Asus UL50Vg - 15.6in Laptop - Asus UL50Vg

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Connectivity on the UL50VG is pretty standard for a slim 15.6in laptop. On the right you'll find a card reader (that will handle SD/HC, MMC and MS Pro/Duo), HDMI video output, two USB ports, plus microphone and headphone jacks. To the left, along with the DVD-Rewriter, we have a third USB port, VGA, and Gigabit Ethernet.

Internally is where things start to get interesting. The CPU at this Asus' heart is an Intel Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) chip, specifically a Core 2 Duo SU7300. This frugal processor normally runs at a relatively pedestrian 1.3GHz, which should be adequate for most tasks though it may struggle with intensive multitasking and other heavy load scenarios.

However, Asus has implemented a minor overclock taking it up to 1.34GHz, and the UL50Vg’s BIOS gives options to overclock it by up to eight per cent. Both of these options are great to see, and the maximum overclock (1.4GHz) may just about let it handle workloads it would otherwise struggle with, such as running an application in the background while watching Full HD video (though GraphiX Boost would also allow the laptop to do this as video is GPU accelerated under Windows 7).

GraphiX Boost is the main highlight of Asus’ UL-Vg range, referring to switchable graphics. Usually, when it comes to mobile graphics one has to compromise; it's either an undemanding integrated chip that falls over and dies at the first sign of 3D gaming, like Intel’s integrated solutions, or a discrete but power-hungry card that may give you the ability to run recent games but will quickly drain your battery.

With the UL50Vg you get the best of both worlds. Asus has complemented the Intel GMA 4500HD, which we know from experience gives great battery life, with an nVidia GeForce G210M sporting 512MB of dedicated DDR3 RAM. The latter is not quite worthy of being called a gaming card, but it's certainly up to playing older titles at decent resolutions. Just to give you an idea of the difference, it returned a silky-smooth 50.5fps in TrackMania Nations Forever (at 1,366 x 768 and Medium Detail), where the Intel chip only managed an unplayable 15.5fps.

Best of all, you can switch between the two graphics cards on the fly with a chromed button to the top left of the keyboard. While a dual-card solution like this is hardly unique in the laptop world, it’s definitely underused and usually reserved for more expensive machines.


December 10, 2009, 1:42 pm

One thing I really don't get about the current batch of laptops: How the hell are companies that have been building these things for years (decades in some cases) making such god-awful keyboards and touchpads? The HP Envy is a great example as it's hardly a budget machine and yet the trackpad is meant to be absolutely terrible. And the same here, this looks like a very nice bit of kit (although if someone at TrustedReviews could maybe give us an idea of how the world of Intel laptop processors stack up in real world use these days, Atom v CULV v Celeron v C2D v i5/7 for instance, it'd be much appreciated as it's getting tricky to keep up...) but if the way you interact with the machine is poor then what's the point in buying one?


December 10, 2009, 3:52 pm

According to other sites (Engadget articles, Amazon user reviews), The Asus ULv series overclocks to 1.72 Ghz. Has our UK version been hobbled? Is your test unit around to verify this please?

Looked like hot specs, shame about the design. I'm happy to have a budget name and same cash, but it looks like the Acer ULV laptop you reviewed is the one to get.


December 10, 2009, 6:04 pm

@GherkinG: I'd always take ASUS over ACER, unless the price differential was really substantial. ASUS machines have far better build quality and resilliance (IMOYMMV).


December 10, 2009, 7:38 pm


No, the UK version has not been hobbled. Despite the website claiming this 1.72GHz overclock (referred to as Turbo33, because it's essentially a 33 per cent overclock) applies to the entire UL range, in fact it's only found on the VT models, not the VS, VT or indeed the VG reviewed here.

I have confirmed this information with Asus, though I do think it's a pity...


December 12, 2009, 4:47 am

This review seems rather subjective. The author simply doesn't like the glossy black finish, which is characteristic of many successful laptops, and despite the objective advantages of the machine finds many other design "flaws" to niggle about. Other reviews of the Asus UL series are much more positive eg http://www.notebookreview.c... and


December 16, 2009, 6:30 pm


It might be characteristic of many successful laptops, but just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good. Non-adjustable monitors are also popular, does that make them a good thing?

To be fair, I was leaning perilously close to an eight for this machine, but the reasons it doesn't get one are mentioned in the concluding paragraph and its glossy finish is only one of them.

Mind you, if this model had offered the Turbo33 mode discussed above it would almost definitely have received an eight for sheer innovation alone.


January 7, 2010, 7:15 pm

I have just bought a UL50vt-black that comes with Turbo33. Despite overclocked, it's still not very powerful compared to other laptop you can get at this price range. But for a slim ULV 15.6" laptop at this price, this is the best that I can ask for. NVIDIA G210 CUDA, DDR3, switchable graphics, HDMI, low power consumption, windows 7 64-bit and expressgate are the plus side. At 1.72GHz, clock speed is of average, in my opinion. There are noticeable lags on running certain application for sure. For me, these are acceptable, unless you have already get used to super-performed pc - you'll hate it.

Dear Ardjuna, your review is very good and had helped me in making this wise decision in going for this laptop, when I have compared this to other models such as the timeline and other ULV-based laptop.

The glossy finish on the inside looks great, ONLY at first look, like the author has said. The chilet design of the keyboard looks good but the keys are too "plastic". The typing feels low-class. 0.3MP camera really sucks. I am also disappointed with the lack of dedicated shortcut buttons. No slot-in drive is a pity.

Other than that, I am very happy with what this laptop could perform. I watched 2 full movies on battery in almost 6 hours with 70% brightness, full sounds, and Power4Gear "Entertainment" mode during a battery drain calibration. This really amazed me. It handles HD movie very well. The Altec speakers aren't too bad for movies, but I'll say no for music. The aluminium lid looks great too on both black and silver model.

comments powered by Disqus