Asus UL 80 Vt ReviewBy soumitra, Gaea News Network
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Asus may be known for its exclusive netbook lineups but they also have good quality laptops from different categories in an affordable price. The latest UL80VT is a laptop in the thin and light category which is aimed at professionals who are looking for a decent performing laptop with good battery life but still won’t weigh down with its heaviness while traveling with it. The UL80VT is really capable at serving these needs with its 10 hour battery life and Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB RAM with Nvidia graphics. But does it have any deal breaking con that can be a headache to its buyer? We have made a review to find its answer. Have a go.
DesignARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW
The design looks classy on the outside with its overall glossy plastic finish with aluminum backed lid. The thickness of only 1.1 inches takes itself to the thin laptop category and the inward chiseled sides completes the skinny looking. However, we have some issues regarding the build quality. Somehow it feels to be poorly constructed as the chassis easily twists under pressure and the same thing can be felt when we tried to put some pressure on the bezel. Overall, the looks are good but internal structure doesn’t feel sturdy enough to withstand drops from the desk.
The system comes with a Intel Core 2 Duo SU 7300 Ultra Low Voltage Processor running at 1.3 GHz. It has 3MB L2 cache and 800 MHz FSB Speed. Together with its 4GB installed RAM it performed significantly better than other of its competing laptops. The system can also be overclocked to 1.73 GHz to boost more performance. The 320 GB 5400 RPM Seagate HDD also has a good speed.
The display is good sized 14 inch one showing 1366 X 768 pixels with 16 : 9 aspect ratio. The screen is a glossy one with excellent brightness but as with every other glossy screens it suffered from the glare problem in bright lighting. The contrast levels are also not very good and the colors sometimes seemed to be faded out. The horizontal viewing angles were very good to share the screen with a few but the vertical viewing angle was not up to the mark.
The system comes with a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia for high graphics performance and also a integrated graphics card if you want save some power. The Nvidia GeForce G210 M is a standard graphics card with 512 MB GDDR3 dedicated memory. It easily runs all older games with high settings. But to run the latest 3D games you need to scale settings down to some extent to play those games comfortably. This gaming performance seemed enough for me because the expected buyers of this laptop aren’t going to be playing games all day long. If you want to save some power, you can switch to the integrated Intel GMA 4500 MHD.
The keyboard is a chicklet or island style keyboard like the HP ProBook 4510s we reviewed earlier. While we liked the splash resistant keyboard of the HP Probook series, we don’t have the same feeling with this keyboard. The keys feel loose while typing and does not have enough tactile feedback which is further accompanied by short key travel. Keyboard flex is also a problem in Asus UL 80 VT.
The touchpad is glossy which makes the fingers slip on the touchpad making the movement a bit more difficult on the device. The touchpad buttons are joined to a single piece like the volume rocker keys found on mobile phones. This makes the clicking effect difficult and we would prefer traditional divided double button system than this one. We had to press the buttons on the extreme left or right edges to comfortably get the clicks.
The speakers are from Altec Lansing and we expected very good quality from it but it failed to deliver it. The sounds did not deliver much volume or loudness and sounded like tinny Asus netbook speakers. A good pair of headphones are recommended for the audiophiles as is always.
The UL80VT has a power jack, VGA Out, HDMI, 2 USB, microphone and headphone jacks on the left side and a DVD Super Multi Drive, a media card reader, another USB, Ethernet port on the right side. There are no ports on the front or back. While the HDMI and card reader are welcome, we would have liked to see the Kensington Lock Slot which is common on any modern day laptop and another USB port on it especially considering that it doesn’t have the in built Bluetooth. A Bluetooth Dongle would eat up an USB port anyway.
The system comes with a large eight cell battery which lasted an amazing ten hours with little or no usage in power saving mode and screen brightness turned low. With high screen brightness and heavy usage expect this system to run for more than six hour without the power plug being needed to be connected to it.
- Amazing Battery Life
- Very Good overall performance
- Remains cool even in heavy usage condition
- Build Quality not at par with other competing thin and light laptops
- Keyboard and Touchpad feels cheap
- Display could have been better
We actually like the performance of the Asus UL 80 VT and hope every thin and light laptop could deliver the same performance in that price range but to our disappointment, we found the build quality of the notebook very poor to recommend it to the business travelers. The battery life is simply awesome but again it fails to please us with its poor keyboard and mouse. If you don’t worry about them much the laptop is recommended to you for its very good overall performance and stellar battery life.
Tags: Asus, Asus UL 80 Vt, Thin and Light Laptop, thin and light notebooks, Thin Netbook