*Official UL30VT-X1 Owners Lounge*

Discussion in 'ASUS Reviews and Owners' Lounges' started by iclicku, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. iclicku

    iclicku Notebook Evangelist

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    Here's the BASIC info:

    Available @ AMAZON
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XZLURC

    Product Features

    * Intel SU7300 Core 2 Duo Processor 1.3GHz
    * 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 2 slots, 8GB Max
    * 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    * NVidia G210M Graphics with 512MB DDR3 + Intel GMA 4500MHD (Switchable VGA); Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System
    * 13.3-Inch Widescreen HD LED LCD Display; Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn; Bluetooth; 0.3M Webcam

    Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

    * Memory Slots: 2

    Hard Drive

    * Size: 500 GB
    * Speed: 5400.0 rpm

    Cases and Expandability

    * Size (LWH): 12.9 inches, 9.28 inches, 0.98 inches
    * Weight: 3.74 pounds

    Power

    * Rated Charge (normal use): 12.0 hours

    Intro
    ASUS is a name many system builders are familiar with. With the introduction of netbooks, ASUS made an even bigger name for themselves with their popular 900 and 1000 series offerings. Many who bought one praised its portability and battery life but grew increasingly frustrated at its limited performance. The ultra-portable market has always been the middle child in terms of size and performance but often is not popular due to high cost. ASUS aims to claim this part of the market as its own with the UL series laptops.

    Recently, the UL80vt and UL50vt models were released to the public and critics mostly praised ASUS’s efforts. However, there was another model up their sleeves. The UL30vt-X1 is an Amazon exclusive that will provide a clear vision as to what the UL series means to ASUS. The unit in this review is the UL30vt-X1 and comes in the following configuration:

    Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 Processor (1.3GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB) Microsoft Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
    13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy type screen (1366x768)
    Inte Graphics Media Accelerator/Nvidia G210M 512MB Switchable graphics
    4GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM
    500GB 5400RPM HDD
    WiFi (Intel Pro 1000 802.11a/b/g/draft-n), Ethernet, Bluetooth
    8-Cell 4400mah Battery
    Dimensions: 12.9 inches, 9.28 inches, 0.98 inches
    Warranty: 1 year ADH warranty (must register to aquire)
    Weight: 3.74lbs
    Price: $799

    Build and Design

    Those that have read the review of the UL80/50vt will be familiar with the look and feel of the laptop. The back end of the laptop is the thickest part while the front tapers to a thin wedge. Just imagine ASUS’s 1000 series netbook stretched in all dimensions while maintaining the same thickness. The brushed aluminum on the top of the laptop is handsome and provides good support for the screen. Sadly, the rest of the laptop is made with glossy plastic which is very prone to fingerprints. Regardless of what people say, why the OEMs insist on using glossy plastics is beyond me. But I’m sure it has something to do with cost savings. The biggest difference will be the lack of CD/DVD drive. This definitely shaves a few ounces from the total weight and most people won’t miss it. There is a host of connectivity options that will keep most people happy as well. One thing that may bother some will be the odd shaped laptop lock. I call it laptop lock instead of Kensington lock because it’s not the standard size and some have complained of not being able to find a good lock that fits.

    The keyboard has a chiclet design and exhibits very little flex. Some users are reporting that the spacebar isn’t registering all of its clicks. However, the unit I received isn’t showing such behavior. The touchpad is flush with the palm rest and will take some getting used to. The glossy plastic makes gliding across the track pad difficult without greasing it up a bit with your finger oils. Once you get used to it, it performs adequately. The single mouse button will be a polarizing feature as well. All in all the build quality is very good without any visible imperfections or audible creaks.

    The bottom of the laptop reveals two panels that come off easily for RAM and HDD upgrades. Many people will be upgrading their HDDs for SSDs and this unit begs for the upgrade. I managed to install an Intel G2 80GB SSD and the installation couldn’t have been easier. However, I will be reviewing it as it came. The machine also comes with 2x2GB RAM configuration. Owners will be happy to hear that it can be upgraded to 8GB, but it’ll come at high cost at the moment.

    Screen and Speakers
    The 13.3” LED backlit screen is point of much conversation on the forums. As subjective as this topic can be, there is one thing that many can agree on: it’s average. That being said, vertical viewing angles are small and you need to be in the sweet spot to see things correctly. Viewing a movie with a friend next to you could prove to be difficult. The screen is bright but colors tend to be washed out due to the viewing angle. Now this doesn’t bother me that much, but I know there are photogs out there that will not accept this. So in the end, don’t expect miracles with the display. It isn’t as bad as the one on the UL80vt, but still could have been much, much better.

    The speakers on the other hand are above average on a laptop this size. The sound is very loud and comparable to those found on larger laptops. However, there are limitations just like any other laptop speakers. While the mids and highs are good, there is hardly any bass to speak of. That being said, the speakers are more than capable for most people.

    Performance and Benchmarks
    The CULV line of processors from Intel are not going to win any speed contests, but they weren’t meant to. Their main goal is to provide adequate performance while being efficient. This translates to lower drain on the battery and longer time spent away from a plug. However, ASUS has a trick up their sleeve. They’ve managed to overclock the processor 33% out of the box! This is generally a bad thing to do with laptops due to heat limitations. Furthermore, the type of overclock one achieves on laptop can vary greatly. ASUS has managed to do this safely on these machines greatly increasing the effectiveness of these processors. Another great feature is the hybrid graphics. When the job calls for it, the Nvidia G210M graphics can be called upon for some heavy duty tasks.

    Here are some numbers:
    wPrime (@1.3GHz): 60
    3DMark06 (w/G210M): 3453
    HDTune (w/Intel SSD): Avg Read: 204MB/sec

    Please refer to the original review of the UL80vt for more in-depth benchmarking. The hardware is practically identical and the numbers should be the same.
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=430668

    Heat and Noise
    During normal use, the UL30vt remained quite cool and very quiet. Only during intense gaming did the CPU fan start becoming audible. Temperatures were definitely were low considering my palms never got sweaty or hot during usage. You could use this laptop on your lap without any discomfort. However, the 500GB HDD did make a lot of noise during the first couple hours of use because of all the indexing going on. Once that was completed, it was fine. However, with the Intel SSD upgrade I made, the laptop is now nearly silent. You could take this machine to a classroom without having to worry about bothering your classmates.

    Battery

    This is a topic of great concern because one of the main selling points is long battery life. On Amazon’s website, ASUS claims 12 hrs of battery life with a 5600mah battery. However, this model ships with a 4400mah battery making such aspirations impossible. However, battery life is still great and with the machine set in Power4Gear “battery saving mode,” I managed to get a respectable 8-9 hrs of battery life. I’ve managed to easily go the entire day on a single charge doing things such as websurfing, watching videos, word processing and light gaming. However, I am a little disappointed with ASUS and Amazon. I think that it is misleading to tell everyone this machine can do 12 hours when in fact you need a larger battery to do so.

    Conclusion
    The moment I read about the ASUS UL30vt, I knew I had to have one. The combination of portability, performance and battery life was exactly what I was looking for. Now there are things that could have been better but these are small things and aren’t deal breakers in my opinion because there are solutions to these problems.

    Pros:
    Excellent build quality and design
    Good price
    Excellent performance

    Cons:
    Screen
    No optical drive
    Touch pad/mouse buttons

    Overall: 9/10



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    Sorry everyone, pictures are too big...I'll resize later.

    Here are some comparison shots with a Sony Z750D

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    Updated 5600mah battery pictures. (THANKS to gk_jam)

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    Useful links (compiled by E.B.E.):

    UL30 Backlit Keyboard Mod
     
  2. Capt'n Corrupt

    Capt'n Corrupt Notebook Evangelist

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    Second post!

    I had to do it....

    Seriously though, huge rep to the first review of this highly anticipated system!

    }:^)~
     
  3. thetrianglekid

    thetrianglekid Notebook Guru

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    will post a nice, detailed review when i'm able (won't be until around christmas).
     
  4. twe90kid

    twe90kid Notebook Evangelist

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    bookmarked!
     
  5. Soulsaber

    Soulsaber Notebook Evangelist

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    You know what we need? A SILVER version!!

    Sorry, but I can't rant on the amazon forums since i'm not USA lol.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  6. iclicku

    iclicku Notebook Evangelist

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    Silver is not going to happen since ASUS has confirmed no other models of the UL30VT. However, you can always get some spray paint.
     
  7. iwill

    iwill Notebook Guru

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    In! Getting it delivered to work so hopefully I have it before noon so I can review it during lunch.
     
  8. lite bites

    lite bites Notebook Enthusiast

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    Amazon now shows a better set of specs! According to this it does ship with a Gigabyte lan card. Hopefully that should put the whole wireless issue to bed. I am assuming it's the same card as the UL80VT and I haven't heard a peep about any wireless problems with that model :)

    Here they are:

    Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Display: 13.3-inch HD LED-backlit Widescreen (1366 x 768)
    Intel Platform: Intel Core2 Duo processor SU7300 (1.3GHz)
    Graphics: Switchable: Intel GMA 4500MHD and ASUS DGE powered by NVidia GeForce G210M with 512MB VRAM
    Wireless: WLAN 802.11b/g/n (draft 2.4GHz n)
    LAN: 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
    Memory: 4GB DDR3 DRAM, 2GB x 2 (upgradable to 8GB)
    Storage: 500GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
    Camera: 0.3 Megapixel
    Speakers: SRS Premium Stereo Speakers by Altec Lansing, Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
    Microphone Digital Array Microphones
    Card Reader: 1 x 4-in-1 card reader: MMC, MS, MS-Pro, SD
    Input/Output: 1 x Mic-in, 1 x audio-out (S/PDIF), 1 x VGA, 3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x RJ45 LAN, 1 x HDMI
    Keyboard: 13.70-inch keyboard with MS Windows function keys
    Battery Pack: 8-cell Lithium Ion Battery, 4400mAh - Up to 12 hours
    Dimensions: 12.68 (L) x 9.17 (W) x 0.59 ~ 0.97 (H) –inches
    Approximate Weight: 3.7 lbs (with 8-cell battery)
    Color: Black

    If it only had the 5600mAh battery I would be so stoked :mad: THe other thing I notice on the Amazon page is conflicting information on the global warranty. The text says 1 year, but the accompanying graphic says 2 years.

    Gawd the way the Amazon and ASUS can't produce a single consistent set of specs drives me around the bend :(
     
  9. lite bites

    lite bites Notebook Enthusiast

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    Did anyone pay attention to the price flucuation on Amazon with the UL30A-A2 or the UL80VT after they were released? Was the inititial pre-order price lower and then climb before coming back down, or did it just keep dropping from the pre-order price?

    I want to pull the trigger on this soon, but if the price is likely to dip within a week, I would kick myself. (and as I am ordering from Canada it's going to be complicated enough as it is cause Amazon.com will not even direct ship it here).
     
  10. twe90kid

    twe90kid Notebook Evangelist

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    yes exactly. i find it annoying that there's things contradicting itself. what happens if we place the order, then take screenshots of ASUS's specs. when something does happen, show them the specs and have to repair your comp because they messed up on the specs...
     
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