162 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Almost-Perfect Ultra-Portable
I just upgraded to this laptop from an 8.9" Atom-powered netbook (an Asus EeePC 900HA). Here are my thoughts after using the UL20A for a few days:
1. SMALL FOOTPRINT & LIGHT WEIGHT. The footprint of the laptop is similar to an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper (just slightly narrower and slightly longer), and at 3.3lbs, putting it in your briefcase or...
Published on November 20, 2009 by A. King
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazing machine with one tragic flaw
This laptop is absolutely incredible. It is lightning fast. Great screen. Great keyboard. Solid feel to it. Nice look. Incredible value for the price.
Except for one trajic flaw: the touchpad is awful. For reasons that are beyond me, Asus created it using one of the stickiest substances known to man. My finger cannot glide across this surface. It isn't...
Published on May 13, 2010 by Mark Murphy
Most Helpful First | Newest First
162 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Almost-Perfect Ultra-Portable,
This review is from: ASUS UL20A-A1 Thin and Light 12.1-Inch Silver Laptop - 7.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) (Personal Computers)I just upgraded to this laptop from an 8.9" Atom-powered netbook (an Asus EeePC 900HA). Here are my thoughts after using the UL20A for a few days:
1. SMALL FOOTPRINT & LIGHT WEIGHT. The footprint of the laptop is similar to an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper (just slightly narrower and slightly longer), and at 3.3lbs, putting it in your briefcase or backpack is no more burdensome than an extra book or binder.
2. EXCELLENT KEYBOARD. The relatively large "chiclet" keyboard makes for an effortless typing experience.
3. PERFECT SCREEN SIZE. With a 12.1" 1366x768 screen, you're getting the resolution of a 13.3" laptop in a smaller package. At 130 pixels per inch, text on the 12" screen is often pretty small, but still acceptable. I would however advise against smaller screens (e.g. 11.6") at this resolution.
4. EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE. Despite the low clock speed, the UL20A's Core 2 Duo is MUCH faster than any Intel Atom. HD YouTube videos play flawlessly at ~67% CPU utilization, and general performance seems much smoother than on my old netbook. I especially notice the difference when scrolling through PDF's, which was often very slow and jerky on my EeePC.
5. EXCELLENT BATTERY LIFE. After 4.5 hours of mixed light web browsing, email, and PDF viewing, I still had 40% charge left. If the battery continued to be depleted at that rate, you'd end up with--that's right--exactly the quoted 7.5 hours! I used Windows 7's "Balanced" power scheme (not any of Asus's Power4Gear modes). After some testing, I can confirm that the processor will ramp up to max frequency during heavy usage with this mode, so there's no reason not to leave it in "Balanced" all the time.
6. VERY QUIET. Even when using it in a quiet room, it's nearly impossible to hear any fan noise.
7. EXTRA WARRANTY. The UL20A comes with 1 year of "accidental damage" coverage.
8. LITTLE THIRD-PARTY BLOATWARE. The only (non-Asus) bloatware was an anti-virus software trial and some silly games. I uninstalled these in minutes (and replaced the A-V trial with Microsoft's free Security Essentials program).
9. WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM. Unlike most netbooks, which ship with either Microsoft's ancient Windows XP or the crippled Windows 7 Starter Edition, this laptop comes with the full "premium" version of Microsoft's brand-new OS.
1. ANNOYING TOUCHPAD. The texture of the touchpad causes way too much friction, which irritates your finger. The pointer also periodically freezes, placing a strange gray circle near the cursor (this is probably some stupid Synaptics feature I haven't figured out how to disable yet).
2. GLOSSY SCREEN. This causes annoying reflections, but in fairness most laptops have these nowadays.
3. ABSURD JUMBLE OF ASUS UTILITIES. Asus includes nearly a dozen separate utilities for various functions. Most have weird names, and it's not apparent what they do until you click on them. They also each seem to have their own distinct (amateurish) user interface. At the very least, Asus needs to cut the number of included programs in half (both through consolidation and elimination of pointless and redundant functions).
4. DISAPPOINTING LCD QUALITY. As was the case with my EeePC's screen, the contrast is too high, and there's a significant blue-ish hue by default. I do NOT recommend this laptop for SERIOUS photo editing (i.e. not for professionals). It should be fine for most users though.
This notebook seems to hit a sweet spot between netbooks and full-size laptops: You're getting an almost full-size keyboard, adequate screen resolution, snappy performance, and Windows 7 Home Premium, while retaining much of the portability, low-cost, and battery life of a netbook.
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CRAZY GOOD LAPTOP,
This review is from: ASUS UL20A-A1 Thin and Light 12.1-Inch Silver Laptop - 7.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) (Personal Computers)Current laptop is the Dell XPS M1330, a 13.3 inch laptop which seemed very cool to me in terms of build and weight (about four pounds). But even that started to feel big and heavy so when this one came out-- at this price!!!-- I pre-purchased. I have been tracking discussions here and on the notebook review forums, and have some immediate answers to various concerns:
1. it's 3 pounds six ounces with the battery. Feels like carrying a book.
2. the wireless is intel 1000 bgn and has held steady and been very fast since I first got the computer.
3. there's only one memory stick (2G) so you can easily pop in a second (which I did, before I even booted up the computer, for a grand total of $35.00) to bring the total memory to 4G.
4. The keyboard is full sized, or, if it's smaller, the difference is so minimal I can't tell. It does seem to me that some of the edge keys (delete, tab, function keys) are smaller.
5. It's crazy fast. My Windows Experence Index is:
Ram (with 4G) 4.8
Graphics 3.5 (I'm not bothered, but I'm not a gamer)
Gaming Graphics 3.3
6. Touchpad does pinch zoom and is very responsive.
Have not installed all my software yet, but three hours of removing bloatware with the computer set on "high performance" and using WiFi leaves me with close to three hours of battery left.
It's incredibly cool, meaning, in this case, temperature.
In sum: I am in awe.
UDPATE: I have been using the laptop continually since my purchase. It continues to impress me with build quality and performance. I have been upgrading all our home computers to Windows 7, and I notice that the Intel card on this laptop finds the network more quickly than the gigabit ethernet card on my quad core desktop, and transfer speeds are as good as or better than the other wireless N cards in the house. So I think the people who have had trouble with the card may have gotten a bad card. (Small comfort, I know...)
I had some minor issues with the touchpad, which felt sticky and slow to me. I finally spent some time in the synaptics settings panel, changing the sensitivity and speed of the pointer, and now find it works very well for me. So if the touchpad is bothering you, give that a try.
I really like the keyboard-- my Dell xps m1330 often inserts an extra letter if I hit a key too hard, or, at the other end of the spectrum, misses a key. Never happens with this one.
More than one person, on seeing the computer, has thought I finally upgraded to Mac.
Note: Did a clean install of windows 7 from a usb drive, no problems, to get rid of bloatware. All updated drivers available for download on the Asus website. There's a very nice summary of all Asus installed software at NotebookReview dot com forums-- search "bloatware" in the Asus section.
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A THIN AND LIGHT THAT CONTINUES TO BE JUST RIGHT.,
This review is from: ASUS UL20A-A1 Thin and Light 12.1-Inch Silver Laptop - 7.5 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) (Personal Computers)REVIEW UPDATED ON 2-28-10
I've had this laptop for 3 MONTHS now and my 5-STAR initial impression continues to remain the same. My comments below have been updated but essentially haven't changed. About 2 months after I received the laptop though, I noticed a rather large dead pixel or small group of them right in the upper middle of the display. I contacted ASUS directly and YEP they replaced the screen free of charge including shipping and the whole process was completed in one week. The display is now perfect and kudos to ASUS for handling the issue so quickly.
1. LOOK & SIZE - The light-colored silver brushed aluminum lid is a fine complement to its ultra thin profile. It weighs only 3.3 lbs and doesn't feel as back heavy as some other netbooks/ultraportables that have 6-cell batteries. Quality in design, fit and finish are quite evident throughout.
2. SIGHT & SOUND - When I powered the ASUS UL20A up for the first time I was impressed with the display's noticeable increase in brightness and vivid contrasting colors. The High Definition LED-backlit screen really will make a pleasurable improvement in your viewing.
The front bottom positioned Altec Lansing speakers have a lot of volume at least for my ears and the Realtek HD Audio control panel offers 13 equalizer settings to satisfy your personal tone preferences. I keep the volume at the 75% mark because that's usually plenty loud for me.
Much has been said about glossy screens giving off glare from the sun through indoor windows and overhead lights. Frankly I thought this would bother me more than it does but the bother is hardly anything at all with this laptop. Of course everyone's lifestyle is different and what may be good for one person may not be good for another. My lifestyle doesn't require me to use my laptop outdoors and using it indoors imposes little inconvenience for me to turn the laptop or lid slightly away from the offending overhead light or sunlight.
3. TOUCH & NAVIGATION - The chiclet-style keyboard is a breeze to type on. The gaps between the keys provide both room and better viewing of the separate keys, particularly with the keys being a charcoal black color and the deck being a contrasting silver color. I can now navigate easily and comfortably using the touchpad but had to spend too much time initially I thought adjusting to the rather small touchpad that caused my husky fingers to sometimes go out-of-bounds. I use 2-finger scrolling which I personally prefer. Note: If you want to do 2-finger scrolling, you will have to install the generic, but more advanced Synaptics software directly from their website. Be sure to download the 64-bit Windows version. Installing it was easy but you will need an external mouse since the touchpad will be disabled during the install.
Lastly, I found my laptop to be amazingly COOL to my touch much unlike some other laptops that feel uncomfortably warm especially on the bottom-side. Also, I NEVER HEARD THE FAN come on even once to keep this laptop so pleasantly cool.
4. SPEED & STAYING POWER - This laptop is FAST. I will admit I installed another 2 gigs of memory that probably helped improve its speed. I may open and close my laptop about 6 times a day and most of the time I just put it in hibernation mode which backs up your open applications to the hard drive and then shuts down completely causing no further battery drain as sleep mode does. Startup from hibernation for me takes around 20 second - VERY FAST. Also, opening and closing programs in day-to-day use is quicker as well. I didn't do timings here but intuitively I know they open and close faster.
I use the Balanced Power Setting option offered by Windows 7 instead of using one of the 4 discreet power levels offered by ASUS. The Balanced power Plan gives you added horsepower when you need it and less horsepower when you're just cruising on the highway. With this setting, I get close to 6 hours of battery life that I'm happy with. Your mileage will depend on your own usage & brightness settings.
5. SUGGESTION - Preloaded on your laptop will be Trend Micro Virus Protection that after a free trial period concludes, will cost you. Some folks suggested removing Trend Micro off your laptop right away and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials that can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website. That's what I did and I'm glad I did it. This anti-virus and anti-spyware software is FREE. That's right - FREE from Microsoft and it's surprisingly unobtrusive and very easy to use.
6. CONCLUSION - After a fairly long period of adjustment, I can now navigate easily and comfortably with the smallish trackpad but I still think a larger touchpad would provide a more pleasurable navigating experience.
Clearly though there is a lot to like with this compact, thin & light. I think the laptop's 12.1 inch size is perfect and I appreciate its light weight, sleekness and the fact it's always quiet and cool to my touch. The display is beautiful and bright, the keyboard is a pleasure to type on, battery life is quite generous and the performance it offers is worthy of laptops costing more, perhaps much more. After 3 months of use, I STILL LOVE IT.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, yet flawed,
What is great about this computer: I love the size. I can easily put it out of reach of my children on a window sill or shelf or on the mantel above the fireplace. I can carry it from room to room in the house with one hand without any strain. This wasn't true of the 15 and 17 inch laptops I've had. I was a little worried that at 12 inches I might be getting the worst of both worlds--a computer that was too small to be useful yet not as handy and portable as the little 10 inch netbooks. Fortunately, it's just the opposite. This computer is just big enough to have a nice screen size with the better resolution--web browsing and photo viewing are comfortable. Yet it is still small enough to be very convenient.
Another thing I like is the one year accidental damage warranty. Squaretrade says that accidental damage is a common cause of computer demise. That is very true at my house. My children ruined both of my last two laptops through "accidental" damage. I was committed to ponying up the money for an accidental damage warranty this time. But check out the cost of those policies--at Best Buy it can be about half the cost of a computer like this one. So Asus's one year damage policy is probably worth an extra $200 to me. The Acer Timeline 1810 (which is the UL20A's principal competitor) doesn't offer that.
Why I chose the Asus UL20A over the Acer Timeline: I strongly dislike these shiny piano black laptops that pick up every fingerprint. They only look good when you open the box. Who wants to spend all day polishing a computer? Who wants to look at fingerprints all day? By contrast, the silver finish on my UL20a doesn't show fingerprints. I think it is very attractive as well, without being flashy. Three more adjectives--understated, professional and sophisticated.
I also need to praise the keyboard. It is impressive that you can have a typing experience this excellent in a machine this small. The chiclet style keyboard is similar to a Sony Vaio. I had never had a chiclet keyboard before (and I was a bit concerned about it) but I may never go back. I think my typing accuracy may have improved! I am able to type at top speed. It just feels good. I have read other reviews that mention a problem with keyboard flex. I'm not sure what keyboard flex is--but either my machine doesn't have it or it doesn't bother me at all, because I have nothing but praise for this keyboard. It is outstanding.
This machine is speedy and responsive for my needs. Of course, I just do e-mail, internet and word processing. I haven't upgraded the RAM yet, but I have found that I can have many, many, many windows open at once with no noticeable downgrade in performance.
I also like the screen--it's just big enough and really bright. It may be a tad glossier than would be ideal-- I was worried because I have a lot of large windows in my house, but I haven't found this to be much of an issue so far. I haven't had the chance to try it outside yet.
***What is not so great about this computer***
The worst problem with this computer is hands down the trackpad. This will be no big deal for you if you always use an external mouse anyway. But I don't want to use an external mouse! I have done everything everyone recommends. I downloaded and applied the Synaptics generic driver. I tweaked the settings. Honestly, I'm still not happy. The button is far too stiff. The touchpad isn't responsive enough, even at maximum sensitivity. I've given myself a month to get used to it, and I'm still super disappointed. The tweaking did help: I now have pinch zoom and two finger scrolling. It helps that with a tap you can simulate a left mouse click. Also, surprisingly even though I turned the sensitivity to maximum, I haven't had any trouble with accidentally brushing the pad and having the cursor jump across the page as I've had with other machines. To sum up: you can make the trackpad work if you need to, but it still isn't pleasant to use. I'm going to purchase an external mouse. What a bummer.
Wireless issues: I noticed that when using the machine wirelessly (as most people do with a laptop), Youtube, CNN, and Cook's Illustrated videos would not play smoothly. When I used a wired connection to our network, the hiccups and stalls went away. I did a speedtest and my download speed seemed to max out at about 3.5 - far less than what we pay for with our high speed cable. Wired I was able to download at 23. I thought it was a problem with the wireless card. But then I visited my in-laws and tried the wireless there (they also have high speed cable) my internet connection was blazing fast! So, we ordered a new router. Now my wireless works great (16 or more) and I have no trouble watching the short video clips that were such a problem before. So, if you have troubles with your wireless, be sure to try it at a friend's house with a different router and see how it does then. The Linksys WRT350N router that didn't work with this machine was only a year or two old. The router that works great is a Netgear Rangemax WNDR 3700 Dual Band Wireless N. I don't know if it was some sort of compatibility problem with the Linksys or if the much, much, much larger antenna on the Netgear made the difference. One other note: so far, I've only been able to use the 2.4 band, not the 5.0 band on the Netgear router. I wonder if it is a limitation of the UL20a because our other computer connects to the 5.0 band. I don't care, because I have the speed I need now.
What is just okay: Splashtop almost instant-on web browsing. 3 observations: a) Windows 7 boots really quickly. b) the sleep function works perfectly. c) the Splashtop resolution isn't optimized for this screen size so everything is just slightly distorted. Conclusion: Why would I use the Splashtop? Between sleep and quick Windows 7 booting, Splashtop offers no advantages. But that's really good news, not bad news about this machine isn't it?
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazing machine with one tragic flaw,
Except for one trajic flaw: the touchpad is awful. For reasons that are beyond me, Asus created it using one of the stickiest substances known to man. My finger cannot glide across this surface. It isn't smooth - it has a dimpled texture to it, almost like a golf ball. That may or may not be the problem. Whatever kind of plastic this is made from, it grabs onto my fingertip and slows it down in an utterly maddening way. Like when you are having a dream and trying to run fast, but your legs are heavy as cement - that is how my fingers feel on this touchpad.
Also, the right and left clickbar at the bottom of the mousepad - it is way too stiff. The combination drives me nearly insane when I am trying to select a couple paragraphs of text and copy it to the clipboard. It might take me 5 tries to get it right. The touchpad sticks and grabs my fingertip, and the clickbar is way too stiff, requiring about 47 pounds of pressure, and will give me a sore thumb by the end of the day.
It's a sad situation because the touchpad on my older Asus EEE PC 1000 HE was silky-smooth. It wasn't broke - why try to fix it?
I do not understand how Asus could be brilliant enough to nail the basics so flawlessly with this machine - the speed and power, the quietness, great keyboard - and then fail when it comes to the touchpad. The touchpad is THE main point of interaction between human and machine when surfing the web. It is the focal point and the one thing that must be perfect. This is the area in which Apple always stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I have seen other reviews saying "I just plug in an external mouse". What?? That defeats the whole purpose of having a laptop. The laptop is sitting in my lap and I am sitting on the couch. Where am I going to put an external mouse, on the side of my pant leg? The laptop is on the seat-tray as I fly in a plane across the country, right next to the little bag of peanuts and my diet coke - where am I going to put the external mouse? Why would I want to deal with another device and another cable? I don't have to do that with my Macbook or my EEE PC or my Sony Vaio laptop because all of them have successfully designed a useable touchpad.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have my brother to thank...,
It was fast and problem free right out of the box. Connected to my Wifi instantly, and runs cool cool cool! I assume it has a fan, but I've never heard it, even in an otherwise silent workplace.
The keyboard is very comfortable, sturdy and has the Home, End, PgUp & PgDn keys that I missed on my ASUS 1002HA. I love my 1002HA netbook, but this machine, in my opinion, is in a completely different class...
The touchpad takes a little getting used to... no edges, so it's easy to get off-track, but only til you get the "feel" of it... now my fingers recognize the little indentations and it's no problem at all. Some have expressed the label on the palmrest as being distracting, but I think it makes a good protector for the surface, at least on the right side.
The UL20A arrived with one 2G memory stick,(KUDUS ASUS!) I ordered a second 2G strip the day I ordered the laptop, (I like to have mulitple windows open at the same time) and intalled it 24 hours after I received the UL20A, and now it's simply amazing! It was very easy, just remove 3 tiny screws, insert the memory strip into the open slot, and close it back up. (Please look up and follow the detailed mfr directions, check warranty info, etc.)
The display is brilliant! The glossy screen... well, because I use it outdoors a lot, I've ordered a non-glare screen protector and am optimistic that it will be what makes this my perfect laptop.
My online video watching was definitely improved with the second strip of RAM, but certainly sufficient with 2G. The screen size is perfect.. where I had difficulty with my multiple open windows, and my vision problems on the 10.1, I have all the room I need with the 12.1 display... Not sure why it works so much better, but it really does. I considered purchasing the 13.1 UL30A, until I was told that it's one inch wider and no taller.
My initial test of battery time gave me a little over 7 hours of various types of computing... watching videos online using wifi, online research, offline word processing, using the ASUS external DVD player to watch a movie, tinkering around with Windows7, personalizing settings, etc.
I really didn't think I was going to like the light aluminum color... My ASUS 1002HA is the dark grey aluminum, it's really classy and professional looking, so I was disappointed that the UL20A didn't have a choice of colors... In fact, I almost didn't purchase it because of that.
However... I've changed my mind, I really like it! Would I choose the darker color if it were available? Yes. Would I not buy this wonderful little laptop for that reason alone? Not after seeing and experiencing it!
I certainly have no complaints, and am completely satisfied with my purchase. And most of all, I thank my brother for pointing me in the right direction for what I needed/wanted! And well, I need a new desktop for the office, He thinks perhaps an Asus Essentio...
Hope this helps someone, because I'm having a blast writing this on my new ASUS UL20A!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great notebook,
Very good build quality
Minimal bloatware (has Trend Micro AV and a few silly games included)
Lightning fast compared to the Atom CPU
LCD size feels bigger than what it really is, I think that is because the resolution is much higher than my netbook (1000he ASUS) which is 1024x600. This is 1366x768 and everything looks much much better on it.
Can play HD YouTube smoothly
Intel Wifi is amazing. I read reports of the Atheros card on the UL30A-A2 model having many problems but this is the best wifi card I have seen in a long time. Picks up signals that my 1000HE can't. Very pleased with the wifi quality on this machine.
Windows 7 64 premium (not some gimped version)
Battery life is very close to the advertised, i get around ~6.5-7.5 depending on what I'm doing.
Comes with cable ties/Recovery discs/utility disc (although there is no DVD drive)
Speakers are better than expected, get much louder and more clear than my 1000HE netbook.
Has a "smart logon" meaning the webcam looks at your face and logs you into Windows, it actually works quite well!
Express gate is nice, but needs a bit of work (IE making the resolution 1366x768 rather than some 800x600 awkward resolution)
Lid is much nicer than the glossy type on my old netbook, doesn't leave fingerprints everywhere
Solid "on" button, I know this sounds stupid but I hated the ON button on my netbook.
The X and C keys on the keyboard make a little noise when you type, but its hardly worth complaining about, let alone doing an RMA for. My G15 makes 3x the noise when I type on it.
There is a fair amount of keyboard flex, but it really doesn't bother me that much.
Trackpad is so-so. Has a strange feeling to it, but works well enough if you don't have a mouse to go with it. (I had to uninstall the default trackpad drivers and install them from the synaptics website ([...]) to get 2 finger scrolling etc)
Only 2GB of ram (Windows sits at around 1.0-1.4GB used when booted up)
Weak graphical performance, but really, that's not why you buy this computer. It's not for gaming.
Comes with a bunch of Asus programs but I uninstalled about 3/4 of them. Asus' power saving modes are confusing, I stuck with default Windows 7 "Balanced" and it gives me the ~7h battery life. The asus power saving mode cuts the color depth and makes the background pure white...yuck!
Glossy screen (rare to find a notebook without one)
Overall I am very happy with this machine, a worth upgrade form my N280 Atom 1000he. I was worried a bit that I wouldn't see a significant upgrade in speed but let me tell you, this thing absolutely kills the Atom CPU in every aspect. I am honestly blown away by these CULV processors. This particular model (SU7300) is dual core, and not hyper threading like some of the atom CPU's. I did notice that adding another 2GB of ram really did help out. For the record it has 2 DIMM slots, and only 1 is filled with a Hynix 2GB stick DDR2-800. I threw in another Buffalo 2GB DDR2-800 and had no issues whatsoever. There is a single hatch which allows access to HDD/RAM. It boots up very quickly especially with the Asus Fastboot (or whatever its called)....Basically when you push the power button, its less than 3 seconds until windows starts to load, I wish my desktop PC could do that!
This is only a "preliminary" review as I have only had the machine less than a week. I will update this in a week or two as I think of more things to add. Overall, this PC gets a big thumbs up from me.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Very Pleasant,
I wanted a laptop small enough that it could hide in a backpack during travel in distant lands. A 10" would have been more physically convenient but far inferior as far as performance goes and rare in usable 1366X768 resolution. So it's not netbook small, but it's still pretty trim, and the power brick is downright tiny - really, it's like the size of a portable mouse. Although, having had that Mac Powerbook for so long, I am partial to the swap-able outlet/3-prong cord option for travel vs. home use.
I suppose it's heavier than I was really shooting for. Originally I was looking at the Dell Latitude E4200 and it's feathery 2.2(?) lb weight but even through the Dell outlet, the price just wouldn't drop close enough to contend with the Asus. Still it's definitely lighter than my old Mac, so I won't complain.
The CPU has really impressed me. I can run any computer in to the ground and make it cry for mercy. Dozens of web browser tabs, no problem. Then another browser along side it with VLC or Media Player going, of course. Throw in Word, and Excel, and my IM client, TrueCrypt, KeePass, Wireshark portable, and then startup XP in Virtual Box for good measure and run Photoshop inside it... okay it's not liking that so much! But I really should upgrade to 4GB Ram before I expect that much out of any computer. But really, the SU7300 powers up to meet my reasonable requirements just fine. It is virtualization enabled and with nothing else really running in Win7, Virtual Box will run XP or Ubuntu 9.10 at idle with about 10%-15% CPU utilization.
The build quality is mostly good with a few minor shortcomings. And those shortcomings are highlighted against the well fitted, all aluminum construction of the Powerbook of course. The center of the keyboard, from about the b up to the 6 depresses a bit. I guess it's "flex" but I've never ha a computer that had flex so I don't know if this is serious enough to warrant the label. It's not springy flex anyway. In fact the chicklet style keys are pretty solid, it's more the surround that makes the plastic sea between all the little island keys that bounces ever so gently.
The shiny black surround of the screen is a lint magnet. The Aluminum lid is nice and the silver/grey plastic palm rest, while glossy, is light enough to haide the fingerprint smudges. The plastic underside of the computer is fairly solid , not aluminum like I'm used to, but good enough. As far as ports go, the ethernet port doesn't have any indicator lights but it's not really a big deal I guess. Originally, I wasn't worried about getting the VGA port without an HDMI option, but I do with for the HDMI over the VGA by coincidence... I have a monitor with one open port, the DVI of course. I'm used to having only 2 USB ports, so 3 is plenty, and I have an itty-bitty micro bluethooth adapter that I picked up for about $3 often filling one so I don't miss built-in blue-tooth either.
Really, this computer is all about the CPU and a bit of style and grace. If I wasn't worried about taxing the CPU, an Acer with the SU4100 or the SU2300 on sale for $400 or less would have been a sure bet.
The UL20-A's battery is also pretty good when set to powersave (win+X is a nice little quick access feature) but on performance it will suck the juice pretty quickly. Powersave + a movie in VLC though and it will sip for a bunch of hours.
All in all, I like it. Windows 7 networking, not so much, but the Asus UL20-A, yeah.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASUS UL20A-A1 super-netbook works great!!,
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great computer!,
So far i am extremely pleased with this purchase, and i would definitely recommend it to anyone who it looking for a very portable and affordable laptop!!
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