ASUS UL30Vt-X1 Hands-on Complete Review!

http://laptoppimp.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/asus-ul30vt-x1-review-5.jpg

Update: You can also get ASUS UL30Vt-A1, which is same thing as X1 except with 25% more battery power with a 5400maH battery.

Well, after a full day of playing with my new ASUS UL30Vt-X1 (and not getting enough sleep), I was able to test out a bunch of new features of the ASUS UL30Vt-X1.

Here’s a review of the features on the ASUS UL30Vt-x1:

Hardware (AGAIN!)

The ASUS Ul30Vt-X1 comes with an ultra-low-voltage processor Intel Core Dual 2 SU7300 1.3Ghz (which can be overclocked to 1.733Ghz at the push of a button), 4GB of energy-saving and fast DDR3 memory, 500GB of hard disk storage (partitioned into 2, 116GB for OS and 334GB for other data), WiFi b/g/n, bluetooth, 13.3″ HD LED-backlit screen 1366 x 768 resolution, HDMI, SD Card slot, multi-touchpad, and 12 hours battery life.

Switchable Graphics Card and Multi-Touch Touchpad

The ASUS UL30Vt-X1 comes with TWO graphic cards, the integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD and Nvidia Geforce G 210M.  You can switch between the two to save the battery (use the Intel) or for better graphic performance (use the Nvidia).

graphix-boost-asus

When you press the graphic switch button (or GraphiX Boost), your UL30Vt will switch graphics card to either Integrated Card, Nvidia G210M, or you can also put it in detection-mode, where the graphic cards are dependent on whether you have your AC adaptor plugged in or not.

ul30vt-x1-intergratedgraphics

ul30vt-x1-highgraphics

ul30vt-x1-detectgraphics

This is rather the cool feature about the UL30V series over the UL30Aoseries as you can save as much battery as the UL30A, yet you also have the option to boost your graphic card performance at the touch of a button without turning off your laptop.

On a side note, you will have to close any graphic-intensive programs while you switch the graphic cards as the screen will blank out for a second or two.  Don’t worry, the OS will ask you to close any programs if needed during the switching.

I needed this graphic performance boost as I will be doing a lot of HD video rendering on the go, the Intel GMA 4500MHD simply doesn’t cut it for high graphic applications and games.

ul30vt-x1-touchpad

The touchpad is also great because it’s a multi-touch pad that supports two-finger scrolling, three-finger right click, and other customization options for your liking.  At first, the touchpad is hard to get used to but once you tinker with its ELAN SmartPad configurations, you should be able to ditch your external mouse forever.  I am already used to ASUS touchpad products because I also have an ASUS Eee PC 1000HE netbook.

Here’s a video of the graphic card and touchpad features  in action:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

SmartLogon Face Detection Login

This SmartLogon feature is really neat as you won’t have to type in your password to login to your Windows.  I find this a lot cooler than fingerprint logins because all you gotta do is sit in front of the laptop and it will login for you.  Also, there’s security for people trying to hack the SmartLogon with photos so that’s another safety measure.

asus-smartlogon

Here’s a video of me playing with the SmartLogon on my UL30Vt-X1:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

1080P HD Videos/Streaming

I did a test of 1080P HD videos/streaming using raw footage of 1080P 24P HD videos I took with my Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera.  The results were superb, 1080P HD videos streamed flawlessly.  Both Intel/Nvidia cards did great by the way, I think this is more dependent on the SU7300 processor and it proves the processor itself is fast enough for modern HD video streaming.

HEre’s a video of the 1080P video tests I did with raw files and on YouTube:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Size and Build Compared to my ASUS Eee PC 1000HE

I did a quick test on the size and build, comparing to my ASUS Eee PC 1000HE.  I was rather surprised to find out that the 13.3-inch  UL30Vt is actually thinner and lighter in weight than my old netbook.  I suspect ASUS will do the same to its netbooks next year, we will have to wait for that, the Ultra-Thin-and-Light Eee PCs that is.

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Performance Benchmarking with 3DMark06

ul30vt-x1-3dmarks

The UL30Vt-X1 has virtually identical hardware specs as the UL80Vt-A1 (which PC Magazine has data on here), meaning I probably could expect the same performance as the UL80Vt-A1.  The UL30Vt-X1 is just smaller LCD with no optical drive.

But I did 3DMark06 benchmarking test anyways, it seems the results are rather identical to the PC Magazine’s.

Based on PC Magazine’s results, this UL30Vt-x1 laptop is better than most Intel Core 2 Duo-equipped laptops of the same price and also is on par with a 13.3″ Macbook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo P7550 2.26Ghz.

But clearly, the UL30Vt-X1 has longer battery life than any other 13.3-inch laptop in this class. (other than ASUS UL30A-A2, which comes with a 5400mAh battery instead of 4400mAh.)

Here’s a video of me benchmarking the ASUS UL30Vt-X1 using 3DMark06:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Keyboard and Touchpad Close-Up

For those of you sensitive about keyboards and touchpads, you can take a look at this video showing them close-up:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Express Gate Instant Boot-Up Mini-OS

The ASUS UL30Vt-X1 and most new ASUS laptop come with Express Gate instant boot-up mini-OS.  This is an instant mini-OS that you can use to do simple things like browsing the web, talking on Skype without booting up your Windows operating system.

Here’s a video of the mini-OS in action:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Battery Life

We did a simple test on battery life, leaving the UL30Vt-X1 ON with YouTube infinite-loop Playlists playing and Speakers on full blast.

With the laptop on battery-saving mode, you can expect about 8 hours of battery life. (Although the specs say 12 hours.)

If you use the laptop with high-performance mode, expect about 6 hours of battery life.

This will still beat most other laptops as manufacturer battery life specs are always wrong by about 2-4 hours.

Definitely, after reviewing the laptop hands-on, this is the LaptopPimp’s best 13.3-inch laptop of 2009 for its performance, battery life, and most importantly, price.

ASUS UL30Vt-X1 Available now on Amazon for $799.99

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29 Responses to ASUS UL30Vt-X1 Hands-on Complete Review!

  1. Survivor says:

    i already bought the asus ul30a x5 just few days ago… it was 650dls, but im thinking about return it, get a refund and buy this one, does it really worth the extra 150 dls?

  2. Pingback: ASUS Eee PC 1201N Review!

  3. zedomax says:

    Return it! The UL30Vt-X1's graphics card is like 10 times better than UL30a.

  4. elangbam says:

    How is the fan noise? My dv3 has been making too much noise lately and despite three factory send ins for repair they haven't done anything. Is this thing extremely quiet (as in a quiet library or room).

  5. zedomax says:

    No fan noise at all. I am loving it.

  6. Michael Kwan says:

    This laptop looks really hot. I was hesitant about the ULV processor, thinking that it wouldn't be usable for HD video rendering, but it looks like the discrete GPU really takes care of that. Being able to switch to integrated graphics helps with battery too.

  7. Laptop Pimp says:

    Seriously, this is an awesome laptop, I am using it right now, flawless!

  8. tomme says:

    Hey Zedomax!

    I checked all of your videos on YouTube, but this review got all the answers I wanted to know :)
    Thx a lot.

    P.S: Can you tell how much brightness did you have while making a battery test?

    Best Regards

  9. Laptop Pimp says:

    I had it on about 20% brightness, the LCD is pretty bright so you can turn it down a lot under normal conditions.

  10. Slaps says:

    I’ve heard the black attracts a lot of fingerprints.. Is it really that bad? or how are you handling it?
    Good reviews by the way. Once amazon has it back in stock I think I’m going to get it.

  11. Laptop Pimp says:

    Not too bad at all, you will need to wipe it once or twice a week but it looks great after wiping all of it off.

  12. tomme says:

    Do you think that Asus UL30VT got higher battery life than Acer Timeline?

  13. tomme says:

    And can you tell me, if the g210m got DDR2 or DDR3

    Thx

  14. dutran says:

    I’m buying mine next week, thanks for all the reviews, you should get paid by amazon or asus for this.
    And i just want to know if the weight is really 3.7lbs???

  15. Laptop Pimp says:

    Yup, very light, yes, I am an ASUS addict but ASUS makes great laptops so I can’t complain.

  16. macelius says:

    Thanks for the reviews and vids, much appreciate the info, i know what my next lappy’s gonna be now :)

  17. Aziz says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the review. I was thinking to buy UL30A but after reading this review ordered UL30VT :) I have one question: do you (or anyone else) have any suggestion how could I install Windows (since I buy it here in Sweden it will come with Swedish Win 7 HP so I want to install my own Win 7 Pro English)? I read that the laptop doesn’t have ODD so I’m a bit confused how could I do that.

    Thanks.

  18. Cory says:

    Hi Max,

    First of all, great review and excellent job with showing all the physicalities of the UL30vt in the videos…Well, almost all :)

    I have one additional question for you about the UL30vt. If you open the notebook and unfold it as far as it will go, how far does it open? For example the 1000HE can be opened to about 160 degrees and Toshiba’s M700/M750 tablet PC can be opened to almost 185 degrees.

    This may seem like an odd question “Why would someone need to know that?” Well, to try to put this into perspective, I’m legally blind and one of the ways I’ve learned to deal with my condition without having to resort to either horrible screen magnifying software or permanently disfiguring ergonomics is to open the laptop all the way and hold it vertically. Depending on if I am sitting or slouching I’ll rest the front of the notebook either on my lap or abdomen. This allows me to hold the screen very close to my face while supporting most of the weight of the notebook on my lap or abdomen and without the keyboard getting between me and the screen.

    The only problem with this setup is that in order for this to work ergonomically the notebook’s screen needs to be able to unfold to something near 180 degrees to keep the center of gravity at or near the physical center of the laptop and thus allow it to be easily balanced without it wanting to topple over in one direction or the other.

    So now that you understand why I want to know this; if you could tell me what angle the screen can be opened to that would be great. If you could post a picture of the UL30vt fully extended and perhaps compared to a 1000HE in a similarly spread pose that would be even better. And if you wanted to make another video showing this, well that would be just excellent.

    Thank you for any help you can provide.

  19. Aziz says:

    Hi,

    It seems that UL30VT is very popular at the moment…I have ordered one last week but the delivery is delayed till 2nd of Febuary and I was told it might be delayed again :( How is the situation in the US? I was thinking to ask someone going there to bring me one from the States…

  20. Frostbite says:

    Very cool laptop but far too expensive for what you get honestly. I guess that’s the price of portability.

  21. Hi,

    It seems that UL30VT is very popular at the moment…I have ordered one last week but the delivery is delayed till 2nd of Febuary and I was told it might be delayed again :( How is the situation in the US? I was thinking to ask someone going there to bring me one from the States…

  22. very cool, the price is available

  23. legend says:

    Deciding between the UL30VT and the UL30AA1 please help. Will be using it for browsing, youtube, hulu, netflix, hdmi, MS office (word, powerpoint presentations). Dont care about graphics, however, dont want to compromise on speed.

  24. legend says:

    UL30VTA1 & UL30AA1 HELP!!!

  25. Thiago says:

    Nice review, thanks a lot! I have bought this laptop and noticed that the Graphics Boost button does not work after resume (though it works perfectly before suspend). I know that the same issue happened to the brightness button (fn+f5/f6), but this was fixed with a bios upgrade (available at asus website). I wonder if someone else has had the same problem?

  26. Jazz says:

    Hi I was wondering what camera you were using at the auto show and for you Best Buy video. That camera is awesome what are the specs? I want one to go along with my Asus UL30VT. Thanks

  27. Laptop Pimp says:

    Canon 7D, it’s the most awesome camera, see it here: http://zedomax.com/blog/2009/11/25/canon-eos-7d-essentials-review/

  28. Jose says:

    I cant seem to get the Nvidia graphics working. I was under the impression that you only had to press the graphics boost button but after reading some reviews it seems other configurations must be done. Could someone explain in a “For Dummies” version, how to use the amazing graphics I paid for? Many thanks.

  29. Dave says:

    My wife has been using the U20JC for about a year now and loves it.

    Asus seems to be coming out with multiple models, many in competition with each other.

    I have an order in now at Amazon for a Asus U35JC-A1. No sign of this yet, and I will soon have to go on an assignment that might last a year.

    How does the UL30 compare with the 20 and the 35? One option would be to walk off with her laptop and let her use the newer one until I return.

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