on April 29, 2012
As there are few reviews for this product I was a little wary, but I'm very satisfied with my first laptop. As a university student getting into upper division courses, the ability to take projects with me became a necessity, and since I recently built a powerful gaming computer, I needed something that I would *want* to travel with. After removing a bit of ASUS bloatware that comes with it, it runs pretty smooth. Some of the bloatware is actually nice like the power profiles switcher. All in all it runs faster than I expected with a low-power processor and 5400 rpm hard drive.
First week review:
Battery life is legitimately 7+ hours in battery save mode (which you can tweak).
24 hours in Sleep Mode only cost the battery ~7% charge, and Instant On works as advertised.
Computer is capable of light gaming in performance mode (it runs Dungeon Defenders on low settings).
Hard drive is divided into two even partitions, OS and Data.
Usable RAM is 3.6 GB as 400 MB seems to be dedicated to video memory, which is good.
8-cell Battery keeps laptop slightly lifted, which helps keep it cool, but adds a little size.
It is slim and light enough to compete with an ultrabook at half the price.
Hinge construction feels more solid than it looks. Overall the entire machine feels sturdy.
No optical drive. Helps keep it light and isn't an issue for tech-savvy users, but could be an issue for some.
Yes, there is some keyboard flex, but I have to pay attention to notice it. It would be nice if the keys were backlit, but since the screen gives off light, that isn't really important. The keyboard feels like the cheapest component, but there are zero problems actually using it.
Something to note is the USB ports are an extremely tight fit. It shaved some plastic off of my flash drive getting it into the ports the first couple of times. I've muscled in a couple other USB devices, but it doesn't seem to damage anything.
It's not easy to find a computer this slim and light without buying an ultrabook. This is half the price of even a low end ultrabook, so of course there are some compromises. It's not quite as sleek, the processor isn't that powerful, though it's good enough for most HD video and light gaming. The keyboard has a little flex to it as well. It's biggest flaw is the screen, which isn't that vivid and has poor viewing angles. That's to be expected at this price though. The battery life is very good, about 5-6 hours even with the brightness on high and the wireless on. I didn't want to spend ultrabook money on a laptop, so I was glad to find this.
on July 16, 2012
I really wanted to like this product it has many good features, but sadly, the system has 3* VERY bad points and 3 not so bad points.
Here's the bad;
*1. The viewing angle of the screen is horrible.10 degrees from dead-on at most.YIKES!
*2. The Wi-Fi has no problem finding signals, it just won't stay connected to any of them.
*3. Hard Drive is very slow.
o4. Decals on keys, not laser etched.
o5. Bluetooth is very picky and tempermental
o6. Multi-Finger gestures on the track-pad do not work as advertised.
Here's the good;
o1. Attractive aluminum and ABS-Plastic construction.
o2. Keys operate smooth as silk (despite the decals).
o3. Processor is quite efficient once all the crapware is uninstalled.
o4. Plays back video gloriously
o5. Two USB 3.o Ports!
o6. Can run three monitors at once. Wow!
o7. Plays semi-recent games at medium settings
o8. Sound is low but very clear.
o9. Thin Sleek Profile
If the 3 of the 6 bad points had not been so serious, I would strongly consider keeping this laptop, but the viewing angle is so poor that I strongly recommend that people look else where. AND that's a shame, b/c ASUS went to the trouble to design and build a fine computer out of decent materials, but then shot themselves in the foot by coupling the system to such a low grade glossy screen with dismal viewing angles.
This is a good effort, but ultimately a poor execution on ASUS's part. After working with this laptop for a couple of days- The defective Wi-Fi, agressively low quality screen, and an annoying trackpad issue make this laptop a dud. Had to send it back.
on July 27, 2012
I've been waiting to replace my trusty eeepc 1005HA for a while now, and while looking for another ASUS netbook with a 12 inch screen, all of a sudden Amazon offers this a 13-inch model for very little more than I paid for the 10-inch netbook almost 4 years ago. To be honest, I was expecting to be disappointed because the 1005HA has been so dependable and functional. But the U32U-ES21 is such an enormous improvement that it is really in a class by itself. I am still getting used to it and especially to Windows 7, but here are my first impressions:
- the screen angle issue is real, and obvious when compared to the excellent (matte!) LCD screen in the eeepc, but not a huge problem. Maximum brightness is about the same. The view angle might have to do with the U32U screen being LED-backlit, which probably saves battery drain. The much higher resolution and of course the extra "real estate" more than makes up for this, and blacks are richer too.
- It's a joy to have the additional keyboard size and especially a more conventional layout of the right side keys. The keys are a bit on the stiff side but I am making far fewer typing mistakes. (The eeepc also had some repeated key problems that I am happy to find absent now). My eeepc had a black-on-white keyboard, which is easier to see in dim light than the new one, but that's only an issue for hunt-and-peck typists in darkened bedrooms, like me.
- Fan is much, much quieter and the unit runs cooler than the eeepc!
- Windows7 is a great advance over the familiar and reliable but now clunky XP. The 4GB standard RAM seems to handle it fine.
- I've had no wi-fi problems at all so far, although I get different strength indications with the 2 laptops side by side.
- I have not put them on scales yet, but it is about the same weight as the eeepc with an oversize battery.
- Video playback is perfect at full screen, but I have not tried and HD yet.
- The Caps Lock and Num Lock lights are very welcome features, avoiding errors and/or the need to install an on-screen program.
One star down from perfect because of the stiff keyboard and screen issues, and the truly TERRIBLE Asus website, but really quite an amazing value. Yes, I have to add that I have never even succeeded in registering my computer, getting access to their cloud storage, or even finding a list of models, on their website. I can only hope that I'll never need any type of real assistance. (Their webpage for driver downloads can't even recognize the model computer - I had to get drivers from other sites! Boooo ASUS)
Six weeks later: I'm noticing how flexy the keyboard is, but it doesn't matter to me. More worrying is that I had to reinstall the keypad driver a couple of times before I got the 2-finger scrolling feature to work right, and also the default settings have to be changed for it to work right. (Forget about the "Scrybe" junk). And if you switch between a mouse and the trackpad you will find a little program called Change Mouse Speed very useful.
To compensate for a slowish AMD CPU I installed another 4 Gb of RAM ($25), and disabled most of the Win7 screen animations. Now I am more than satisfied with the snappy performance, including HD videos (I'm not a gamer). I have rigged all my peripherals into a sort of quick docking station when I am not on the road - mouse, backlit keyboard, big monitor, backup HD. I have some issues with how Win7 handles its "Libraries", and can't for the life of me understand why ASUS makes the "OS" drive partition (C:) the default for data rather than the "Data" partition "D".
Maybe that is why the Mac Airbook is so popular - it's not a do-it-yourself project like ASUS always seems to be.
Now if Amazon would only quit changing the price every week it will be a great little laptop for about $400.
on July 13, 2012
The Asus Ultra Portable is a steal of a deal. This little perfomer blows my mind. Now granted I don't do any gaming, but for internet surfing, emails, spread sheets and all the other stuff I typically do this is just a terrific bargain. I love how quickly it boots up! The screen is bright crisp and flawless. I love that it's NOT loaded up with starter software that harrasses you to death to buy the real thing (like Dell's and HP's are, that starter software is such a tease and virtually no help). The Asus is configured exceptionally well, plenty of USB access points, WiFi is great, card readers built in and the battery life is very good with an easy 6 hours! This is just a terrific bargain (I paid approx. $445 May 2012)!!! I shopped Best Buy, Fryes and Office Depot, Amazon had the best deal and fast delivery, no sales tax. LOVE this ASUS U32U-ES21 and can't imagine that there is anything else out there that comes close for the price I paid!
on May 9, 2012
Battery life is amazing! 6 hours of full use and charges up again in less than an hour.
Full size Keyboard.
Good size mousetrack, comfortable position and features apple-like touch controls, zoom in and out, two finger up and down that's great!
Very thin body and light weight (except battery)
Screen size is great for work and small enough to be portable.
Great low price!
Aluminum color is NOT like the picture. Is way darker.
Battery is not flat, has a elevated part that helps ventilation, but make the back of the laptop bulky.
Mouse click sound is very loud (I'm that picky)
Sound comes very low but can be fixed, now it loud enough.
This is a beautiful, thin, ultra portable laptop. Great value for the money!
on April 11, 2012
So, the first thing I did when I got my new ASUS U32U-ES21 was format the drive and install ubuntu on it. So far, it's been fantastic!! I've been a little too busy to play around with the integrated video card yet (and I know Radeon GPUs aren't supposed to work all that well with Linux in general), but it at least plays videos, flash, and streaming videos all seemlessly. The only downfall of this computer so far is that REALTEK still doesn't have a Linux Kernal 3.0+ driver for it's multi-card reader, but everything else seems to work. Viewing angles are crap, but I'm used to that and the screen is twice as bright as my last laptop, so I'm not complaining. What I really love about this laptop is the battery life. I can work on it continuously for about 6 hours before it dies. That's truly incredible.
on June 1, 2012
I found the U32U while looking for the UL30A, an older Asus "ultra-portable" that we've had excellent luck with. The U32U is an improvement on an already excellent product. Nice packaging, great design, 8 - 10 hour battery life, and thin profile make this an excellent choice for web browsing and general computing on the go. I'll be installing Photoshop and Premier Elements and expect to have them function well with the light duty photo and video editing tasks I do.
Very easy to setup, though I did remove some of the installed ASUS apps like their media manager and sound enhancer. I've got no problem with the stock speakers and the screen has better viewing angles than I had expected. The fan blows slightly in high performance mode, and the bottom does get warm, but this is no noisy lap-burner. The always on USB port for charging is a nice upscale addition, as is the included bluetooth and multi-touch trackpad gestures.
All is all this is a great deal on an almost-ultrabook sized lower powered laptop.
on May 8, 2012
Bought this computer for my daughter to take to college, so I wasn't looking for anything that could run high end video games, but rather something with decent processing power that was small, lightweight, had solid battery life, and was affordable. This computer easily met all those requirements.
The machine is basically an Ultrabook at half price. For $450 from Amazon, you simply can't beat this price for what you get.
Pros: Excellent Price, Awesome Battery Life (am getting 7+ hrs easy), ASUS brand quality, very lightweight and perfect size for school, runs/surfs web relatively fast once you lose the bloatware, picture/sound quality more than adequate for day to day use
Cons: Keyboard does have a little flex to it; USB ports are very stiff for putting things into/out of
Overall: Good machine for the money.
on June 14, 2012
The battery life is about 6 hours for me on high performance, max brightness, wifi.. (everything that can drain the battery essentially..) mode. which is remarkable. There is no optical drive but that isnt much of an issue since i almost never do use CD's and a usb optical is not hard to find. The touchpad click buttons are rather noisy, and if you really look for it there is minimal keyboard flex, but for the price little things like that are expected.
However - Do Not Buy! The CPU is the slowest one in the history of man kind. It could not handle browsing the web and playing music at the same time. I ended up getting rid of it to replace it with a real laptop.