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Asus UL30A - Performance, Battery Life & Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Having seen so many laptops the like of the Asus UL30A, its performance generates few surprises. It performs almost identically to the Sony VAIO Y Series, while outperforming the AMD-powered HP Pavilion dm3-1020ea by a reasonable margin.

Ultimately it is performance that is ideal for day-to-day mobile usage, providing enough oomph to cope with HD video and general photo editing tasks with no hiccups. System responsiveness is good, too - it's in a completely different league to any Intel Atom-based netbook, even dual-core or Ion equipped ones.

Of course gaming isn't a strong suit, as our entry-level TrackMania Nations gaming test reveals. Here the HP Pavilion dm3 holds a small advantage, but if portable gaming is what you're after you're going to have to up the budget and pick-up an Alienware M11x.

Battery life, on the other hand, is a completely different story and the Asus outperforms all its competitors, too. In our semi-intensive productivity test it managed an astonishing 651 minutes, or 10 hours, 51 minutes. This annihilates other systems, even those with comparatively good battery life in the seven to eight hour region. Only the smaller Acer Aspire 1810TZ can match it in our memory.

What's more, even by low-voltage laptop standards, the UL30A is unerringly cool and quiet. This is a heady mixture of benefits for a laptop which, at around £530 to £580, undercuts many of its contemporaries. That price even includes a two-year warranty, as opposed to the standard one-year offered by many manufacturers. If Asus could marry some of this value with a slightly smarter, more imaginative chassis, it might have scored even more highly.


It won't win any beauty pageants, but the Asus UL30A has it where it counts: value and battery life. A great keyboard, solid feature set and generous two-year warranty only further strengthen its credentials.


June 21, 2010, 11:57 am

I dig the design - I'd give it an 8.


June 22, 2010, 12:47 am

Worth pointing out Carphone Warehouse are selling a slightly lower specced version of the UL30A for £349.00 http://www.carphonewarehous... don't forget Quidco!

Processor is a dual-core Celeron, bit slower but feels perfectly sprightly for surfing and productivity and you lose the bluetooth but was exactly what I was looking for, pretty cheap and perfect for when I can't be bothered sat at the desk and want to sprawl on out the bed / infront of the telly! :)


June 22, 2010, 2:28 am

@Crispy - That Celeron SU2300 proc is an excellent unit. It is, for all practical purposes, as good as the Pentium-branded SU4100 and the C2D-branded SU7300. In fact it actually has significant advantages over the former. The Celeron/Pentium/C2D branding of these procs is very misleading - one usually winces at the very mention of the "C" word.


June 22, 2010, 5:23 am

I bought one last week from Carphone Warehouse. I returned it same day as the keyboard flex was irritating. I'm used to old IBM Tankpads (as I called them) from years ago so am prejudiced about keyboard flex on a hard surface (old school IT contractor here)

Very good value though, but the CW machine only carries 1 year warranty IIRC.

I'd thoroughly recommend it for anyone else


June 22, 2010, 11:44 pm

The keyboard thing really is a matter of personal taste. I've collected my UL30A from Carphone Warehouse today and the keyboard seems fine. I have a new Thinkpad at work and, despite being brought up on old school IBM clicky keybards, I'm not overly keen on it.


July 4, 2010, 5:11 am

This laptop seems pretty cool. Though I'd rather see what some of the full power "core i" processor and optimus equipped models Asus have are like. Like the U30Jc...not sure if you can even get that in UK yet/ever. If anyone knows anything about this or other similar laptops let me know :)

Richard 29

July 4, 2010, 3:29 pm

There seems to be some confusion over the webcam, some reviews (and the Asus site!) list it as 0.3MP, here it's listed as 1.3MP. Anybody able to clear up which is correct? (and more importantly is it any good?).


October 14, 2010, 11:20 pm

Can I ask for a correction on this - doesnt have Gigabit LAN. only 10/100

Spent a confusing hour trying to tweak my new home network until I figured this out..

Otherwise a very capable machine!

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