'solid performer' although at times it felt a little underpowered for more graphically intensive tasks.

The introduction of a Core i5-6200U under the bonnet will put a considerable amount of extra pep into this Ultrabook's performance. The previous Intel Core M3-6Y30 in the UX305 we reviewed is clocked at 900MHz with turbo to 2.2GHz, compared to the i5-6200U which has a base clock of 2.3GHz with Turbo to 2.8GHz.

On the integrated graphics front, the new processor also benefits from Intel HD Graphics 520 compared to HD Graphics 515.

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The downside comes when you look at the power requirements for the CPUs, with the Core M sipping just 4.5W compared to 15W for the Core i5. That's a pretty big jump, and it remains to be seen how much that will affect battery longevity, and indeed cooling issues.

That said, in the latter case, you'd hope Asus wouldn't make the move if it was going to cause any heat trouble. But the potential impact on the battery could be more of a concern.

As Digital Trends (which spotted this development) notes, the new Core i5-toting UX305 is now on sale over at Amazon in the US priced at $750, not much more than the Core M model which is pitched at $699 (it costs £649 in the UK – and hopefully we'll see the i5 variant over here soon with a similar small price bump).

Apparently there's also a version of the UX305UA coming with a Core i7-6500U processor on board, or at least details of this spec are up on the Asus website – but that variant hasn't been released yet.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).