It's relieving to say, therefore, that the 13-inch Asus UL30A-A1 is a thin-and-light that we'd gladly carry around in our bag for a good long time to come. With a sturdy frame, a decently performing new Core 2 Duo CULV processor as opposed to the disappointing single-core Core 2 Solo CULVs we've seen, and really good battery life, it's close to a complete package for a sub-$1000 laptop that doesn't resort to an Atom processor.
With a solid-feeling chassis, the Asus UL30A-A1 has a plastic feel, but unlike some low-cost laptops, you shouldn't be worried about it breaking if you don't hold it right. The bottom's generic black matte plastic is topped with a glossy silvery plastic on the interior, surrounding a very MacBook-esque chiclet-style raised keyboard. Glossy black plastic surrounds the upper lid's inset glossy screen, while the back is covered in what feels like a thin overlay of aluminum. Even though the UL30A-A1 does look (from a distance) somewhat MacBook-esque, the overall construction is far more budget-minded. To this thin-and-light's credit, the battery is well integrated into the space behind the keyboard and between the two display hinges.
The good: Strong battery life; reasonable price; slim design.
The bad: Some keyboard flex; touchy touch pad; feels a bit cheap.
The bottom line: If you're in the market for an affordable thin-and-light, the Asus UL30A-A1 provides great value and a solid Core 2 Duo CULV processor in an attractive package.
Asus UL30A-A1 Technical Specifications
* Width 12.9 in
* Depth 9.3 in
* Height 0.9 in
* Weight 3.7 lbs
* Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.)
* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 / 1300 MHz
* Data bus speed 800 MHz
* Chipset type Intel 45GS Express
* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 2 MB
* Installed Size 4 GB / 4 GB (max)
* Technology DDR3 SDRAM
* Storage controller type Serial ATA
* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 500 GB - 5400 rpm
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Standard
* Display Type 13.3 in TFT
* Max Resolution 1366 x 768
* Features Glare display
* Graphics Processor / Vendor Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500MHD
* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio Input Microphone
* Input device type Keyboard , Touchpad
* Data link protocol Ethernet , Fast Ethernet
Expansion / Connectivity
* Expansion Slots Total (Free) Memory , Memory card reader
* Interfaces 3 x USB 2.0 - USB 2.0 , 1 x Ethernet - RJ-45 , 1 x Display / video - VGA , 1 x Microphone , 1 x Headphones , 1 x HDMI
* Features 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN , Camera
* Power provided 40 Watt
* Installed Qty 1
Operating System / Software
* OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
* Software Drivers & Utilities , ASUS SmartLogon , ASUS Net4Switch , ASUS Live Update , ASUS MultiFrame , ASUS NB Probe + , ASUS Wireless Console , ASUS Splendid , ASUS Express Gate , ASUS Screen Saver , ASUS Data Security Manager , Virtual Camera