Asus 13.3" UL30A CULV Notebook Review

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 18 2009 12:10 PM

In our 2009 Notebook Buyer's Guide, we discussed the merits and perils of CULV based notebooks. This suddenly popular and quickly growing sector looks to bridge the gap between the bargain basement netbook and the full-size notebook. It makes sense to think that a swath of 13.3" to 14" machines would be needed for those who find 10.1" netbook displays too tiny and 15.4" rigs too large, and that's exactly the sweet spot that Asus is attempting to hit with its new UL30 range. The particular model that we're looking at today is the UL30A-A1, though a handful of other configurations will be available as well. This 13.3" machine looks to offer more power than a typical netbook, yet provide nearly the same level of portability and battery life.

The UL30 was just introduced last week along with a few other CULV machines, which stands for Consumer Ultra Low Voltage. This moniker refers to the Intel processor within, which is a more powerful chip than the Atom options found in most netbooks, yet isn't quite as potent as the full-fledged Core 2 Duo CPUs found in most full-size notebooks. Again, this whole machine is about splitting the difference, and we have to admit, it's a fine line to walk...

Asus 13.3" UL30A CULV Notebook Review

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Holy start up programs Batman!

Looks like a decent little laptop. I have never been able to stand those apple style keyboards though.

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Dave_HH replied on Fri, Sep 18 2009 1:56 PM

OK, I must admit, I actually love those Apple style keyboards. :)

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Marco C replied on Fri, Sep 18 2009 6:39 PM

Just stab me in the heart, Davo.

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Marco C:

Just stab me in the heart, Davo.

That made me laugh way more than it should have.

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realneil replied on Sat, Sep 19 2009 8:40 AM

I've been on the fence about buying a laptop/netbook for months now. It's hard to decide what to get with all of the new stuff turning up all of the time.

So I wait,...............

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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realneil:

I've been on the fence about buying a laptop/netbook for months now. It's hard to decide what to get with all of the new stuff turning up all of the time.

So I wait,...............

Consider a Mac Book Pro.  Really!  The new cheapest model is very nice.  My friend picked one up and I think it's the best quality laptop for the price.  You should be able to get a Windows installation on there too, if that's your fancy.

Hello

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Ukijima replied on Sat, Sep 19 2009 8:00 PM

You guys need to tell the readers that this machine can indeed play 1080p content. No, you can't do it in WMP. You have to use software that allows hardware decoding through DX10, like MPC-Home Cinema, or KMPlayer with PowerDVD8 codecs installed (takes some doing in the options).

Basically, all 4500MHD equipped laptops will play 1080p without problems. That GPU is rated to decode 1080p h.264, mpeg2 and VC-1 content fully. It's the first Intel GPU to do full hardware decoding for those codecs.

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