ASUS has been churning out some good netbooks and laptops. And today, we have the U36J Notebook for a review, which boasts of a dual-core Intel i5 processor clocking in at 2.66 GHz. ASUS also claims that this is a rather slim and sleek notebook with good performance as well.
Really sleek in terms of design
The U36J is aimed at people who need a light-weight laptop that can deliver well on all aspects. To be honest, there are many notebooks that can perform well. But then again, they definitely weigh quite a bit. So what exactly makes this something different from your everyday notebook?
Design and Build Quality
THe U36J has a very sleek and slim design and that's the first thing to catch the eye. You'll get so lost into clasping your fingers to see how thin the screen and the base is, you won't notice that this notebook doesn't have a DVD drive! Although it's not the only notebook out there that comes without a DVD drive, the design is something that you'll really like. The U36J is also very light in terms of weight and a lot lesser than the standard notebook, weighing around 1.4 Kgs which is about 400 to 500 grams lesser than an ordinary notebook.
Matte finish suits the lid of the notebook
Talking about the build quality, there's nothing wrong with how the U36J has been built. The quality of plastic used is really good and seems to be quite durable.The notebook's lid has a nice matte finish and overall there's nothing to complain about how it's built.
At 13.3-inches, the U36J's screen is big enough to view without any strain or discomfort. Somehow, I don't have the same opinion of the viewing angles. The horizontal angles are decent to an extent whereas the vertical ones are very poor. So while you can identify what's going on the screen from the sideways, it's not adivsable to close/recline the screen too much from any angle. Coming to the keyboard, the chiclet design as always feels nice and comfortable with firm keys. Plus typing is easy with a good support for the wrists. The only one issue I faced was with the lack of an Fn (function) key on the right. But apart from that, they keyboard is great overall.
U36J, a "notebook with good performance"
Unlike the keyboard, our experience with the trackpad and mouse buttons weren't very good. They add to the notebook's design but are not so great in terms of functionality. While the surface of the trackpad is smooth, it's not very responsive and might be a bit frustrating at times. Same goes with the single button as well. There might be times when you end up pressing it in the middle and I personally feel that it's not easy to use. The rest of the components like the USB ports, the charging port and the Ethernet port are all placed and spaced out well.
Overall, apart from a few niggles here and there, the U36J is quite the eye-candy material with a catchy design and a sleek and slim build.
The U36J boasts of some pretty good features in the form of an Intel i5-480m mobile processor that clocks in at 2.66 GHz, 4 GB DDR3 RAM and 500 GB of Hard Disk Space. One of the main highlights of this notebook are the two USB 3.0 ports. Although there aren't many devices that have come out taking full advantage of USB 3.0, this trend is definitely seeing a growth.
Loaded with neat features
The power and quick start buttons are placed very well on your right and left respectively. The quick start button gives you access to the ASUS Express Cloud, which is a simple interface that loads quickly. Users can access Facebook, surf the internet through a custom ASUS browser and view photos along with a few other features like a calendar and so on. It also has an option to load your installed OS. A neat feature especially if you want to access the internet quickly without having to wait for the whole operating system to load.
Useful USB 3.0 ports
The wireless connectivity options inculde Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n that works pretty well in most conditions. The Bluetooth feature also lets you transfer files from any of your Bluetooth enabled devices. In terms of features, the U36J is pretty much loaded with them. You've got other ports like a VGA out, an HDMI out and an SD card slot as well.
The Intel Core i5-480m is a mid-range processor in comparison to the other Core i5 mobile processors, clocking in at 2.66 Ghz. In terms of performance, the dual-core processor does really well, but it won't churn out stellar results. As you can see from the scores below, the Core i5-480M is a lot faster than the Core i5-460M in the ASUS K42JA notebook. The Dhrystones recorded in this machine roughly see a 30% increase than the Core i5-460M. Memory Bandwidth and Cinebench R11.5 scores also see an increase in the processor's performance. You cannot use this notebook for hardcore gaming, but at the same time you can certainly play some mid level games.
The U36J also claimed to run pretty cool after using the notebook for a while. Although it's not really cool - the notebook gets a little warm - it doesn't get too hot even after prolonged use. The battery life is claimed to be of 10 hours but after testing its life, we see that it can just about manage 2 hours with a total time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 48 seconds. So try not using the U36J for a very long time without it being connected to a power supply.
Proves to be a good performer
ASUS has priced the U36J at Rs. 56,699 which certainly is on the expensive side. If you're not too bothered about weight and wouldn't mind a slightly lower-performing notebook, you can go for the ASUS K42JA. Somehow, if you still seem to be uncovinced to buy this, there's the Acer Aspire 3820TG notebook which is priced at 799 Euros (approx Rs. 50,000) which has very similar specs too. In conclusion, the U36J might be on the expensive side, but if you're looking at good computing speeds with a light weight and a decent battery life, you can pick this one up.
Good "buy", U36J
|Processor||Intel Core i5-480M|
|Optical Drive||No Information|
|Maximum Display Resolution||1366 x 768|
|GPU Model||NVIDIA GeForce 310M|
|Audio Solution||No Information|
|Fire Wire Port||No|
|Digital Media Reader||5|
|Battery (Type)||Li Ion|
|Battery Life||No Information|
|OS||Windows 7 Home Premium|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||32.2 x 23.2 x 1.90 cm|
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Published Date: Mar 02, 2011 01:52 pm | Updated Date: Mar 02, 2011 01:52 pm