ASUS U Series Bamboo Collection Owners Thread (U33JC/U43JC/U53JC)

Discussion in 'ASUS Reviews and Owners' Lounges' started by Case1, Jul 1, 2010.

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  1. Case1

    Case1 Notebook Consultant

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    The Bamboo Collection is available in the US. As of 9/16, the U33JC is currently available at some U.S. retailers in limited quantities. Some models of the U43 may already be available: U43F (BestBuy), U43JC-A1 and U43JC-X1 (Amazon).

    As of 8/27, Amazon is running promotions on bamboo notebooks. Currently they are offering a $150 gift card and/or a free Push2TV WiDi adapter.

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    The pre-order prices are as follows:
    U33JC-A1 GenTech - U33JC-A1 XoticPC - $969 (before 3% cash discount)
    U43JC-A1 GenTech - U43JC-A1 XoticPC - $1,095 (before 3% cash discount)
    U53JC-A1 GenTech - U53JC-A1 XoticPC - $1,095 (before 3% cash discount)

    U33JC-A1 ExCaliberPC - $969
    U43JC-A1 ExCaliberPC - $1,095
    U53JC-A1 ExCaliberPC - $1,095

    U33JC-A1 - Amazon - $999
    U43JC-X1 - Amazon - $999
    U43JC-A1 - Amazon - $1,099


    U43F-BBA5 (no discrete GPU) Best Buy - $849.99

    Asus product pages can be seen here:
    U33JC
    U43JC
    U53JC

    Some key specs for the US A1 models:
    All models have the following - Nvidia G310m, 4GB DDR3, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, bluetooth 2.0, WiDi (Wireless Display), 1 USB 3.0 port, HDMI, 16:9 1366 x 768 glossy display, 8 cell battery (5600mAH), Asus 2 Year Limited Global Warranty, Asus 1 year Accidental Damage Warranty
    U33JC - 13.3", i3-370m at 2.4Ghz, 500GB HDD at 5400RPM
    U43JC - 14", i5-450m at 2.4~2.66GHz, 640GB HDD at 5400RPM, DVD±R/RW Combo drive
    U53JC - 15.6", i5-450m at 2.4~2.66GHz, 640GB HDD at 5400RPM, DVD±R/RW Combo drive

    I pre-ordered a U33JC on 6/30 through GenTech for a grand total of $939.93. Other models I had considered are the UL30JT, and the U35JC.
    My decision to go for the U33JC is based on the following:
    The U33JC has USB3.0, Bluetooth, a 2MP webcam, and WiDi. Both the UL30JT and U35JC lack these features.
    The U33JC has a more powerful non-ULV processor which still retains battery life that supposedly rivals the ULV models. Asus claims around 10+ hours for both the U33JC and the UL30JT. This could be due to Asus' technology called Super Hybrid Engine.
    The build quality of the U33JC should be superior as it is made mostly of bamboo and aluminum.
    I don't require a powerful graphics card for gaming, so the G310m is plenty for me. I mainly want the Nvidia GPU for its CUDA capabilities.
    My reasons for not choosing a U43JC/U53JC are that I don't need an optical disc drive and I am satisfied with an i3 processor as the only difference is the lack of Intel Turbo Boost (which I believe Asus partly makes up for with the SHE).

    Reviews
    U33JC (US Reviews)
    *Engadget
    *Anandtech
    *PCMag
    *LaptopMag
    *cnet
    *ComputerShopper
    *NotebookReview
    *TechReport
     
  2. Stinky Peterson

    Stinky Peterson Newbie

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    Great news; looking forward to hearing more on this.
     
  3. Quatro

    Quatro Journeyman

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    Wow, Case1! A great & well-done presentation page. Thanks.

    I'm honestly excited to see you get your unit this month and tell us how it is hands-on! I'll try not to be too jealous. ;)

    I think its housing looks awesome and very solid. I just hope it's as good as it looks.

    Someone's asked me about the airflow. Its cousin, the U30Jc has no air vents or holes at all on the bottom to cover up. I find that really great. It draws air from two vents near the sound grills in the front and blows it out the left side.

    I can't find any photos of the U33Jc's bottom to see if it is constructed the same. Please let me know if you see any sites with more photos, esp of the bottom ... even in a video. Thanks!

    BTW, you didn't complete this in your list but the specs for the i5-450M show it runs at 2.4GHz and can go to 2.66GHz with Turbo Boost when needed. The i3-370M has no Turbo Boost, of course.
     
  4. David

    David NBR Random Reviewer NBR Reviewer

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    The U33JC is a real looker. I especially like the contrast between the metal and bamboo which gives it a nice clean yet elegant appeal. I'm strongly considering replacing my UL30VT with this and hopefully the U33JC will be equipped with 2 or 3 wifi antennas for an easy wifi card upgrade :)
     
  5. Case1

    Case1 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks, Quatro! It was your idea to start this thread.

    I hope it is as good as it looks too. I find the price to be quite reasonable so I hope they didn't cut any corners to keep the price down.

    I have been looking all over for pics of the bottom but am yet to see any. Now that you mention it, I might have seen some pics/video of the bottom on a foreign website. Hmmm... I'll get back to you on this.

    I really do hope the ventilation is like the U30JC. I have seen you write about that before and I think that is really quite awesome. No covering vents while on the lap!

    Thanks for noticing the incomplete specs. They are now updated. Anything else I should add?

    Update: The photos I was thinking of are of the bottom of the U35JC. I still want to say I found a video that flips the U33JC around for a look but the best I could find at the moment is actually one of the videos you posted.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCPb2Jua6f0
    Set it to 720p and have a look at 2:33. There appear to be far fewer vents than on the U35JC, but it also doesn't appear to be the same cooling system as your U30JC.
     
  6. Case1

    Case1 Notebook Consultant

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    I agree. It really is a beautiful design. Very classy. That would be a hard decision on whether or not to replace the UL30VT. I'd say if you have the money and could get a good price for your VT, go for it. But in all honesty, it probably isn't THAT much of an upgrade.

    GenTech and perhaps XoticPC as well offer the option to upgrade the wireless card to an Intel Advanced-N 6200 802.11 a/b/g/n. Not sure if that helps.
     
  7. Quatro

    Quatro Journeyman

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    whoa! Well-spotted! Yes, there are some tiny vents in the bottom, but nothing like a fan hole that can be covered. I just hated those in the cheaper notebooks. Those grid vents look similar to the UL30Vt/Jt, only with less vent holes in the U33Jc.

    Looking at that video again in 720p ... it really seems to be metal trim that is a continuation of the aluminum top. That is SO classy-looking (and durable). My edges are mere silver-painted plastic that are already showing wear (black plastic under that silver paint). :(

    As for cost, I paid $899 when the U30Jc first came out 3 mo ago. So for only $40 more, you are getting a lot more improvements (even a larger HDD) and an even classier, unique body. I'm still marveling at that metal trim.

    Can't wait to hear your report once you get it.
     
  8. hightemplar

    hightemplar Notebook Enthusiast

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    Are there any reviews of U33JC-A1? I'm considering getting this or maybe the UL30VT-A1. Does the price/benefits difference justify the getting the U33JC-A1 over UL30VT-A1?
     
  9. Case1

    Case1 Notebook Consultant

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    No, I have not seen any reviews for any of Asus' newly released notebooks (UL30JT, U35JC, U33JC, etc.). I will post any Bamboo collection reviews I find in this thread.

    The price/benefits question really depends on what you plan to use the notebook for and how much you are willing to spend. You can get the UL30VT for under $700 which is pretty tempting. In my case, I had saved up around $900 just for a computer so I was willing to step up to the U33JC. I hold on to my notebooks for a while so the extra money is worth it to me.

    The UL30VT likely has enough juice to keep most users happy. It can easily handle HD video and even light gaming. I personally waited all this time because I wanted an ultra-portable with Optimus. I couldn't see myself manually switching the GPU, and the switchable graphics was one of the main draws of the VT. What's the point though if I'm never going to switch them?

    The performance increase, while I feel is pretty substantial, is probably pretty negligible to an average user. I do think the i3 in the U33JC should be quite an improvement though over the Core 2 Duo ULV in the VT.

    Now that they have been released, I would at least step up to a UL30JT or a U35JC. The Optimus and new Intel chips make it a pretty easy choice. Seeing they are the same price and battery life is somehow comparable, the U35JC would be my second choice at around $800.

    The omissions in these notebooks though made it pretty easy for me to step up to the U33JC. I expect bluetooth and if USB 3.0 is available I am going to take it. The 2MP webcam is also a bonus. I am the type of person that can't settle for a lower model if I know there is something that offers new tech for a little more scratch. Plus I think the bamboo is incredible.

    You might want to re-read my first post at the bottom as I think I cover why I like the U33JC over similar Asus notebooks.

    In the end, if you don't care about having a new i3 CPU, Optimus, and some of the other upgrades on the U33JC, I don't think you would be disappointed with the VT.
     
  10. Quatro

    Quatro Journeyman

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    Wow, Case1. An excellent answer. You should post more often on the forum.

    BTW, an off-topic fun thing: with the new Optimus NVIDIA beta drivers for the 310M and using NVIDIA's System Tools that allows overclocking in the NV Control Panel, I was able to stably push my 3dMark06 score from 3700+ to 4300! The cooling on this notebook is amazing. I must have run 3DMk06 over 20 times back-to-back. The bottom of the notebook never got over barely warm, and that was in two areas only (where the product key & serial # label is located (CPU or GPU?) and the one side of the HDD (near the same area of warmth.) The rest of the bottom stayed cool to the touch.

    Not that it matters in my real-world use ... just fun for bragging rights.
    :p
     
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