Here’s a review of the features on the ASUS UL30Vt-x1:
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
Here’s a video of me playing with the SmartLogon on my UL30Vt-X1:
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:
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.
Performance Benchmarking with 3DMark06
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:
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:
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:
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.