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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Product
I was pleased with this model UL30A, I did not need or want the switchable video, so this was a good bargain at 599 for the larger 13.3 screen and full size keyboard. The screen is very thin, notebook is light and solid. I have a few other Asus notebooks and like the chicklet style keyboard they use. It is also very cool running. The reason I would not give it 5 stars...
Published on June 16, 2010 by ZAM

versus
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed by first production run. Try again.
I actually own the 1005-PR, so I am aware that Asus CAN delivery high quality work. This laptop was purchased to run outside as a document writer while in travel. Unfortunately, the one delivered to me had a hard drive that already starting whirring the clicks of death. I didn't even have a chance to really install anything or do much beyond patching the OS when the...
Published on June 14, 2010 by Richard Pham


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Product, June 16, 2010
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I was pleased with this model UL30A, I did not need or want the switchable video, so this was a good bargain at 599 for the larger 13.3 screen and full size keyboard. The screen is very thin, notebook is light and solid. I have a few other Asus notebooks and like the chicklet style keyboard they use. It is also very cool running. The reason I would not give it 5 stars is the ridiculous battery claim or 12 hours. This is not realistic in any fashion. I would say it is in the range of 7-8 with normal use, so even if everything is turned off I don't see any way to get to 12.

Overall, if you are looking for a 13.3 thin and light netbook it is a fantastic deal. If you want to go a bit smaller and save about $100 I would look at the 1201N-PU17-SL as an option.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the future college student, June 24, 2010
By 
Jamie Johnson (Mt Pleasant, SC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I received my computer a day ago and I haven't had a single problem with it. I'm not a huge computer nerd, but I'm not computer illiterate... so here's my PRO/CON list.

PROS
-It was easy to get it started. I was using the computer as I normally would an hour after I opened the box it came in.
-The keyboard is easy to type on.
-The track-pad is nice. People who have reviewed the UL30A-X5 (basically the same thing only without the Kindle Program installed) say they don't like it, but I like it. It doesn't make the skin on your finger feel "tired" if that makes sense.
-The quick-start option is really cool! I know I'll use it a lot when I want to quickly look something up on the internet but don't want to go through the process of starting up Windows. Windows also doesn't take a long time to start up... it takes a minute from the time you hit the power button to the time you can run a program.
-The camera is very fun to use. It might just be the novelty of it, but it's a fun little plus.
-As others have written before in other reviews (for the UL30A-X5), there is little "bloatware". You're not really bombarded with the free trial stuff.
-No problems with Wi-fi range.
-It stays cool.
-It's quick, as a new computer should be.

CONS
-Fingerprint magnet, as others have said before. But does that really matter?
-The right-hand shift key is shorter than your average shift key. I find myself pressing the up arrow by accident, but I think I'll be able to train myself not to extend my pinky so far sooner or later.
-The battery life for using normal Windows is 7 hours. Still not bad, but don't get your hopes up for 12!
-I did get one "This application is not responding" message when I used the application that comes with the webcam. I think I was clicking different things too quickly and it got confused.
-No optical drive. This isn't really a CON, but a forewarning. While not having one makes it harder to install software, it also makes the laptop lighter. You can buy an external one that burns DVDs for $50.

And that's all! If I ever have anything else to add, I'll be sure to write it here. Feel free to ask me any questions!

_________________________________

EDIT: Today I logged onto my computer and I had some snowy rectangles on my screen, as well as some horizontal snowy lines. It's hard to describe. I simply restarted the computer and everything was back to normal. I'm hoping something is not wrong with the monitor's connection. I'll keep you posted if it happens again.

_________________________________
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed by first production run. Try again., June 14, 2010
By 
Richard Pham (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I actually own the 1005-PR, so I am aware that Asus CAN delivery high quality work. This laptop was purchased to run outside as a document writer while in travel. Unfortunately, the one delivered to me had a hard drive that already starting whirring the clicks of death. I didn't even have a chance to really install anything or do much beyond patching the OS when the computer starting randomly clicking. Hopefuly the second version which arrived today works better.

I did do a battery test run doing nothing. On the PowerMark recommended settings, the battery lasts for 7 hours, not 11 as advertised. It played video well contrary to some other reports on this machine. This machine does not run hot in your lap compared to the 1005-PR.

This is also the first time I have used the Amazon RMA process, and from a customer's perspective, it's awesome! The RMA ticket process is easy to generate, UPS easily handled my package, and a new one was shipped even prior to the delivered return. I'm never going to worry again about buying an expensive piece of equipment from Amazon again.

-----Modified after I received an exchange from Amazon RMA from 2-3 stars-------------

So, now that I get a functional one, I really like it. I don't need a optical drive directly attached. Even with being extremely battery efficient, I only get 7 hours (the other reviewer is right). It is fast enough that I don't notice hanging with the standard Microsoft suite, it will play video fine, it will actually run Eclipse and NumPy (relatively painful on the processors) without noticable issues in interactive mode. The speakers aren't bad, and the screen is decent if you are looking straight at it. Wi-fi is a cinch, and I don't notice range issues with the card.

For people who insist on putting their laptops through the wringer, it will play Quake 4 without noticeable lag, and LFD1 with noticeable lag. This is by no means a present day gaming rig, but the Intel 4500 is more than adequate for the normal run-of-the-mill tasks.

Basically, if you need a light document writer, a long battery computer, this one is great. If you are trying to use RAM-dependent programs like Stata, NumPy, or Matlab, it'll be slow, but the IDE's will work fine. If you want to use Itunes or 1080p, the screen and even the speakers aren't bad. If you want to put GOG games on it, it'll work fine. If you are trying to play Crysis, *(& no.

BTW, about Amazon's RMA process. Request in 6/2, Amazon mails out 6/3, Arrives 6/5, return was just delivering to the local UPS acceptor (Kinko's in my case). Yea, Amazon for making the exchange painless.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Value Good Performance, June 25, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
This is the second UL30A-X5K I've recieved from Amazon. The first one had a dead pixel in the middle of the screen so I returned it and Amazon sent me this replacement very quickly, no problems. Thanks Amazon. I primarily bought this notebook because it offers a mix of portability, battery life, and performance. I have a 10" eeePC netbook and a 17" Sony Vaio FW series. I needed a notebook with more power and functionality than my netbook but with better portability than my Sony Vaio. I chose this version over the one with the switchable graphics card because of the cheaper price. So far the 4500MHD card has met my needs perfectly. I typically use this computer to browse the internet, create MS office documents, and for entertainment such as online videos, and video/ music playback. Video playback is excellent, I have no problems streaming HD video content.

The UL30A-X5 handles multitasking quite well. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the 1.3ghz dual-core ULV processor works. The 4gbs of RAM is very handy as well for resource intensive programs. As far as build quality goes, I was a little underwhelmed. It feels nice and solid but apart from the aluminum case(fingerprint magnet) it seems a bit plasticky. The build quality is slightly better than eeePC series but I was expecting more at this price point, however the glossy screen does give it more of a high-end look. I still give this laptop five stars because while it's not amazing by any means it is a solid, good performing PC with excellent battery life.

Pros: Slim form factor, quick performance, battery life: around 9 hours of web browsing on power saver, better than average speakers, nice keyboard, good screen, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, lightweight, HDMI port, large hard drive, 1yr warranty,

Cons: Dated BIOS; does not allow booting from SD card, comes loaded with bloatware, somewhat cheap build quality, fingerprint magnet case, no bluetooth,

Overall I am pleased with my purchase, I recommend it to anyone who needs a notebook with great balance between performance and portability.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the greats, August 17, 2010
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
Well, I've had this laptop over a year now and it has not been a nuisance at all. I'll explain this nice and simple why you will love this laptop.

1. 1-2 year 'idiot' warranty. Meaning you can destroy the laptop anyway you want it, and they'll send you a replacement anyway. (Not that I'm telling you to do so, but however the occasional laptop smack to a co-worker for being hungover won't hurt)

** Just make sure when you send in the warranty form, you check their ASUStek site for the new address, some of the forms have the wrong address... so you need to check their site to see where to send the forms and such.

2. I love computers and use them everyday, so getting a laptop with a 1.3ghz duo core processor was a step down from me. However, when I received it and turned it on, it runs superbly smooth. I was actually amazed with the quality from Intel and ASUStek. Browses through the internet with no noticeable lag and has a balance that is very proportionate. I ran Starcraft II on it, with little to no hiccups at all and that actually surprised me with the Intel 4500. It runs videos fine up to 720p; 1080p could get a low framerate and lag for you.

3. Extremely thin and light. When I say thin and light, I mean thin and light. I wanted a Macbook air for the super thin look and weight. However I wasn't going to shell out a grand of two for it. (Don't get me wrong, I love Macs too), I carry this on my shoulder back pack, and I don't even notice that it is there. It's about the weight, of a thin text book, and feels way less. For $600 how can you complain, and if you bought this a few months ago they also gave you a free external Asus cd/dvd drive with a $60 rebate.

4. Battery power, I mean.. I didn't believe it got up to 12 hours and it probably does with the right sense of "tuning". However, I did manage to receive 4-5 hours on performance with low brightness and 7-9 hours on 'power saver' with low brightness. It's actually pretty interesting to sit in a cafe with no charger needed and all the Starbucks people look at you wondering why your laptop isn't dead. Sure the 12 hour claim is a wee bit stretched, but considering the price and the quality of the build, you won't mind. (compared to other laptops that claim 5-6 hours and die at 2.)

Here I'll list some noticeable cons:

1. Minor but is noted for the fingerprint magnet. I'm used to it, knowing that a lot of laptops and electronics are jaded to use this kind of material. Though in fact it looks nice, it attracts a lot of oil and dust. However, a lot of the companies do this to their products. LG, Samsung, Sony TVS, the PS3, some phones and etc. etc., so i guess they wanted to enter the bandwagon as well?

2. Noted** There is a face detection login, however it is still quite 'buggy'. I took over a thousand pictures and still it does not notice my face on contact, I'd have to angle my face a certain way and sometimes move my hair out of my forehead, just use the regular password log on.

Summary:

Overall this is a solid laptop. Not a lot of bloatware, and even if there is, it's easily uninstalled. The webcam is also .3 megapixel, however, you never use it enough to tell that it is actually pretty detailed, I enjoy the webcam and noticed that it does look very indeed clear. Also the 4GB of ram? That is what I've been asking for! A lot of ddr3 for a low price, and of course Windows 7 Home (64-bit). For those of you with Vista, it's time to change, this laptop will carry your kids through college, and will probably get you through work. It's light versatile and has this body of Armor, literally made out of metal and rigid lines. I wouldn't trust companies like Dell, because after a while of use, there monitor becomes pretty shaky, due to the poor hinges they use. This monitor has not shaken and I've owned it for a full year. You'll love this laptop and it'll give you everything you need.

If you don't want a netbook w/ Intel Atom (what a joke) and you don't want a Mac, or a heavyweight laptop, this is the perfect fit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, just a couple minor quirks, October 4, 2010
By 
Morimoto "Morimoto" (Greenwich, CT, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
This laptop is very thin and light, has about a 4-5 hour real battery life, an excellent finish, and a great chicklet keyboard (albiet a with a bit of flex).

The downsides are a totally acceptable but unremarkable LCD, and trackpad which is a little awkward. Also, there are no system disks accompanying the package, I needed to do this myself - it took over 2 hours and 5 DVD-Rs. This was annoying, especially since the system has no built-in optical drive (I had to use the external add-on).

The registration process also requires you to print out an email and *snail mail* it with the receipt - it's 2010, this should all be doable online.

The display is matte (non-glossy), which is great for people who hate glossy, but doesn't have the 'pop' of a glossy either. On the plus side, it is very low-power 'green' display.

The performance is surprisingly good - its difficult to guess what the experience would be on one of these special low-power chips, but for general computing its fine - and the startup time is actually very good. I would love to see how it performs with a good quality SSD.

Don't forget the add-on optical drive - it has a nice complimentary finish and only requires 2 USB ports, no AC adapter required. Speaking of AC adapters, the one which comes with the unit is nice and compact.

In consideration of price, weight, performance, features, and battery life, this is a tough deal to beat as a travel companion or for general computing - especially if you replace the hard drive with an SSD.

I buy a lot of desktops, laptops, and servers, and chose this laptop for my 63 year old mom, who is not technically inclined. She loves it.

One more thing - like most Windows computer, it came with a bunch of programs, but there isn't anything on there which is really worth uninstalling because of startup or performance issues - I just dragged the desktop shortcuts to the trash.

As a matter of habit, I also uninstalled the Trend Anti-Virus trial and replaced it with the free Microsoft Security Essentials.

Oh, and like most Windows computers, it comes with a bunch of those horrible stickers, some of which come off, I didnt try to remove them as I know from experience this can be a pain. These are just appalling but I guess most laptops have them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great computer! Lousy speakers... :-(, August 2, 2010
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I'm a BIG fan of Asus netbooks and laptops. I started with their first netbook, the 701A back in November of 2008. That's been upgraded to a 901 and now a 1008HA that goes everywhere with me. Oh, and there's the 1201N I use for teaching. I've bought...wow 1005HAs for three sons, my sister, and two friends. No complaints! The UL30A-X5K was purchased for a friend whose 4 year old Dell multimedia laptop started giving up the ghost.

Others have summarized the strengths and weaknesses of the UL30A-X5K quite well, although in many cases we all see the same thing but weight and rate it differently. It's a FULL size laptop, but very lightweight. Don't overlook this! One thing my friend has admired about my 1008 HA is how I can use it just about everywhere: at the table if a question comes up before or after meals (NEVER during!), while sitting in the living room, wherever. The Dell boat anchor had been tethered to the desk, but it's slowly dawning that while the UL30A-X5K might not be as convenient as the 1008HA for hauling all over town, it is JUST as convenient for hauling around the house!

500GB hard drive, 4 MB memory, dual core processor, 64 bit OS... definitely a machine that's ready for anything the near future has to throw at it.

The ONLY reason for giving the UL30A-X5K 4 stars is the speakers. My friend says they're fine and sound great, but I think part of that is just politeness. There's no way the sound compares to the old Dell multimedia laptop, old as it may be. Normally, I wouldn't mark down for this. Smaller, thinner machines tend to have tinny sounding speakers. However, the advertising suggests otherwise!

("The UL30A is complemented with Altec Lansing speakers--30 percent more powerful compared to those found on conventional notebooks--and SRS premium surround sound, providing high-quality audio playback without the need to connect to external speakers. The angle of the speakers also allows audio to be "bounced" upwards from any surface to provide better amplification, delivering a wider frequency range, which in turn produces lower pitches that allow users to hear every reverberation of the drums, as well as every note in pitch perfect quality.")

Well...no. The high end is just fine but there is virtually no low end (bass) to the speakers. Unfortunately, I could not find the model from a vendor who allowed returns, so we'll live with it. To be fair, we can and likely will add a set of external speakers, and then the laptop will be perfect, but that's NOT what Asus's advertising led me to believe would be necessary.

That said, I recommend the laptop without any reservation but the speakers.

64 bit OS... We've yet to find a 32 bit program that won't work properly, but my friend's demands are modest: Office and the like. The Amazing Slowdowner is probably the least mainstream program on the machine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! Does not come with ADW, December 28, 2010
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
One of the prime selling factors to this product was the 1 year ASUS Accidental Damage Warranty advertised on the Amazon.com website. Buyer Beware! When I mailed off the registration card accordingly, it was returned to sender When I tried online registration,I was denied because my laptop was ineligible.

False advertising. I tried to contact Amazon to correct this but to no avail. For shame, for shame. I'm really disappointed that the customer service on this purchase was an extreme letdown.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Ubuntu (or Linux) users, August 31, 2010
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought this computer from Amazon 2 weeks ago, but as I'm a Linux fan (Ubuntu to be more specific) I was always in doubt of buying or not a computer because of compatibility.

If this is your case, the search is over: Ubuntu 10.04 is 100% compatible. Wonderful, all working "out of the box": Screen, multi-touchpad (impressive), wireless, sound, Fn-shortcuts.

The Intel card is capable also to run de 3d linux compiz desktop effects without a problem, and to run moderate-graphic games.

The battery (at least for me) lasts 6 hours of use on Ubuntu (Windows realistically is about 7 hours) and if you want the battery longer you can install an applet to control the processor speed to save extra time (very similar to the ASUS system that comes pre-installed on windows). To find it just right click on the upper Gnome bar and find on the applets.

I'm not sure about the other distributions, but I guess that Debian based ones will have similar performance.

Hope that this could help.

PS: the dual-graphic "brother" of this computer (ASUS UL30VT-X1K) can work on Linux, but is not yet 100% out-of-the box. You will have to do some research for a solution. But for me as I don't use the Laptop for games, this is 100%.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfied product/service, March 31, 2011
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This review is from: ASUS UL30A-X5K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this product in June, 2010. Three months later, September,2010, my screen blacked out and my laptop no longer worked. Since it was under warranty (because it's only been THREE months), I contacted ASUS and was given instructions to send my defective laptop to their "Authorized Signer Provider." After following ASUS's instructions to send in my laptop, I never received any confirmation that they received or was working on my laptop. I called them constantly for 5 months, back and forth, back and forth and finally was informed that their "Authorized Signer Provider" lost the laptop and they cant locate it. I escalated to the supervisor & Manager but they still could not resolve my issue to get a replacement. I JUST received my relacement which is a REFURBISHED laptop that I did not purchase. I originally purchased a BRAND NEW laptop and expected a replacement of a BRAND NEW laptop, especially because of the stress this issue caused me.

OVERALL, ASUS has TERRIBLE customer service and needs to think twice about keeping their authorized signer provider. I strongly suggest them to train their customer service team more, as well as the rest of their staff. ASUS will no longer receive any more of my business and I will continue to spread the word. This was the WORST customer service experience ever!
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