The Asus UL30A is the first laptop from Asus with an Intel CULV processor. In the US, this 13.3 inch slim and light laptop sports a dual core 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor. That’s the same CPU you’ll find in the soon-to-be-released 12 inch Asus UL20A, but since Asus is only sending out demo units of the 13 inch version, we’ll have to settle for a flurry or reviews of the one that’s might similar to the one I really have my eye on.
I should be getting my hands on a UL30A soon, but in the meantime here are some reviews from other sites I know and trust:
- Laptop Magazine – Nearly 10 hours of battery power, 4 pounds, and decent video performance including fullscreen Hulu playback, my personal holy grail of high resolution ultraportables
- Hot Hardware – Macbook Air-like thin and sexy machine, excellent chiclet keyboard, disturbingly glossy screen
- Notebook Review – Above average screen with good color saturation, comfortable keyboard, scored better on benchmarks than any netbook and some other low cost ultraportables
It’s worth pointing out that Laptop Magazine and Notebook Review both managed to squeeze between 9 and 10 hours of battery life out of the laptop, while Hot Hardware claimed the battery died after just 4 hours and 53 minutes. The difference? The first two used real world tests while Hot Hardware ran Battery Eater Pro, a test which is designed to put maximum strain on the CPU. I’ve been using this test for a while in my reviews because it’s easier than monitoring the battery life manually, but it’s never been all that accurate a predictor of real world usage and I’m thinking about phasing it out. Nobody managed to get the 12 hours of battery life promised by Asus, but I suppose if you turned off the WiFi and dimmed the screen it might be possible.
The Asus UL30A-A1 as reviewed has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and sells for $799. There’s also a UL30A-X3 model that sells for $749 and has 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. The Asus UL20A is expected to start at $599 with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.