Asus UL50Vg - 15.6in Laptop - Asus UL50Vg

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Naturally, one of the biggest considerations of any CULV laptop is its battery life. Unfortunately the manufacturer’s claims usually need to be taken with hefty pinch of salt, and as ever that proves to be the case here despite the high-capacity eight-cell (5,600mAh, 84Wh) battery.

With the discrete nVidia G210M graphics card enabled, we managed to get just over four and a half hours out of the UL50Vg in MobileMark’s semi-intensive productivity benchmark (40 per cent screen brightness), and an impressive three hours and 22 minutes for the DVD test at full screen brightness.

Switching to the Intel integrated GMA 4500HD improved on these results significantly, with six and a half hours for the productivity benchmark and four hours 43 minutes for the DVD test.

Considering that the UL50Vg's screen is perfectly usable a tad below 40 per cent brightness and Asus’ Power4Gear application includes all kinds of power-saving tricks, it should be fairly easy to get seven hours out of this machine - but that’s still a far cry from Asus' claim of up to 12-hours.

Finally we get onto value, where the £729 UL50Vg holds up quite well. Sure, there are far cheaper 15.6in CULV laptops available with the same amount of memory and storage, but throw in Windows 7 Professional, the slightly overclocked SU7300 processor and the dual graphics system and the price is very reasonable indeed. However, whether this laptop is actually worth getting is another matter.

We like the UL50Vg‘s brushed aluminium lid, its relatively slim chassis and light 2.3kg weight, easy CPU overclocking, the hybrid GraphiX Boost system, the extensive BIOS and the inclusion of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. Unfortunately the mediocre keyboard and touchpad, unimpressive speakers and glossy finish on the laptop’s entire interior put a damper on things, making this an option to be considered only if you want the specific combination of features it offers.


With its UL50Vg, Asus has created an impressive laptop that uses a range of technologies to offer a rare combination of power and portability for a very reasonable price. This makes it even more of a pity that some ill-considered design choices hold it back from a recommendation.


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.

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