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ASUS UL30A-X1 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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ASUS UL30A-X1 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

ASUS UL30A

©ASUSTeK Computer Corp.

The Bottom Line

Sep 9 2009 - The ASUS UL30A-X1 is an alternative for those looking to get a highly portable laptop computer but don't want to sacrifice performance in a netbook. At $700, the system is still quite affordable yet provides a better experience with just as much battery life as some of the better netbooks. Some features were sacrificed for a lower price including a lower resolution webcam and a battery that gives the hinge side a fairly large profile. Overall though, it is a good system for the road warrior on a budget that doesn't want to spend on something like a MacBook Air.

Pros

  • Long Battery Life
  • Comfortable Isolated Keyboard Design
  • Well Priced

Cons

  • Webcam Only 640x480 Resolution
  • Lacks DVD Drive
  • Could Use a Lower Profile Battery

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 13.3" EXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
  • Fast Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.9" x 9.3" x 1" @ 3.8 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Guide Review - ASUS UL30A-X1 13.3-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sep 9 2009 - The ASUS UL30A-X1 is the first of their Intel CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) based ultraportables that brings long battery life to their 13-inch product lineup. The company claims that it can achieve up to 12 hours of running time on some models, but these are overly ambitious when it comes to real world usage. Expect more around 8 hours or so of standard usage and between 6 and 7 if doing something like video playback.

The system is able to achieve such long running times thanks to the new chipset and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 processor. This is a single core processor, so it doesn't perform as well when multitasking or using multithreaded applications. Still, with the combined 4GB of DDR3 memory, the system outperforms a netbook by a large margin. It does fall short of the more traditional 13-inch laptop systems that feature more traditional dual-core processors.

Part of the long battery and small profile on the UL30A-X1 comes from the fact that it does not come equipped with a DVD drive. This means that the system will not be able to playback or record DVDs without a separate external drive. The 320GB hard drive does provide it with ample amount of space for applications and data such as video files.

While the system does not have a DVD drive, the screen and graphics can support high definition video files. The 13.3-inch display is bright and colorful but does use a glossy coating that can be problematic in certain lighting conditions. Expect good 720p HD video support that netbooks can't provide.

One really nice aspect of the UL30A-X1 is the isolated keyboard design. The extra space between keys provides an more comfortable design that helps cut down on accidental typos. The trackpad uses a seamless design with a matte finish to let users know where it is but can be tricky at times.

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