Hands-on With The Asus U and UX Series Of Notebooks

Computex 2009: Ed has a quick look round Asus' upcoming slim and light laptops.

Asus’ U and UX series notebooks were announced a little while ago but thus far we’ve only seen the UX50V in the flesh and being as that’s the big-daddy of the group of a supposedly slim and light range, we jumped at the chance to have a gander at the full complement here at Computex.

Starting with the UX50V’s baby brother, we have the UX30. This is the, well let’s not beat about the bush, MacBook Air copy, ala the MSI X340. It features a 13.3inch screen that sadly isn’t borderless but nonetheless looks quite nice and has a typical resolution of 1,366 x 768.

Inside the UX30 you’ll find either a dual- or single-core Intel CULV processor as well as Intel G545 graphics, up to 4GB RAM, and up to a 500GB hard drive. What you don’t get, though is a CD drive as a consequence of the slim chassis (just 19.9mm at its thickest). Battery life also suffers somewhat because of size and weight limitations as even though the CPU is only a CULV, Asus only quotes a battery life of 4 hours.

Ergonomically it’s a tidy enough machine that has a nice brushed aluminium top, smooth and thin tapered sides that use neat covers for the ports, yet a decent sized backlit keyboard – all the things that make the MacBook Air so desirable. The UX30 certainly doesn’t come close to matching the Air’s sense of quality though not least because only the top surface is aluminium, the rest is plastic. That said, it’s definitely nicer than the MSI X340 and doesn’t seem to suffer from the sorts of problems with its keyboard (appaling flex and iffy layout). All that remains to be seen is how much it sells for. If it can come in at below the £700 mark I can see a lot of people being tempted by one of these.

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