The Asus VivoBook U38N may look like an ultrabook, but it doesn’t qualify as one for a simple reason: It has a quad-core AMD A8 processor, while Intel owns the trademark for the word “ultrabook.”
Aside from the processor, the Asus U38N is almost everything you’d want from a decent ultrabook.
The laptop features a 13.3 inch IPS touchscreen display, Windows 8 software, up to 4GB of RAM, and a 2.5 inch drive bay for a 128GB solid state disk or a 500GB hard drive.
Asus also includes 3 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and mini VGA ports. The Asus U38N features 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 and has Bang & Olufsen audio.
The notebook has a 48Whr battery which Asus says should be good for up to 5 hours of run time. The Asus U38N measures 12.8″ x 8.9″ x 0.7″ and weighs 3.4 pounds.
Now for the bad news: The memory is soldered to the motherboard, so you won’t be able to easily upgrade it yourself.
Swedish retailer Komplett is already selling the VivoBook U38N for the equivalent of $1200 US… but the laptop will probably be cheaper if and when it goes on sale in the US. According to that product page, the notebook has a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, but the official Asus page for the U38N shows a lower resolution 1366 x 768 pixel display.
Asus might be selling different versions of this laptop in different countries.
wow, how did i miss this!
How’s Linux support for AMD APUs? I’ve been using Intel because they’ve been putting a lot of resources into their Linux drivers but I haven’t really been keeping up with what AMD’s been doing.
The kernel support for Trinity should be ok, at least with 3.6 or later, but I don’t know how is the SecureBoot issue resolved with U38N. I’ll continue searching.
Actually there’s some info on the manufacturer’s FAQ page for how to stop SecureBoot, but not sure if it will be capable to install Linux.
You can actually game on this. You can’t do that on an ultrabook.
Aren’t there ultrabooks with capable Nvidia GPUs?
Yes, mostly built by ASUS also, but then you have issues with more power usage and heat, which either results in larger size and more weight to carry a larger battery, or bad battery life when the dGPU is in use. Biggest issue though is if they want to keep the weight light and battery life similar, they have to end up spending extra on the battery, and with the added cost of a separate GPU, a decent laptop costs way too much, on the neighborhood of $1.5k.
The wesbite (asus) has a typo . If you read carefully – the description part on the top of the page says
Full HD 1080p IPS panel with 178° viewing angles delivers vivid images
However the specs page seems to have contradictory info , so its pretty much 1080 with touch
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