When comparing Asus Zenbook UX301LA vs Dell XPS 15, the Slant community recommends Dell XPS 15 for most people. In the question“What is the best laptop for programming?” Dell XPS 15 is ranked 4th while Asus Zenbook UX301LA is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Dell XPS 15 is:
Two display choices are available for the XPS 15, an Ultra HD touchscreen or a Full HD non-touch screen. Both screens have a very wide array of colors as they cover approximately 100% of sRGB color space. The viewing angle is around 170 degrees. However, at 45 degrees, slight color change can be noticed. With around 350 nit output for brightness, it’s a viable choice for outdoor usage. All of this makes it an amazing display.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fantastic performance
Unlike the majority of ultrabooks that use the Intel 4400 HD, the Zenbook can be configured with the Intel 5100 HD. It also has fantastic overall performance that edges out pretty much all of the current competition.
Pro Beautiful hardware design
With an outer glass lid the Asus Zenbook UX301LA has a very striking and original appearance.
Pro Very bright and sharp UHD display
The display on the 301 is very high resolution, has the best brightness out of all the competition and is very sharp.
Pro Great keyboard
Backlit island style keyboard with a good bit of spring.
Pro Good battery life given the specs
Although some of the other options have a longer battery life than the reported 8 hours for the 301, none of those have comparable performance.
Pro Amazing display
Two display choices are available for the XPS 15, an Ultra HD touchscreen or a Full HD non-touch screen. Both screens have a very wide array of colors as they cover approximately 100% of sRGB color space.
The viewing angle is around 170 degrees. However, at 45 degrees, slight color change can be noticed.
With around 350 nit output for brightness, it’s a viable choice for outdoor usage. All of this makes it an amazing display.
Pro Good battery life if you pick the 1080p display
Models with the 1080p screen last about 10 hours with general usage. Naturally, if more intensive tasks are involved, the battery will be drained faster.
Pro Optional password-free-sign-in via a fingerprint reader
For an additional $25 it’s possible to enjoy a password-free-sign-in by having a fingerprint reader. It will keep your laptop safe while still providing convenient access to it.
Pro Solid keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad are reliable and solid all-around. The keyboard is responsive but is not super “clicky”, rather a bit soft. It has a white backlight on black keys that illuminates them at night. The touchpad is rather large while having no buttons. Despite this, the XPS 15 can reliably distinguish between the left and right clicks which are done on the trackpad itself.
Pro Slick design
The whole design is quite stylish. The aluminium chassis provides a very clean look while the black carbon fiber palm rest with an almost borderless display cements it as a visually modern laptop. All of this is made with a premium build quality.
Pro Operates well on a Linux system
All essential things, like network connectivity, ports and sound, work right “out-of-the-box” with a Linux operating system. There is a compatibility issue on the new 9560 model with its graphics card but the laptop is still very usable with its integrated Intel graphics card.
Pro Can run most modern games
Being an excellent all-rounder, it can be used as a gaming laptop for games that are not exceptionally demanding, like Overwatch or Dota 2. Unless you’re using the cheapest model, you can expect a reasonable 60 frames per second for almost all modern games, provided that you’re willing to lower the game’s settings.
Pro Very well-rounded laptop
The cheapest configuration is a great choice for general non-intensive use - things like internet browsing, watching movies and similar tasks.
Whereas the more expensive configurations are gradually more capable of intensive tasks, like video editing or gaming. It’s not as good as a specialized computer built for a specific purpose, like a video editing laptop with an enormous RAM size or a gaming laptop with a superior graphics card, but it’s a very well-rounded, reliable laptop.
Con Some reported battery and fan issues with linux
Not being much of a surprise, Linux has battery and fan issues with this device (in reality Linux has these problem across the board in varying degrees). If the user is unwilling to compromise on battery issues and fan noise, Linux may not be the best choice for them. While not totally being Linux's fault (since all this stuff is closed source and is backwards engineered to get working in the Kernel), it is still an issue people do not want to deal with.
Con Hard to keep clean
Being that the device has a glass lid, smudges and fingerprints are going to be highly visible. The device does come with it's own micro fiber cloth but of course only the most meticulous users are going to keep this thing spotless 100% of the time.
Con Cooling system blows the hot air towards the user
The ventilation is angled, so this isn't quite as much of an issue as it is on other laptops built this way, but the bottom of the screen does get a bit warm under load.
Con Battery doesn’t hold long with the Ultra HD screen
If you’re choosing the configuration with an Ultra HD screen, expect a very short battery life of around 6 hours for general usage. With more intensive tasks it's even less than that.
Con 9560 model's GPU has compatibility issues on Linux
The new 9560 model has some trouble accepting its GTX 1050 Ti video card while running a Linux operating system. Fortunately, the integrated Intel graphics card is capable enough to substitute it. The manufacturers are probably aware of the issue and will, most likely, release an update for it.
Con Palmrest collects sweat
The palm rest is made from carbon fiber which attracts fingerprints and sweat. After some time it gets kind of unpleasant to touch and needs to be cleaned.
Con Audible coil whine
Coil whine can be heard when it’s generally quiet and the fans are not running. Audible when the laptop is connected to the power supply. The manufacturers have acknowledged it as a problem and, if possible, will push out an update which should eliminate it. Until then, it’s still a gripe.
Con Some ghosting in games
The display is not intended for gaming purposes so it can produce an effect called “ghosting”. Ghosting is when the pixels are not able to change their colors fast enough, so the color of the preceding frame can still be slightly seen on the next frame. This causes a blurring effect. Note that it only happens on high framerates coupled with fast objects.
Con Awkward webcam location
The webcam is located under the screen instead of on top. It means that your face will be shown from a lower angle which can seem a bit weird. It also means that your fingers can partially obstruct the webcam while you’re typing.
Con Noisy fans
The laptop is very quiet during idle and light usage but when there is some workload, the fans get quite loud and distracting.