Review – Asus UL30A Low Power Laptop

Description of Item This is an Asus laptop with a 13.3″ screen, a 283GB hard drive, 3GB RAM and a 1.2GHz U2300 CPU. It runs Windows 7 64 bit.
How We Use It We use laptop to watch films and TV programs which we have stored on a 1TB external hard drive. We also use it for general Internet surfing and email when we have access to WiFi, or when we have Internet access through our 3G dongle. We charge it using a 300W modified sine wave inverter, although a 12V charger is also available.
What Do We Love?
  • Our number 1 concern is battery life. The battery is getting on now – probably about 2 years old and still lasts for 6 hours on a full charge when used for a combination of watching video and surfing
  • It’s got a tough metal lid top which won’t save it if we drop it, but does help with general day to day knocks in the van
  • The screen’s a good size and we can comfortably use it as a TV
  • It plays back high definition films without any flicker, we really don’t notice the fact it has a low power processor in it
And What’s Not so Great?
  • It has no CD/DVD drive. This helps keep the battery life up, and we’ve ripped all our content to the external hard drive so this isn’t much of an inconvenience to us
  • The speakers aren’t that loud, so we sometimes have to use a long sound cable to connect it to the van’s stereo system
  • The built-in WiFi aerial isn’t great for accessing remote hotspots. It’s worth getting a signal booster
  • If you need to do compute intensive tasks like video encoding, then this isn’t the best choice
Our Summary It has to be five stars. The laptop was a good price and we deliberately bought one with a CD/DVD drive as we didn’t want to be carrying a library of disks around. It’s a good size and the battery life remains great.
Where Can I Get It? Amazon.co.uk sell these laptops. Alternatively, if you can make do with a smaller screen, you may want to consider a netbook like the PC Pro-recommended Acer Aspire One D255E? Please note: if you use the link below to buy it won’t cost you any more than buying direct from the site, however the site will kindly pay us some money for referring you.