Asus U30JC Review
Ok, so I have just picked up the new Asus U30JC-A1. Since I have only had it a very short time I will first be adding some pictures and initial impressions. After the weekend I should have been able to add a bunch of benchmarks.
First off I will say that this is indeed a very nice looking notebook. It has a brush aluminum cover and is only 3cm thick. My version with the 6 cell battery is only 2kg, although since mine has the 8 cell it is slightly heavier. The hinges feel well built and the entire notebook feels as though it could take a little bit off punishment without completely falling apart.
As you can see on the right side there is a DVD multidrive as well as a single USB 2.0, standard ethernet jack and then power connector.
And on the left side; VGA, HDMI, 2 USB ports, headphone and microphone jack.
Also right on the front there is a 4-in-1 media card reader. As for the keyboard it is a very spacious chiclet style keyboard. Even though I have not spent much time on it so far it does feel very comfortable and I would not complain if I had to type large amounts on it.
The trackpad is another area that they have done a great job on. I have seen other sites compare it to the feel of a Macbook Pro if that is what you like. It is a good size and the multi-touch gestures such as using two fingers to scroll work very well and become second natural after using them for awhile. It only has a single mouse bar which sure looks nice but I would have preferred two distinct buttons.
Here are the complete specs for my system:
Processor & Cache Memory - Intel® Core™ i3 Processor 350M: 2.26 GHz
Operating System - Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
Chipset - Mobile Intel® HM55 Express Chipset
Main Memory - 4GB SDRAM DDR3 1066 MHz
Display - 13.3" HD (1366x768) Color-Shine (Glare-type)
Video Graphics & Memory - NVIDIA® GeForce® G 310M, with 512MB & Intel GMA HD (Support NVIDIA Optimus Technology)
Hard Drive - 2.5" 9.5mm SATA
Card Reader - 4 in 1 card reader SD,MMC,MS,MS-Pro
Video Camera - 0.3 Mega Pixel web camera
Fax/Modem/LAN/WLAN - Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
10/100/1000 Base T
LED Status Indicator - Wireless/Bluetooth on status indicator Power-on/Suspend
Storage device access
Interface - 1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
1 x HDMI
Audio - Altec Lansing® co-brand speakers
SRS Premium Sound
KeyBoard - 19.0mm size
Battery Pack & Life - 8 cells: 5600 mAh
AC Adapter - Output: 19 V DC, 4.74 A, 90W
Input:100~240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
3/ 2 pin compact power supply system
Dimension & Weight - 32.8 x 23.8 x 2.00~2.99 cm (W x D x H)
2 kg, (with 6 cell battery)
Warranty & e-support - 2-year limited global hardware warranty
1-year battery pack warranty
So as for my initial impressions I can say I am quite pleased. Sure there are lighter notebooks out there but when I consider everything this machine offers it is not bad at all. Now to help with weight a little bit and to get even more performacne out of it I will be sticking in a Kingston V Gen 2 128GB drive. I'm sure this will make quite a difference over the 320GB 5400rpm drive.
Once that is done, this weekend, I will post a bunch of benchmarks from this machine. I will also do some before I swap out the drive just so people can see the performance out of the box. This is also one of the first notebooks out that uses the Nvidia Optimus technology which you can see a review for, right here on this site.
If anyone has any questions about it do not hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer.
Ok so lets see some benchmarks. First off I will start with the original hard drive included with it.
So as you can see a fairly low end 5400rpm drive.
Now this is what I have with the Kingston V series Gen2 128GB.
Now as you can see much better than before and fairly typical of this drive. That said the AS SSD results are again low. I'm not sure if maybe it just doesn't like the Kingston drives as I am also getting slower speeds with it on my desktop V+ drive.
Now onto some other benchmarks. Now I was going to include numbers from Everest but I have decided not to. The reason for this is because the version I have is not able to accurately benchmark these new i3 mobile CPU's. It gives warnings about that and I just found that my results where just all over the place. I will show a screenshot of the one memory benchmark I did with it, but do not completely trust it. If I get the new version that has proper support, 5.5, then I will revisit and post some numbers.
Now as for SuperPI and wPrime I did get some numbers, all in seconds:
As for battery life, I put it through some paces today. Now the following is not exact numbers put should give people an idea. For the heavy use I ran a bunch of things including 30 minutes of everest stability test, which stresses cpu and mem at 100%. I also ran FarCry 2 benches for just shy of an hour, then I let it play some high-def video for about another hour. In between all of this I had a few minutes of down time and the rest filled up with web and excel work. All of this was done while I had it set to maximum performance and had the Nvidia graphics set to be running all the time.
The standard use was just your everyday web, office and a little gaming, nothing to strenuous. For this I had it set to the Asus entertainment mode, which is what I would figure most people to set it to. And I also left the Intel graphics at it's default setting of being the primary card.
And for the maximum battery I of course set it to battery saving. On that setting it disables aero and keeps the cpu at a maximum 60% and brightness at 40%.
Now remember this is with the SSD that I put into it so I'm sure that will improve things a bit. I'm sure you could get a little bit more out of it on the battery saving feature but then again you want to actually use it. I'm sure that most people could get at least a full dvd movie, playing from the dvd, and then another movie played from the hard drive. So not extreme lengths but decent, remember I got 3 hours with it maxed out on the CPU and GPU for almost that entire time.
As for temperatures you can see from the shot below that temps really are not that bad at all. I can say that even when running at full load for 25-30 minutes the palm rest is nice and cool, really the entire notebook remains cool except for the left side by the vent. That spot can heat up a bit but is still kept in check.
I have also run some 3dmark06 tests. These tests were run with everything at the standard default except for the resolution which was set to 1366 x 768. First I ran it with it forced to use the internal Intel card.
Then I have proceeded to do a run with it set to the Nvidia 310M.
As you can tell it is much better than the standard Intel but it is still not exactly a big time gaming machine. Of course it is not really meant to be and it does show that in the gaming benchmarks that follows this.
Ok, so finally here are some gaming benchmarks. Now this notebook is not meant to be doing serious gaming, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it.
All of the benchmarks were run at 1366x768.
Up first is Dirt 2. For this I ran 3 runs on each setting and took the average for each setting. All scores done using the in-game benchmark.
As you can see to get it smooth you really have to turn down the graphics. Now that said it still looks pretty good, even at ultra low. Also when I was first playing it I found that it really was quite playable with only a hint of slow down at the medium settings.
Onto FarCry 2. Again for this I have used the in-game benchmark and have just used the presets.
As you can see it doesn't have the greatest performance but it will still work at the lowest settings.
No onto an older game Half-Life 2: Episode 2. For this game I recorded my own timedemo and then proceeded to run 3 runs each at all of the settings and then I averaged those results together. All results have been taken by fraps. All settings were at their highest besides the AA and AF which you can see in the chart.
As expected it can play this older game with no issues at all. As one can see I can play this at 8xMSAA and 16xAF with only a couple of little slowdowns.
I'm tired so hopefully I have not made to many mistakes but that is it for now. Let me know what you all think.
I think he just couldn't read past "which"
I loved the look of the ASUS UL-series, as well as mobility of it as well. This is a good step foreward for them.
Can't wait to see some gaming Benchmarks!
Well, I should, crosses fingers, have some benches up later today. Was going to get to it done last night but it appeared the site was down. Now the in-laws are going to be here shortly so I will be looking to spend time with on here.
Very interesting. I'd like to see some battery life testing too. Does that 8-cell fit all internally without extending outside of the chassis? Also what's the price and where did you buy it?
Either way, looks like a good replacement for my aging XPS m1330. Could use a little more horsepower!
It's all plastic though it seems? That's a downer for me, but since you say it's solid it might be alright. Also are most surfaces that you'd touch non-glossy? I hate seeing fingerprints all over the place.
The battery does fit all internally so it is just as smooth as the 6 cell. As for price I ended up paying $939, but I'm sure you could find it for a little cheaper. I actually got it through the bookstore at the UofA as it has staff payroll deductions.
No it is not all plastic, the palm rest is aluminum as well as the top. Around the keyboard is plastic and so is the bezel around the screen. As for fingerprints I am in the same boat, I hate seeing them everywhere and that is one of the reasons I got this one, you don't see them. There is really only one little spot and that is the button for the touch pad.
As for battery life testing, I'm going to be starting a couple tests tomorrow, they will not be the most scientific but should be able to give you an idea of what to expect.
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