The Asus UL20FT is a 12.1 inch ultraportable laptop with a low power 1.2GHz Intel Core i3-330uM processor. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, has integrated Intel graphics, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, and a 6 cell, 47Whr battery.

Basically, the UL20FT is an updated version of the Asus UL20A which I reviewed last year. The main difference is that while the UL20A shipped with a 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CPU, the new model has a next-generation Core i-series CPU. The case design, and most of the specs look pretty much the same on both models.

Oh yeah, there’s another difference. While the Asus UL20A sells for about $540, the Asus UL20FT went on sale today on sale today for about $630. So is it worth the extra $90?

The folks at Notebook Review took the new model for a spin, and they were pretty impressed with its performance. It’s hardly the fastest machine around, but it definitely scored higher on most tests than some other thin and light laptops in its category. That includes the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e which I recently reviewed.

On the other hand, while the integrated graphics are good enough for watching HD videos, you’re probably not going to want to use the Asus UL20FT as a gaming machine. And Notebook Review got just 4.5 hours of run time out of the battery, which is about 90 minutes less than the “up to 6 hours” of battery life Asus promises.

That said, Asus tends to load its laptops with a power management utility. While I got just over 4 hours of run time in “high performance” mode on the UL20A last year, I managed to get about 6 hours of battery life in “battery saving” mode. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get similar results by tweaking the settings on the Asus Ul20FT.

So is it worth the extra $90? That depends on whether you need a little more power than the Asus UL20A can offer. But I wouldn’t expect to find an enormous difference in performance. But I suspect Asus will soon start phasing out the UL20A, which means the UL20FT will be the only option available. I should also point out that when the Asus UL20A first launched it was priced at $599. So don’t be surprised if Asus eventually lowers the price on the UL20FT as well.

On the other hand, a number of 11.6 inch laptops with AMD Nile-based chipsets have also hit the streets this summer, with similar prices and higher performance graphics processors. So the UL20FT has some competition from notebooks such as the Dell Inspiron M101z, Acer Aspire One 721, and Acer Aspire 1551.

You can find a run-down on the specs for the Asus UL20FT-A1 after the break.

  • Display: 12.1 inch, 1366 x 768
  • CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core i3-330UM
  • OS: Windows 7 Home premium 64-bit
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 RAM (s slots)
  • Storage: 320GB, 5400RPM
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth
  • I/O:  3 USB ports, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, mic, headphone, card reader
  • Battery: 6 cell, 47WHr, 4400mAh
  • Dimensions: 11.8″ x 8.4″ x 1″
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Price: $630

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6 replies on “Asus UL20FT 12.1 inch notebook now shipping”

  1. Glad to see ASUS finally added a HDMI port to this one – seemed like this was the big missing feature ont he previous generation. It does seem like the 1215N would be worth waiting for, especially at this price..

  2. What a disgrace. No real improvement from the old UL20A. Infact, the old UL20A, with the 63W battery, I get nearly 8 hours of wifi with screen to the fullest.

    Specs are the same? Even more of a disgrace. Now, everyone is looking for lighter and thinner. People are eyeing 1KG and BELOW.

    Now you know why the Ipad is doing so well. 3 million sold already. Why? Because its abt 700g and super razor thin.

    Soon, all the big boys are going to see a sharp fall in their notebooks and netbook sales. People are moving lock, stock and barrel towards Android tablets, merely because they look sexy and light.

    Some advice to you also Brad, never every discount Aesthetics. People are now into looks and portability.

    This is something you take very lightly.

    1. 3 million is not a lot when you consider that over 30 million mini notebooks were sold in 2009 and the expected count for this year should be around 33-34 million.

      Aesthetics are fine and good, people have always cared about looks to some extent, but for the majority of people it’s functionality and if it doesn’t do what people want to do with it then it will get returned.

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