Battery Life, Video and Audio Quality
Battery Life

For this review, we have updated our battery testing suite to better reflect the reality of a user’s workload throughout the day.

  • The “Short” PCPerspective Web Productivity test features short quick visits to websites with mixed media content (text, images, and video).
  • The “Long” PC Perspective Web Productivity test features a mixture of short visits to mixed content websites, as well as longer sessions watching streaming video, reading documentation online, and even a 5 minute coffee break between tests.

To test the Asus U30Jc’s power efficiency, we perform our tests with and without power conservation provided by Windows 7 and Asus:
  • With power management disabled, we manually turn off features such as screen dimming, hard drive shut-down, and remove any power saving scheme Asus has in place.
  • With power management enabled, we set Windows to “Balanced” power profile, and use Asus’ power manager Power4Gear Hybrid which
Here are the results from our testing:

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Asus claims 9 hours of battery life on the U30Jc and we have come very close to matching that statement. With the long PC Perspective web productivity test, we get nearly 8 hours of battery life using the Asus “Battery Saver” profile. With high-def H264 content playback, we get four and a half hours of continuous playback before the system shut off which means you can take a trans continental US flight and not worry about running out of juice.

These long battery times are likely the result of NVIDIA’s Optimus and Asus’ Power4Gear Hybrid. Optimus helped accelerate the Flash video and H264 content, while Asus’ Power4Gear throttled the CPU between predefined settings and shut-off devices not in use (like USB ports and the wireless antenna when idle). This combination helps prolong battery life without needing bigger and heavier 9-cell packs.

Audio

The Altec Lansing speakers on the Asus U30 are fairly decent for a notebook, providing the user with an audible experience. There is a broad range to the mid and high frequency which makes music sound clearer and more faithful to the original recordings. There are times where the audio gets a bit harsh, so adjusting the high frequency lower in the graphic equalizer helped quite a bit. Low frequencies are present but not really boomy or deep.

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The audio on the Asus U30 has a nice enveloping effect thanks to the position of the speakers along the front edge. With the speakers slightly spread and closer to the listener’s ears, there’s an illusion of a wider sound stage. Combine this with the SRS sound and you have a surprising full sound from little speakers on the U30, just wish the bass were more present.

Video

The screen on the Asus U30 features a LED backlit display that is clearly bright and sharp out of the box. White text shows up nicely in Windows 7, and our batch of test images did not require any adjusting to look proper. Typically I’d have to adjust red colour levels or tweak the gamma, but this time I didn’t have to which made my life a lot easier.

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HD movies looked sharp and bright. Having reviewed smaller notebooks and netbooks recently, it made me appreciate the extra brightness and contrast a larger notebook panel affords the viewer.

However, the view angles are pretty tight with about 5 to 10 degrees on either side. This isn’t exactly a good screen to share in a large group unless everyone crams in front of the keyboard.

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