Asus 13.3" U30Jc Laptop, Optimus-Enabled Mobility - HotHardware

Asus 13.3" U30Jc Laptop, Optimus-Enabled Mobility

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Where do we begin? The Asus U30Jc is one of the most well-designed notebooks we have have had the pleasure of testing, and particularly in the ultraportable space, we think it's only rivaled by Apple's MacBook. The brushed aluminum design spreads beyond the lid; it goes underneath to the palm rest and below to the underside. It's not some cheesy plastic imitation. This is the real deal, and it feels extremely smooth to the touch and as solid as a rock.


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One look at this machine in person, and you'll be smitten. It's just gorgeous. It shimmers, and it's extremely solid without being overly heavy. There's no flex to speak of; it's like a stiff sheet of steel. We also love that there are no palm rest stickers. Asus includes them, but they're on a plastic sticker sheet that can easily be removed. Just like that, it's perfectly clean inside and out, just like all notebooks should be.
 

     
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Along the front edge, there are a number of LED status indicators and an SD/SDHC/MMC card slot. Around the sides are the ports: an HDMI and VGA output, three USB 2.0 ports, a Wi-Fi on/off switch, eSATA port, audio in/out ports, a DVD R/W optical drive, Ethernet port and an AC socket. We wish these were USB 3.0 ports, and an ExpressCard slot would be nice, but overall this should be plenty for most users.

     
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Asus has placed a multi-touch, gesture supporting trackpad on this machine, and it might just be the best one we have ever used on an ultraportable. There's a solid left/right click button that has an ideal amount of travel, and the spacious pad itself responds remarkably well to inputs. Touch inputs are always picked up right away, and two-finger scrolling/zooming/pinching was also exceptional. It's hard to use a trackpad without multi-touch after using the one on the U30Jc. Asus, please do us all a favor and use this trackpad technology on all of your notebooks.

     
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The chicklet-styled keyboard is better-than-average. There's no flex at all, and aside from a few typos here and there, we had no problems adjusting. The layout is standard, and it's easy to jump right onto and type away. The key texture is also nice; a flat surface but with a smaller amount of travel than we would ideally like. Still, the amount of Fn keys were great, and we think Asus has done a great job here overall.


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The LCD is a typical 13.3" glossy, LED backlit LCD. The LCD hinge was very solid, reclining back and holding in place until we forced it in one direction or the other. The panel itself was a little bit difficult to see when under direct sunlight, but it's still one of the better glossy panels we have seen. Colors were sharp and vibrant, and the viewing angles were spot-on.


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Overall, the fit and finish here was second to none. It was easy to carry around, it felt great in use, and it was built like a rock. It reminded us of a classic ThinkPad in terms of rigidity. The fans did kick up when we taxed the system, and a fair amount of heat was generated, but we never felt it getting so warm that we couldn't use it on our lap.

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Great article Ray and Marco, I found my next laptop for sure here!! I have always been partial to Asus as they are one of the leaders in the motherboard market and the motherboard being the foundation of any PC I know it will be a stable laptop. I have been waiting for that perfect balance of power yet good battery life and I think we are at that point of good balance with minimal trade offs. The U30Jc has it all as far as I am concerned I really like the brushed aluminum look, adds a clean  look that is much appreciated. 

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Nice, but 0.3 megapixel webcam?

It would be a tough call between this and the M11x.

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What no Blu-Ray?
Well this thing sure does look nice. I am just wondering why they didn't just go all the way and make that screen turn all the way around and close from the backside. Then it could function as a tablet.
Something like that would have appealed to a broader range of consumer in the hype of the IPad and the need for slate functions while on the go. This is a nice offering, yet should be more in the 5Buck or lower range. It kinda seem some of these companies are struggling to get rid of outdated tech before the next wave comes out, when everything will be CULV. :)
Although it is nice, Y'all know my opinion of Netbooks. A waste of time and space :P

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animatortom:

What no Blu-Ray?
Well this thing sure does look nice. I am just wondering why they didn't just go all the way and make that screen turn all the way around and close from the backside. Then it could function as a tablet.
Something like that would have appealed to a broader range of consumer in the hype of the IPad and the need for slate functions while on the go. This is a nice offering, yet should be more in the 5Buck or lower range. It kinda seem some of these companies are struggling to get rid of outdated tech before the next wave comes out, when everything will be CULV. :)
Although it is nice, Y'all know my opinion of Netbooks. A waste of time and space :P

 

For people who want the tablet feature, they could get the Asus EEE PC M101MT netbook/tablet. Or wait until Asus debuts their 2 tablets to battle against the iPad (link). Either way, Asus doesn't need to go all out on every model. That is what a product line-up is for. Offer different models with different features and at different price points. Adding the tablet feature may appeal to more people, but it would probably put it in competition with the tablet PC from HP. I haven't seen too many of those around and it is probably because most people aren't willing to pay for that feature. It is pretty expensive for something a lot of people won't utilize.

 

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Speaking of the design, it looks very Mac-ish with the silver body and black keys.

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I love the specs for this Laptop. Usually laptops will concentrate on CPU and steer away from GPU, others will say how they have a lot of RAM but a smaller processor and less memory. This computer fits pretty snuggly in what I would call a good middle. 

The i3 cpu, the gt310 gpu, and 4 gigs of DDR3 is really good for a laptop that small. But the laptop also has functionalities like the CD/DVD burner. 

we had to spend a good bit of time uninstalling things to get the machine how we wanted it.

Do laptops normally come loaded with tons of programs preinstalled? 

Overall, we were extremely impressed with the Core i3; we expected it to be appreciably slower than the Core i5, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't.

The i3 processors still out perform some of the quad cores and overclocked dual cores out there. For being the weakest link in the "I" series it still packs a considerable punch. 

 If you're just typing a Word document, the integrated graphics will be active in order to save battery life. If you fire up Half-Life 2, the discrete GPU will become active in order to boost frame rates. And you'll never know outside of the increased or decreased graphical performance.

This is a very nice idea put into work. I don't think I've actually heard of any laptops today that do that. I like the fact that the card can recognize what process you are running and then determine how much gpu power is needed to execute that program effectively. 

The computer rating window was also impressive. The computer would have an amazing overall performance rating, but the gt310 is bogging it down a little bit. 

The gaming benchmarks were also impressive to say the least. Nvidias Optimus technology with their gt300 really seems to work well with the integrated gpu from Intel. 

And like I would expect from a brand like ASUS, the heat and power draw are very low, and the battery life, while not spectacular is still pretty good. 

Oddly enough, whenever I used to use laptops I never actually went anywhere with it, I always had it plugged into the power outlet. 

Great review for this laptop. 

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Do want.

This looks like a very nice notebook, I am considering ordering it.

Love the design and the switchable graphics, that is something I have been looking for in a notebook, but haven't seen at a very reasonable price in a notebook with styling I liked.

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