Impressions and ConclusionsThe Netbook Comparison
In this review we compared the Asus U30j to netbooks which may seem a bit odd since these are products in different categories and price points. The comparison is intentionally made to shed light on the performance and feature discrepancy of today’s netbooks. Many consumers buy netbooks thinking it will be sufficient for their daily work, or replace an aging system – but in reality netbooks have significantly less usefulness when you get outside the domain of web surfing.
The Asus U30j is roughly double the price of a “premium” 12″ netbook, but you’re getting substantially more usability which easily justifies the step up. If you look back in our performance and battery tests in this article, you will see just how much extra “computer” you’re getting with the Asus U30j compared to even the best netbooks on the market.
So if you’re in the market for a netbook that’s more capable than your gumball machine variety, you should also consider the Asus U30j as it just might be a better investment for your needs.
More Battery. More Doing.
The Asus U30j is a well designed and well executed product. From the exterior aluminum details, to NVIDIA Optimus under the hood – Asus has all the bases covered with good aesthetics, excellent performance, and great battery life.
The highlight of the U30j is clearly the battery life which, when combined with NVIDIA Optimus and Asus’ Power4Gear software, allows the system to achieve nearly 8 hours of battery life in our PC Perpsective web productivity tests. With Optimus, we have the flexibility of efficiency and multimedia power when needed – all without having to carry around a larger, heavier, and more expensive 9-cell battery.
Don’t let the battery life overshadow the Asus U30j’s other achievement though. The U30j has excellent performance for the money and at a street price of around $900 USD (on sale right now for $880 at NewEgg at time of publishing), the Asus U30j proves it can hold its own against faster and more power-hungry i5 and i7 based notebooks. The onboard NVIDIA GeForce 310M is surprisingly effective at gaming, and it’s capable of handling all your hardware accelerated multimedia needs. (If you require a little more processing power, there are Intel Core i5 models as well, but tracking those down may be harder.)
The one thing that I would raise an issue with isn’t with the U30Jc product itself, but with Asus’ marketing of a 9-hour battery life. While our tests did get close to 9 hours, it wasn’t what Asus claimed. Without any specific details on how they achieved that result, consumers will just have to take their word for it. I would like to call out Asus to provide more disclosure in their marketing materials so consumers understand the capabilities and limitations better.
Other than that, there’s not much to criticize on the U30j without it seem like petty nitpicking compared to the overall quality of the product. The ports can be a bit cramped, the audio can be a bit better, the unit runs a little hot under load, and installation discs would have been nice – but none of these things are any real reasons not to buy the U30j.
I never quite understood the “Lifestyle” classification before, but with the Asus U30j it all suddenly makes sense – it enables you to do everything you want in your digital life. That said, the Asus U30j gains the recognition of an Editor’s Choice award here at PC Perspective – for the money, I think you’re getting more than one would expect for the price. With a stylish design, long battery life, and excellent performance, you can enjoy all the trappings this digital age has to offer without making a mad dash to a power outlet or worrying about the system slowing you down.
Asus has pulled off a trifecta – speed, beauty, and efficiency. It’s hard to be disappointed with that!
Update (July 6, 2010)