|Screen Size||13.3 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Max Screen Resolution||1336 x 768 pixels|
|Processor||1.3 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3|
|Memory Speed||1066 MHz|
|Hard Drive||500 GB SATA|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel GMA|
ASUS UL30A-A2 Thin and Light 13-3-Inch Silver Laptop - 12 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)
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- 1.3GHz Intel SU7300 Core 2 Duo Processor
- 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 2 slots, 4GB Max
- 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
- 13.3" HD LED LCD Display, Intel GMA 4500MHD, 0.3M Webcam, Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn
- Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (64 bit), *12 Hours of Battery Life
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Weighing less than 4lbs and measuring less than an inch thin, the new ASUS UL30A is a harmonious blend of form and function. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo ultra-low voltage processor, it boasts an impressive 16-hour battery life for all-day computing. It also sports user-centric features such as a multi-gesture touchpad and provides an impressive multimedia entertainment experience with Altec Lansing speakers and SRS Premium Sound. All of these features and more are shrouded in a robust brushed aluminum lid that not only looks magnificent, but also helps in maintaining the notebook’s stylish exterior day after day. ASUS notebooks come with ASUS’ 360 service program that includes a 2 year global warranty, one month zero bright dot guaranty, free two-way shipping and twenty-four hour tech support seven days a week. Plus it comes with a FREE One Year Accidental Damage Warranty protecting your notebook from drops, fire, spills and surges.
Top customer reviews
Middle of the Road:
1. Lack of an Optical drive - either internal or external. While this may be an issue for some people, it is plenty easy to hook up an external optical drive to it. However buyers should keep a sharp eye out for which external drive they get. The cpu in this machine is an ultra low voltage processor, and some of the external optical drives out there that only run on the power of usb ports (1 or 2) will find that the UL30A-A2 does not crank sufficient power through the usb ports for many of the drives available. I fortunately had an external drive powered by only usb ports and one with an external power supply. The usb powered external drive I owned (a nu-esw860, which worked with an HP 8710w laptop) did not work, whereas the external power source usb drive (an dvd writer/cd burner from Iomega) worked fine.
2. The Touchpad and Mouse Buttons. While the touchpad is fine for me the mouse buttons actually consist of a single button that rocks back and forth. I find it a little awkward, but not unusable. In general I try to use an external mouse with laptops anyway.
3. DDR3 memory limitation. While the inclusion of DDR3 RAM is excellent in of itself purchasers should be aware that this model maxes out at 4gb of RAM - that is, the amount it sells with. No upgrades in this area of the machine. And since the machine sells with a 64 bit OS, which is not subject to the 3.5 gb RAM cap of 32 bit OS's, it kinda makes one wonder what Asus was thinking, especially with the video card potentially borrowing so much memory. That being said, other UL models DO come with an 8gb max and ship with 4gb of RAM, although usually those models use DDR2.
4. Keyboard. While I very much like the chicklet design of laptop keyboards my unit has noticeable (but not terrible) flex across the keyboard proper. For those of you who are used to the standard of the old IBM laptops this is a bit of a disappointment. But even though I thought it should be mentioned it is very easy to live with nonetheless.
5. Tiny power adapter. A very small adapter comes with the unit, and although I too have seen reviews (admittedly of the UL30A-A1 model) where the adapter got downright hot thus far my use of it has not achieved that. At worse it has been noticeably warm. Maybe a determining factor for the size of the adapter was to shave a few extra ounces off of the overall weight of carrying the machine and its accessories around?
6. Intel x4500 graphics card. Not the greatest of cards, but sufficient to the the job on a basic daily level. Likely chosen in part for purposes of battery life.
1. No bluetooth. This was a disappointment for me, but there are models in the UL series that do come with bluetooth capability. In the end I opted for battery life over the bluetooth - a person could always get a usb bluetooth adapter if need be. Still - it would have been very convenient to have this.
2. Usually Asus's laptops come with a bag and a mouse, as the previous reviewer has mentioned. No such extra accessories came with my machine.
3. Internal Wireless Card. My unit was bundled with an Aetheros wireless card and only one of the two antennae was attached/active. I would presume that this was to reduce power consumption. For me personally it is not a problem, but I have heard many fellow users complain about its weak signal and limited range. It works - just not very strong or far-reaching. This has been a deterrent for some in considering to purchase this machine.
1. Sturdy build, light weight. I am impressed by the general external build of so thin and light a laptop as this one - it is not super sturdy, like, say, the old IBM T40 series, but it is quite adequate. Kudos to Asus on this front!
2. Screen. It is a lovely and vibrant screen indeed - although potential buyers should be aware that it is the reflective screen.
3. Aesthetic Design. I personally think it is an attractive laptop as well. The same basic design comes in both silver and black. Looking only at pictures I thought the black looked slightly better of the two, but on receiving the UL30A-A2 (which is the silver model) I am quite satisfied with how it looks, and even impressed. Asus did a very good job on this one!
4. Cooling system. As advertised, Asus did an impressive job with this. The machine stays very, VERY cool when running. Even when doing high intensive cpu tasks the machine only heats up in a barely noticeable way.
5. HDMI Port. This is something I have seen many people ask about. Different models of the UL series either come with or omit the hdmi port. This hdmi port also is not of the sort that can also be used as a usb port.
6. Not a whole lot of bloatware. Mostly Asus programs - a few could be useful, like the power saving app, which I have not yet used. Mine came with a trial of Trend Micro antivirus and MS Office 2007 student level - both were easy enough to uninstall.
7. Windows 7. This is my first hands on look at the OS, and while it took a while to find my way around the thing, I have to say I am impressed, in particular by the power saving features and general speed improvement over Vista.
8. Battery Life. This was the deal breaker for me. The battery itself fits up very snugly to the overall design of the laptop, and the UL30A-A2 model was advertised (perhaps incorrectly) as having up to 16 hours of battery life. I put it through some initial tests and these are the rough figures I came up with:
Initial Battery Life Results:
When I make a power saving profile maximized for battery length (which means screen dimmed to lowest possible and wireless turned off) AND reduce the color from 32 bit to 16 bit this is what I got before shutting down the machine at 5% power - these are rough numbers only, mind you:
Playing .avi files and installing a fair size program: about 8 hours of battery life.
Playing .avi files only: about 10 - 10 1/2 hours of battery life.
Only word processing: about 13 - 13 1/2 hours battery life.
So, at least based on the first run of draining the battery life, while it does not live up to the 16 hours listed on amazon.com, it DOES do better than the advertised "up to 12 hours" for the other machines - but this is in extreme power saving mode.
Overall this is an ideal machine for me personally. I thought long and hard before choosing what my next laptop was going to be, and I am very satisfied with the result. I would recommend this machine to others who need long battery life with decent cpu strength and speed in their machine at the same time. For the record, the Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 cpu is very roughly the equivalent of an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 and/or an AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-64.
I am hopeful that in the future Asus (or some third party) will make available larger power supplies and especially larger batteries! Then something like 16 hours of battery life could easily be reached with dedicated power saving settings (as opposed to ultra-extensive, as I did).
When I bought my first laptop in July of 2008 for college, I thought that the sony vaio I was getting was great because it recieved alot of editor's choice awards. Being young and naive, I thought that it was a good purchase. While it was nice and flashy with the red cover, it didn't suit my needs as a college student. It was large (15.4 in), bulky (6 lb), and didn't even have the blu-ray player, which is why it won the awards in the first place, being one of the only laptops at the time to play blu-ray. It was meant to be a multimedia laptop, which is not what I needed as a college student. So this Thanksgiving, I started hearing about this Asus UL30 that was getting rave reviews and alot of attention. I researched it more, and the more I read about it, the more I liked.
Before going into college, I was positive that I wanted a Macbook. Apple claims that they're the most used computer on college campuses, and just by walking around you can see they're not lying. But the pricetag just wasn't cooperating with my dreams to get a mac. Not only does this computer have a mac-like keyboard, but you won't have to drop a grand to get it! So I stuck with Microsoft, which was further cemented due to my purchase of a Microsoft Zune HD (which I also highly recommend). But I digress, back to the Asus UL30.
Put simply, the Asus UL30 is probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. It is so thin and light, the 'UL' part doesn't do justice. Compared to that behemoth of a vaio, the Asus UL30 weighs less then a Mac for crying out loud! Weight and portability were one of my top concerns because I would be lugging around this laptop with me to campus, going from class to class all day. This laptop weighs less then my calculus book! I can easily carry it in my backpack, and when I get to class, just whip it out and go.
The hardware is simply divine. The screen is so bright and vibrant, as we speak I have the brightness level set to a little less than halfway, because I might get blinded if I put it up all the way. Yes, the screen is quite glossy, but you could barely notice it when you're using the laptop, unless you're sitting in the sun, which would make any screen hard to see anyway.
The speakers are unlike other laptops. They're situated underneath the laptop, towards the front. It kind of muffles the sound if you have it in your lap, but when it's on a hard surface, the sound bounced off the table and is amplified. When I first got the ASUS UL30, I set it on the table right next to my brother (HP) and sister's (some other 15.4 ASUS) laptop. I blasted the same song from all 3 laptops, and my ASUS UL30 completely hit the other two out of the ballpark in terms of loudness and clarity. You seriously have to listen to how loud the speakers on this small laptop really is to believe it. As I'm typing this, I have my headphones on and the volume set to 17% and the pandora volume set to like 25. The loudness capability of the ASUS UL30 is excellent, you will not be disappointed.
The part that I might (and that's a big MIGHT) come to miss is an optical drive. There is no way to play DVDs or CDs on the ASUS UL30, but that's a blessing in disguise! Because there's no optical drive, the laptop is lighter, and uses less battery because all it's running is just the hard drive. I don't really miss the optical drive because these days, everything you need can be downloaded off the internet. Ever since I've gotten this computer, there hasn't been a single time when I've had to play a CD but couldn't. Let's face it, ubiquitous storage on the internet and flashdrives are the future. The last time I used the optical drive on my former laptop was months ago to play some video game I rented from the library. Not having an optical drive should be no big deal.
Another part that I absolutely adore about the ASUS UL30 is the trackpad. The dimples are very unique and the single mouse button makes the laptop seem more simplistic, and I love simplicity. I remember reading a review about the ASUS UL30 and someone said that once you get a little 'finger grease' on the trackpad, that it's becomes really smooth, which I found to be a little disgusting, but now I know what the reviewer meant. When you first get the laptop, the trackpad is really dry, imagine yourself swiping your finger on any dry plastic surface, and thats what it feels like. But once you get some of that 'finger grease', the trackpad works like a charm. And it's so cute and unique, what other laptop has little dimples?
One thing about the trackpad that I do NOT like is the multitouch thing, like how you scroll down by using two fingers, and can right click by using 3. The 2 finger scrolling isn't that accurate, and the 3 finger right click is kind of a shot in the dark if it works or not. Often time, when 2 finger scrolling, accidentally I get that arrow thing that scrolls the page when you move the arrow to the edge. I admit it's kind of annoying, but hey, it's great when it works! lol fml
When buying this laptop, I was debating whether to get the A2 or the X5. I ultimately chose the A2 because its silver, and I read that the black attracts finger prints like crazy, and I liked the better battery life. I was already slapping down $700, so why not just spend another $100 and make sure that I'll be completely satisfied with what I get?
Some people say that the laptop feels like it's made of cheap plastic. I can see why they would say that because if I press the front part down, it makes a little clicking noise. But that is barely noticeable and doesn't really affect the overall laptop. The ASUS UL30 doesn't get overly hot like my old Sony did, I could use it one my lap all day/night and I still wouldn't notice the heat. So now I kind of regret buying a logitech lapdesk for $40 a couple weeks before I got the ASUS UL30.
The battery is one of the strongest points of the laptop. I'm sure you've all heard how great the battery life is by now, and while I don't get the 12 hours as advertised, I probably get a good 8-9 hours from a single charge. And that's from browsing the web, playing music, watching videos, and the many other multi-tasking things that college students do. The battery life simply pays for itself over and over again. Whenever I go to the library, I don't have to walk round and around for a table that's close to an electric outlet. Now I just smile as I watch people walking all over the library looking for an outlet to plug in their drained computers that only last 2-3 hours on a charge, or at other students who have to turn their brightness down to the lowest level to conserve battery while in class. It's like they're reading from a fricken kindle for crying out loud! All the while, my screen is bright as the sun, and untethered from the bondage of electrical outlets.
Now I have to say something critical of the ASUS UL30 just to be fair in this review. If I had to choose something, the only thing that I wouldn't like about this laptop is that there's no bluetooth capability, so I cant wirelessly transfer pics I took on my phone to my computer. But that's not that big of a deal because there's a memory card slot so I can just pop that SD micro card into a SD mini reader and bam bam thank you ma'am, everything works fine.
Even though I gave the rating of a 4 out of 5 simply because I think 5 is some perfect, imaginary laptop that can only exist in our dreams. But this computer is fairly close to that!
The graphics are great, the sound and screen are great, the chiclet keyboard and dimple trackpad is real cute, the ASUS UL30 is one of the best 13.3" laptops on the market, and I'm extremely glad that I bought it!
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Aside from that, I love the size, the keys, the weight ... One other note.Read more