Asus UL30A £599
10th Nov 2009 | 10:00
One of the most portable laptops we have ever seen, but performance suffers
Asus' ultraportable UL range offers affordable and portable computing. The Asus UL30A is the smaller of the two machines that comprise the series and offers a lightweight solution and unprecedented battery life that will keep you productive on the move for over twelve and a half hours.
The focus of this machine is portability, and, at only 1.8kg, you won't have any issues carrying the UL30A around.
The 13.3-inch screen is bright, detailed and a pleasure to use. It also has a wide viewing angle, making it great for using in groups, although not ideal if you want to keep your data from prying eyes in public places.
Durability should be good enough for life on the road, with a brushed aluminium lid and a tough but very shiny plastic chassis.
Where this laptop really excels is battery life, however. Offering a staggering twelve and a half hours of mobile use you can leave the charger at home or in the office when out and about.
Asus has managed this fantastic battery life by compromising on power. The Intel Core 2 Duo CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processor may be very light on the laptop's resources, but it isn't that powerful. You won't have any issues running and multi-tasking office applications such as word processors, surfing the web or sending emails, but photo, music and video editing are out of the question.
So is gaming, as a result of the use of an integrated Intel GPU.
The 320GB hard drive offers storage for all your files and folders, but you'll need to purchase an external optical drive if you want to use CDs or DVDs, as one isn't included, to keep weight and size down.
Asus has used the isolated key style for the keyboard and it is spacious and very easy to use. There is a little flex, however, and typing can occasionally feel spongy. This doesn't detract from the overall usability of the keyboard, however.
The touchpad is large enough and features, in contrast to the smooth chassis, a textured design which you'll either love or hate.
802.11n Wi-Fi provides the fastest wireless networking possible, but 10/100 Ethernet is included instead of the latest Gigabit technology. Three USB ports are included, as are VGA and HDMI ports.
This is the ideal laptop for the business person or regular traveller who wants to work on the go. It's small, light and offers a truly amazing battery life. But, for those who want a little more flexibility in terms of power and performance, looking elsewhere may be a good idea.
Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview