Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops

May 9, 2010 | 11:42

Tags: #1018p #atom #ddr3 #eee-pc #g71 #gaming-laptop #laptop #netbook #republic-of-gamers #rog

Companies: #asus #intel

Hands-on with the Asus ULC30 and U35Jc

For those looking for something meatier than an Atom netbook - the UL30 and U35Jc are both worth getting more excited about.

Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30 Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30
Click to enlarge

This UL30 is an upgrade from the previous CULV based 13.3in machine, although I'm a little confused by Asus' naming strategy. According to reports it's meant to house a Core i3-530M and Nvidia Optimus inside its aluminium bodied frame.

While Asus has kitted this UL30 out with a the Nvidia GeForce 310M with Optimus, this model specifically gets an upgrade to Core i7-620M and includes a Blu-ray drive. This means it's no longer ultra portable as it clearly sits over the inch thick mark and has a pretty hefty weight to it, but on the plus side, the Core i7-620M is one comfortably nippy beast, as you'd expect.

Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30 Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30
Click to enlarge

Asus assures me there's a version without the optical drive due, which should slim it down to match the UL35Jc's form factor, and obviously it'll still weigh more than a plain plastic notebook. Again, we really don't mind that. The bare aluminium cover doesn't pick-up fingerprints, unlike the black, and while the wrist-rest can get uncomfortably cold to use at first, the overwhelming loveliness exceeds the negativity of that or the extra weight.

Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30 Hands-on with Asus' latest laptops Hands-on with the Asus U35Jc and UL30
Click to enlarge

Again, there's those spaced out keys too, which we're a fan of. They feel sharp, not spongy to type on and the small 3in size increase from netbook to proper laptop is much preferred for ease of use. To match the included Blu-ray drive, Asus has built in some Antec Lasing speakers. The bar maybe low for notebook speakers anyway so any kind of upgrade is always a bonus.

The UL35Jc is thinner as it loses the optical drive; it's significantly lighter than the UL30, despite having an aluminium cover, but the trade off is that inside it's all plastic. The system had no OS, so we couldn't test the LED backlit display and Core i3-530M.

That's all for now - if any of these or other Asus notebooks has perked your interest, let us know, and we'll try and arrange a full review!
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