Asus Win7 ultraportable competitor to the MBA, 4GB RAM and discrete graphics!

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 19, 2008
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U.S.A.
I know the number one complaint about the MBA is the 2 GB of RAM. And at a close second place, the 128 GB drive. This ASUS offers both AND Discrete Graphics!

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/asuss-ul30vt-announced-somehow-finds-room-for-discrete-graphic/

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/11/asus-ul80vt-review/

With Windows 7, the OS is more like OS X! I think the ASUS UL30Vt & UL80Vt look like nice ultraportables. The thing is we all want graphics performance from the MBAs; we expect OS X to run as efficiently as Windows, for graphics, but it doesn't. This Asus has a CULV CPU and yet with its dedicated graphics probably runs circles around the MBA. OS X is just not as capable at playing an HD video, Flash, and etc...

It's not an MBA, but maybe that's a good thing??? Too bad Apple cannot give us 4 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD, AND DEDICATED GRAPHICS!
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,770
5
dallas, texas
You seem to know every statistic about the MacBook Air without any evidence. I might be wrong, but: I have a feeling that the price is more important then having a 256GB SSD, possibly more then the ram as well.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,085
290
Indianapolis
CULV is showing up in plenty more thin, light notebooks.

If I was notebook shopping I'd look at HP's dm3 for a budget thin and light on the AMD side for the base model or the Intel one for the discrete GPU. The Radeon 3200 isn't all that bad but a GeForce 210M is better. :p
 

bloodycape

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
CULV is showing up in plenty more thin, light notebooks.

If I was notebook shopping I'd look at HP's dm3 for a budget thin and light on the AMD side for the base model or the Intel one for the discrete GPU. The Radeon 3200 isn't all that bad but a GeForce 210M is better. :p
Well the DM3 also has the advantage of coming with the intel SP cpu, which faster than the CULV SU, and the LV SL. Also, I think the is integrated gpu, while you can switch to the ATI 4330 when you need more power. Doesn't the intel model have the GT110m gpu, unless your referring to the UL30VT. I have read user reviews saying in real world testing with the turbo mode on, the UL80VT felt just as fast the the base 13in MBP.

BTW in some areas I the 13in Acer Timeline comes with the ATI 4330 gpu, which in most case is better than the 9400m(power consumer is where the 9400m is better). So, its not really new, but the Asus is nicer looking device.

You guys may know this but most of these CULV device do have support for 8gb ram either officially or unofficially and if not 8gb, the 6gb max.
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 19, 2008
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Why is this thing even called an "ultraportable" ?
One of them is lighter and smaller than the other.


There's no doubt that many will compare the UL30 to Apple's MacBook Air, and rightfully so. Asus has settled on a striking brushed aluminum lid, and while the rest of the machine is indeed plastic, the lid is definitely attractive. Measuring in at just an inch thick, this machine is nice and thin. Unlike some of Asus' thinner Eee PCs, the 8-cell battery (which Asus claims is good for up to 12 hours of life, a figure that we'll be putting to the test later) is removable.
http://hothardware.com/Articles/Asus-133-UL30A-CULV-Notebook-Review/

Consider the pricing too... may not be quite as thin, but with Windows 7 it's a lot more powerful for graphics and video performance... especially with a dedicated graphics card that's better than the MBP's 9600GT.

I like it, and for the price it's a bargain!
 

bloodycape

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
Is it really that big of a deal what category they are calling this? After all it is just a category name.

Also last I check the Asus UL80VT can get about 9-10 hours of battery life with the intel gpu turned on, so this should be at least 30minutes better.
 

coast1ja

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2009
291
0
Why is this thing even called an "ultraportable" ?
if I recall correctly, there are actual specs for what differentiates an ultraportable from a netbook... something like less than four pounds in weight, less than an inch thick, and a typical laptop CPU (not an atom or other similar chip).
 

bloodycape

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
if I recall correctly, there are actual specs for what differentiates an ultraportable from a netbook... something like less than four pounds in weight, less than an inch thick, and a typical laptop CPU (not an atom or other similar chip).
You maybe right, but last I check my Vaio TT, meets everything except for the being under a 1in thick(1.15in thick) is still called an Ultraportable. Then again it is an 11in device with an optical drive.
 

foidulus

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2007
904
1
Not all that impressive when you look at it's weight

which is 4.8 lbs, not only 60% more than the air, it also weighs more than both the 13" macbook and macbook pros(the latter by almost 10%!)

Decent machine, but it's not really in the same class as the air, and at $850 not really even that competitive with the regular macbook(which lacks a discrete graphics solution but has a significantly faster CPU)
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 19, 2008
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which is 4.8 lbs, not only 60% more than the air, it also weighs more than both the 13" macbook and macbook pros(the latter by almost 10%!)

Decent machine, but it's not really in the same class as the air, and at $850 not really even that competitive with the regular macbook(which lacks a discrete graphics solution but has a significantly faster CPU)
The smaller one is 3 lbs not 4.8. It has discrete graphics, 13.3" LED display, less than 1inch thick, aluminum lid, and 4 GB RAM for $799. I don't know how that could be bad.

And it's running Windows 7, so HD 720p is a BREEZE for this PC. Let's all remember that we love our user interface in OS X, but it's a HUGE compromise. We compromise not being able to run apps, we compromise terrible Flash performance, we compromise any HD speed, and we compromise overall performance... all to have a "MAC." Windows 7 is making great strides, and while it isn't OS X, it's really not too far off now. The big letdown with any Windows PC is having to run AntiVirus software. That changes the performance too.

I love OS X and my MBA, but it's a huge compromise in my opinion. We are all compromising and settling for less power to run OS X. We are compromising more power by using ultraportable MBAs. The MBA is great, but it's quickly being overpowered on all of its components as other computers have 256 GB SSDs, 4 GB RAM, better graphics, and even Windows 7.

Now I love my MBA, but I sure wish Apple would do something before the MBA becomes irrelevant. It doesn't need to be thinner, but it does need some upgrades NOW. It needs 4 GB RAM, as I am sick of settling for 2 GB. It needs to at least compete with all of these other ultraportables offering 12 hours of battery performance. It needs more drive space. And dedicated graphics would be great. Even OS X needs some upgrades... with Snow Leopard, our OpenGL performance has DROPPED by a full 25%. That's sick! Even worse, Apple is not letting Adobe make Flash great for the Mac. Apple should jump in and figure it out if it won't let Adobe have access to the APIs to make Flash work on the Mac.

I want a new MBA, and the choices are adding up on the PC side... come on Apple.
 

bloodycape

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
Now I love my MBA, but I sure wish Apple would do something before the MBA becomes irrelevant. It doesn't need to be thinner, but it does need some upgrades NOW. It needs 4 GB RAM, as I am sick of settling for 2 GB. It needs to at least compete with all of these other ultraportables offering 12 hours of battery performance. It needs more drive space. And dedicated graphics would be great. Even OS X needs some upgrades... with Snow Leopard, our OpenGL performance has DROPPED by a full 25%. That's sick! Even worse, Apple is not letting Adobe make Flash great for the Mac. Apple should jump in and figure it out if it won't let Adobe have access to the APIs to make Flash work on the Mac.
I guess some of this has to do with the fact that Apple is show a bias against flash. Now if Apple was a little more inviting to flash I would think things would be a bit different no?
 

Abyssgh0st

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2009
1,888
8
Colorado
Scottsdale- I like how you're not one of those "Macz only cuz there r teh b3st" guys. Another user posted how they were satisfied with W7, maybe you could back up your whole MBA on an external and then install a fresh copy of W7? Not bootcamp or anything, just a clean OS install. That would be a very interesting test since you have the fastest MBA with the RunCore..
 

bmstrong

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2007
513
24
The smaller one is 3 lbs not 4.8. It has discrete graphics, 13.3" LED display, less than 1inch thick, aluminum lid, and 4 GB RAM for $799. I don't know how that could be bad.

And it's running Windows 7, so HD 720p is a BREEZE for this PC. Let's all remember that we love our user interface in OS X, but it's a HUGE compromise. We compromise not being able to run apps, we compromise terrible Flash performance, we compromise any HD speed, and we compromise overall performance... all to have a "MAC." Windows 7 is making great strides, and while it isn't OS X, it's really not too far off now. The big letdown with any Windows PC is having to run AntiVirus software. That changes the performance too.

I love OS X and my MBA, but it's a huge compromise in my opinion. We are all compromising and settling for less power to run OS X. We are compromising more power by using ultraportable MBAs. The MBA is great, but it's quickly being overpowered on all of its components as other computers have 256 GB SSDs, 4 GB RAM, better graphics, and even Windows 7.

Now I love my MBA, but I sure wish Apple would do something before the MBA becomes irrelevant. It doesn't need to be thinner, but it does need some upgrades NOW. It needs 4 GB RAM, as I am sick of settling for 2 GB. It needs to at least compete with all of these other ultraportables offering 12 hours of battery performance. It needs more drive space. And dedicated graphics would be great. Even OS X needs some upgrades... with Snow Leopard, our OpenGL performance has DROPPED by a full 25%. That's sick! Even worse, Apple is not letting Adobe make Flash great for the Mac. Apple should jump in and figure it out if it won't let Adobe have access to the APIs to make Flash work on the Mac.

I want a new MBA, and the choices are adding up on the PC side... come on Apple.
Okay. I'm with you on everything you just said. The real question I have is will you purchase one? Or would you purchase one given it has almost all of your wishes?
 

mobilevisual

macrumors member
Jun 12, 2009
40
0
Scottsdale- I like how you're not one of those "Macz only cuz there r teh b3st" guys. Another user posted how they were satisfied with W7, maybe you could back up your whole MBA on an external and then install a fresh copy of W7? Not bootcamp or anything, just a clean OS install. That would be a very interesting test since you have the fastest MBA with the RunCore..


Yes, I'll second Scottsdale to lead the way to W7 with Runcore. Always enjoy reading his passionate reports.
 

lucifiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2009
982
2
In your basement
I only have one potential gripe with this thing: the trackpad. After being spoiled with the MBA's massive trackpad, it's difficult to imagine using the tiny thing that ASUS is providing.

But that is a small complainant given the potential power that is housed in the Asus device. Well I'm of the view that competition is always a good thing.
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,547
11
Yay Area, CA
I only have one potential gripe with this thing: the trackpad. After being spoiled with the MBA's massive trackpad, it's difficult to imagine using the tiny thing that ASUS is providing.

But that is a small complainant given the potential power that is housed in the Asus device. Well I'm of the view that competition is always a good thing.
I agree with that. I can't use any type of small trackpads anymore. Those on a netbook is painful for me.
 

a.chufong

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2005
43
0
@Scottsdale: I think that you're right in pointing out that Asus, through its UL30Vt and other offerings, are bringing a lot to our segment of the market. Before getting a deal for my MBA, I was pretty set on purchasing the Asus ul30a. The UL series is pretty well reviewed. See e.g., UL30A, and UL80vt. The built-in ASUS 1-year Accidental Damage Warranty adds a lot of potential value because it goes beyond the manufacturing defects covered by our AppleCare warranties. The UL30Vt is a very attractive proposition and the incoming flood of CULV laptops with discrete graphics and amazing battery life can only provide more options for us as ultraportable consumers -- a great thing.

But as Apple users, these offerings are probably a bad sign. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy using OSX and W7 on my personal computer, and I really appreciate having been able to play through Dragon Age: Origins on an ultraportable. But I think the writing is on the wall for us Apple ultraportable consumers. To Apple, the MBA was/is a luxury, no-compromise ultraportable for which they could charge luxury prices. To other manufacturers, the CULV MBA-competitors are grown-up netbooks for which they must charge close-to netbook prices. It seems that the Apple response must be to (i) justify the luxury price by adding value; (ii) re-conceptualize the MBA and lower the prices; or, (iii) end the line entirely.

Personally, I think that the MBA is at the EOL or, less-likely that the next refresh will be a plastic-boxing and downgrade to the MacBook line. All Apple's focus appears to be on this eBook reader/tablet/netbook. And how much sense does it make to compete for our dollars when the competition is so stiff and more mainstream products are producing record profits? Further, Apple has been moving away from competing for our dollars - the ultraportable segment - since discontinuing and not replacing the PB 12". But I digress.

The UL30Vt is a nice looking machine.
 

coast1ja

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2009
291
0
how is ASUS's customer service?
From my experience, their customer service is better than Dell, and miles ahead of HP. They don't transfer you around to everyone in the office like HP does, and their regular support staff have the authority to RMA, instead of going to a separate department for the RMA. Top notch, in my book.
 

iGrant

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2006
542
0
Ridgeway
*yawn*
comparing apple and pc again?

And I do love it when laptops come with stickers on them! woohoo!
Couldn't agree with you more . . . I need to look at the links, but I have used Windows 7, and I prefer the OS X any day . . . I guess I just never use flash that much . . . . I rarely use it all . . .

-iGrant
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 19, 2008
4,442
247
U.S.A.
Couldn't agree with you more . . . I need to look at the links, but I have used Windows 7, and I prefer the OS X any day . . . I guess I just never use flash that much . . . . I rarely use it all . . .

-iGrant
And how about HD video playback performance??? You like that better on OS X too? Sure... OS X is quickly falling behind, and Windows 7 "Just Works" better than OS X in MANY WAYS!

Apple will have us believe that Microsoft Windows 7 is the same old "headache" but it's not. It's actually well thought out and is more dependable than ever. And when there's a compatibility problem for a driver, it makes sense as Windows supports the vast majority of all hardware. Hell, Apple cannot even write some drivers for Intel Mac owners to take advantage of some of the benefits in OS X Snow Leopard... that's after writing off all of the PPC users. Apple's OS X supports a tiny fraction of the hardware components on the market, and then brags "It Just Works." Just works because Apple gives us the same crap for years so it doesn't have to write a new video card driver???

Now, I am not saying that I want to ditch OS X, nor give up my MBA. What I want is some damn appreciation from Apple in me giving in in so many areas to be a Mac user. I want Apple to give a damn. I want Apple to keep products relevant. I want Apple to write drivers for all of its own damn hardware it sold in the last three years. I want Apple to care about its computer users half as much as it cares about the damn iPhone. I want an OS X that can run HD video better than a six year old Dell Inspiron laptop. I want Apple to allow Adobe the APIs to make Flash work on the Mac. I want Apple to give a damn about the Internet on the iPhone too, and let Flash run there as well.

Apple is truly forgetting what made it a great company... and it's falling behind in supporting its computer users just to make the stock price rise a few bucks. I own APPL, and I love the stock, but I would rather have an incredible Mac thats OS X "just worked" with HD video playback, Flash, and etc. Apple's idea of the Mac "just working" is completely different than mine, I guess???
 

hashholly

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2008
436
119
And how about HD video playback performance??? You like that better on OS X too? Sure... OS X is quickly falling behind, and Windows 7 "Just Works" better than OS X in MANY WAYS!

Apple will have us believe that Microsoft Windows 7 is the same old "headache" but it's not. It's actually well thought out and is more dependable than ever. And when there's a compatibility problem for a driver, it makes sense as Windows supports the vast majority of all hardware. Hell, Apple cannot even write some drivers for Intel Mac owners to take advantage of some of the benefits in OS X Snow Leopard... that's after writing off all of the PPC users. Apple's OS X supports a tiny fraction of the hardware components on the market, and then brags "It Just Works." Just works because Apple gives us the same crap for years so it doesn't have to write a new video card driver???

Now, I am not saying that I want to ditch OS X, nor give up my MBA. What I want is some damn appreciation from Apple in me giving in in so many areas to be a Mac user. I want Apple to give a damn. I want Apple to keep products relevant. I want Apple to write drivers for all of its own damn hardware it sold in the last three years. I want Apple to care about its computer users half as much as it cares about the damn iPhone. I want an OS X that can run HD video better than a six year old Dell Inspiron laptop. I want Apple to allow Adobe the APIs to make Flash work on the Mac. I want Apple to give a damn about the Internet on the iPhone too, and let Flash run there as well.

Apple is truly forgetting what made it a great company... and it's falling behind in supporting its computer users just to make the stock price rise a few bucks. I own APPL, and I love the stock, but I would rather have an incredible Mac thats OS X "just worked" with HD video playback, Flash, and etc. Apple's idea of the Mac "just working" is completely different than mine, I guess???
Flash works on the mac, albeit pretty ****** compared to the windows side, but that has less to do with Apple/OSX and more to do with Adobes ****** Flash code for OSX.
 
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