Asus is getting ready to roll out its new Intel CULV powered line of thin and light laptops. The company is pushing the 13 inch UL30A, 14 inch UL80A, and 15 inch UL50A pretty hard. But the model I’m most interested in is the Asus UL20A, which will have a 12.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and a dual core 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor at launch in the US. With a price tag of just $599, this will be the cheapest model in the batch, and it will be priced just slightly above the netbook range. In fact, it was just a year ago that I paid $550 for an Asus Eee PC 1000H.
The Asus UL20A will have 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and ship with Windows Vista Home Premium and a free upgrade to Windows 7 offer if you can find it before October 22nd. After Windows 7 is launched, the laptop will be available with Windows 7 Home Premium preloaded.
The next model up in the Asus UL family will be the UL30A, which will sell for $799. That extra $200 gets you a larger 13.3 inch display, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive.
I asked an Asus rep today whether the company was considering putting out a cheaper model of the UL20A or other UL series notebooks with a Core 2 Solo processor to compete with CULV powered laptops like the Acer Aspire 1410. While Asus is making a single core version available in some parts of the globe, Asus North America has apparently decided that the performance of this model isn’t up to snuff, and is sticking with the dual core version for now.
It doesn’t look like review units of the UL20A are going to be made available to the press, so I’m hoping to get a UL30A soon. In most respects, the laptop will have the same performance as the UL20A, and Asus claims it should get up to 12 hours of battery life. It’ll be the largest laptop I’ll have reviewed for the site, but like the UL20A, the UL30A weighs just 3.3 pounds. So bear with me, OK?