The Asus UL20FT is a 3.3 pound laptop with a 12.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display. First spotted in May, it looks like the new model should begin shipping next month. Excaliber PC is taking pre-orders for the Asus UL20FT-A1. It’s going for $579, and the store says it should arrive around August 6th, 2010.
The new notebook is a successor to the Asus UL20A, which I reviewed last year. While the two laptops are pretty much the same size and both ship with Windows 7 Home Premium, 2GB of memory, and 250GB hard drives, there’s one key difference. The Asus UL20A comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 CULV processor, while the UL20FT has a new Intel core i3-330UM 1.2GHz CPU with Turbo boost technology.
I haven’t had a chance to test a system with the Core i3-330UM CPU yet, but it should provide a bit of a speed boost while consuming even less memory.
Rounding out the specs for the new notebook are 3 USB ports, mic and headphone jacks, a 0.3MP webcam, a 5-in-1 card reader, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Gigabit Ethernet. The laptop comes with a 6 cell, 4400mAh battery and measures 11.8″ x 8.4″ x 1″.
Update: As Soliton points out in the comments, Intel says this particular processor does not have Turbo Boost. But I suspect Asus may use a version of its hybrid engine software that allows you to overclock and underclock chips.
Update2: The Asus UL20FT is now shipping.
via Netbook News
Is 12.1 considered a netbook? I though netbook is supposed to be smaller than that.
Good point. I meant to write notebook in the title — although some people will argue that a 12.1 inch machine can be a netbook, for the right price.
Processor: Intel Core i3-330UM (1.20GHz, Turbo Boost)
WITH 4500HD graphics?
I think that’s just a holder-page, since the new core i processors generally come with intel HD graphics on die.
The Core i3-330UM actually does NOT have Intel’s Turbo Boost feature, according to Intel: https://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=49021
Is this claimed boost to be provided by Asus’ firmware?
I’d be interested in a bit more CPU power and a graphics card boost over what I’ve got – Samsung NC20. I’d really be interested if this thing could take 4GB or more of RAM.
In the year or so since I’ve had the NC20, I use it plugged in about 3/4 of the time, but when I have to take it somewhere, the fact that it can run for 4-5 hours is wonderful.
I’m mostly interested in the 12.1-12.2″ screen sizes, though I’d rather have 1280×800 resolution – I miss those vertical pixels.
I’ve got at least 9 months or perhaps 15, before I replace this computer. I figure the successor to the US20FT or EeePC 1215 will be out by then, and i should be happy with either of them.
Still no HDMI port on this notebook? Is the focus business users?
I got the UL20A and I suspect this new model is no big deal. I don’t think there is substantial speed difference. Infact, in real world applications, you won’t even see a difference between the SU7300 and Core i3 330UM.
That is why you see very few CULV chips in the market.
There are actually 2 groups of buyers. First group want power. They go for the non ULV Core i5. They are not interested in batter life, just raw power. Don’t talk about i7, nobody buys it cause its too bloody hot and probably fry your notebook as some Apple people complain.
Second group is the energy savers who want long battery life and little CPU power. They just go for a netbook with Atom.
There is no middle.
That is why the old UL20A was a failure. Nobody is intrested in the CULV anymore. That is the truth of the matter which everyone is in denial.
Interesting perspective. I find your insight valuable. If you do read the numbers, the ULV hasn’t taken off. The price drops recently are to get the backlog of inventory moving.
I agree with your points. People have full power laptops for home use and netbooks for the travelling needs. If you need the extra power you would reserve those tasks for the laptop. The number support the fact that people aren’t worried about power when it comes to portable.
The issue is, ULV laptops are trying to be a laptop replacement, which in reality is a half assed replaced laptop. Why pay more for a secondary computer? The issue is, a ULV and netbook is a secondary computer. Slap ION in your netbook and your need for ULV simply vanishes.
What if you want power and portability? You know when bricks with big processors aren’t what you’re after… Then the ULVs make lots of sense. I’m about to spend a year working abroad and I had to find a compromise that would replace my netbook and my quad-core desktop (both Hackintoshed). I went for a 13″ ULV from Asus because it can be overclocked to come closer to bigger laptops and also because it has a switchable video card. 12 inchers made lots of sense but they didn’t tick some important boxes; yet I recommended them to many people around me and they are liking them.
Another reason why ULVs make sense is because many people barely need netbook power to browse the internet but are turned off by limitative specs (raw power, sometimes insuffcient RAM and crippled Windows) and the perceived effects of their size on ergonomics. And Atoms can’t be used in laptops with bigger screens, probably because Intel doesn’t want that. I’m sure a lighter PORTABLE computer, when pitched properly, is attractive to many.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a market for these ULV’s. In reality the ULV is bred from Intel as a bone thrown to the manufacturers to say sorry for the low priced Atom processor that sort of screwed up the whole economic structure of the laptop industry. The upsell isn’t working out so well if you look at the overall market when it comes to ULV vs. Atom. Everyone keeps saying, just wait for the next ULV processors to come or wait for ULV + ION. Reality will always be that the ULV’s are a half assed laptop. Faster than a netbook but that comes at a premium cost.
I’m saying that the market isn’t big enough to sustain or warrant the production of them. The sales have been underwhelming. Atom + ION + Optimus in a 10-12″ package is going to be pretty much unbeatable imo. Ah, dual core Atom that is which makes it even more desirable.
Again I’m not saying there isn’t a market for the ULV’s.
With the last of the previous gen Core 2 Duos (Pentiums, Celerons) about to disappear and the standard i3 only appearing in laptops over 600$, they have restructured their range in a way they wish they could have the first time around. ULVs aren’t premium alternatives to equally-priced laptops with the same tech anymore (unless you want an i5-i7 ULV), they are all that Intel has to offer in the “budget but not netbook-sized range”. And even there I don’t think many new ULVs over 13″ have appeared; probably another Intel limitation to safeguard their costlier products… ULVs are still a bit costly when compared to AMD’s low-power solutions and appear in less models I think, but as usual many will want Intel for the usual reasons over AMD’s never-ending work in progress to catch up.
And I don’t know where you live but I have pretty much never seen a 12″ Atom and only 1 ION netbook in the wild. 12″ Timelines I have seen and these have caught my attention.
ULV ultraportables are dead? What?
I see almost as many Acer AS1410 and AS1810s as I see MBPs in Berkeley. I actually see them more than *any* netbook except the old 9″ Acer Aspire One.
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