Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Quick Look At Asus' CULV Notebooks: The "Premium Netbooks"

Last response: in Reviews comments
Share
January 18, 2011 5:30:29 AM

Why get this outdated tech when more powerful Sandy Bridge based laptops are already out and more with even better battery life are on the horizon within the next few months. Here is a link from Anandtech that shows a i7 2820QM 4Core/8Thread CPU getting almost 7 hours of battery life (416 minutes) surfing the web with heavy flash.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/intels-sandy-bridge-...

These CULV were great a year ago, but not anymore. This is old tech and purchasing any of these is a poor use of your money if battery life and performance are what you are after. If you want shorter battery life and weaker performance, then by all means this is for you. Sigh...
Score
-2
January 18, 2011 5:34:10 AM

We will have our Sandy Bridge mobile up story up shortly, but that is a i7-2820M. It is meant for DTRs. CULVs are a different beast. Brazos is more applicable comparison if you read our conclusion.

And "heavy flash" is somewhat of a misnomer. Its still single-threaded. It doesn't matter what video you happen to be playing. And if you read our Flash article then you know H.264 Flash video has very little overhead on current GPUs (including Sandy Bridge), because they all use hardware decoders. This is going to naturally translate into more battery life. This doesn't just go for Intel. It goes for Ion2, Nile, etc...

Andrew
TomsHardware.com
Score
4
Related resources
January 18, 2011 5:42:09 AM

That RLU benchmark is a really useful benchmark! I for one would buy a netbook or any system just to do word processing, the internet, and mp3's all day. You should also include it when comparing lower-end desktops as well because not everyone buys a computer to run high-end graphics all day. It really made me look at these netbooks better, and I can make a better decision based off that one benchmark alone.
Score
1
January 18, 2011 5:48:27 AM

runswindows95 said:
That RLU benchmark is a really useful benchmark! I for one would buy a netbook or any system just to do word processing, the internet, and mp3's all day. You should also include it when comparing lower-end desktops as well because not everyone buys a computer to run high-end graphics all day. It really made me look at these netbooks better, and I can make a better decision based off that one benchmark alone.


Honestly, that is probably the first compliment we have received on it. But I'm glad to hear you like it. Feel free to drop suggestions for improving it or possible permanent names.

I'm glad at least my many hours of programming weren't useless. But we plan to use it in our (many) upcoming mobile system reviews as well.
Score
1
Anonymous
January 18, 2011 6:37:31 AM

How did you guys update the Ion2 drivers on the 1215n?
Score
0
January 18, 2011 6:51:06 AM

Uninstall everything, then install Intel driver first, then install Nvidia driver.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 7:21:26 AM

I think the appeal of these netbooks is more if you have to carry them around with you, also they are 500$ cheaper, smaller, and probably several pounds lighter than a sandy bridge notebook, trust me if you have to carry it around with books you will notice the difference between this and a 15-17 inch laptop.
Score
1
January 18, 2011 7:35:46 AM

inaphasiaHow did you guys update the Ion2 drivers on the 1215n?

you should try using nvidia's drivers from their website, for a long time I couldn't get any installer to work and had to resort to windows update (I reinstalled windows to x64 ultimate). However, I tried again with the 266.35 installer and that worked perfectly, even with the gpu 'off'.

I just want to add that if you're going to rip open your 1215n, swap the wifi card. I replaced the stock bs with an intel 6200 (the 1215n only has one antenna, so overkill, yes) and it's amazing. A situation where a cheap abs case is actually beneficial.

I also don't recommend upgrading the hdd to an ssd. They're expensive, and the platform in general, whether it was ram or cpu, held me back further than I would have expected. The only real advantage is power savings. In the end I put the ssd back in my desktop to live it's horrible life as my swap drive.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 9:40:02 AM

one-shotWhy get this outdated tech when more powerful Sandy Bridge based laptops are already out and more with even better battery life are on the horizon within the next few months. Here is a link from Anandtech that shows a i7 2820QM 4Core/8Thread CPU getting almost 7 hours of battery life (416 minutes) surfing the web with heavy flash. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084 [...] andscape/9These CULV were great a year ago, but not anymore. This is old tech and purchasing any of these is a poor use of your money if battery life and performance are what you are after. If you want shorter battery life and weaker performance, then by all means this is for you. Sigh...


Great review, very pleased with it.

To address the above, all is very well and easy when you don't have to take weight and portability into account.

I own a half dozen laptops and several PCs, I am a pretty hardcore gamer, but the one that gets the most use is the little portable netbook. Its 'evolved' all by itself into the most useful piece of tech I have. Can travel with it, watch tv and order stuff online, even sit out in the sun and watch a movie.. so many uses..

Yet, so many limitations, this is where something like the 1215n comes in..

Perfect screen size - really, 11.6 or 12.1 is absolutely spot on, as 10 is too small and anything else takes away from the portability

Just enough processing power - its not a desktop machine, but not a titsy little single core atom either, it can run whatever you want, not at lightspeed, but thats not want we need, just decent speed.

HD, HD, HD - It can play movies, flash, etc that other little netbooks can't, I am not a videophile, but I cannot stand stuttering, try a .mkv on the old atom 270 - just doesn't work

ION - I won't game on the netbook, but the nerd inside me likes the fact that it can handle them, even recent titles, quite admirably.

Battery - this is key in the balance, its gotta be close to 6 hours, which really is the magic number, I know this will get 5 and a bit, so its not bad.

Price - hits the magic 500 dollar/euro mark

Those are called "criteria" - your ultraportable has to have a good combination of all of the above. A quadcore can have all the battery it wants, but if it don't fit the above then it isn't really fit the category, or the price.. or the weight.. or the portability.. etc etc

Score
3
January 18, 2011 11:36:47 AM

I am going to be simple here. Netbooks running linux are great to check email and browse in bed when using a good trackball, also for video conferencing and Google voice calls and maybe some flash gaming or retro gaming. For Typing you really want an accessory keyboard, but it does not need a stance to hold its screen up when using it for word processing and the netbook can be easily hooked up to an external monitor. In my opinion since you are saving the money in the core of the system itself might as well spend the extra cash of a usual budget for buying a computer on more practical peripherals to increase productivity and still have an ultra portable machine. I think that covers for netbooks from me.In conclusion they are slow but in the future hardware will be smaller and ultra portable machines are going to be awesome.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 12:34:04 PM

this is tom's way of preparing for the onslaught of portables. i also think coverage for the portables will be more this year than desktop parts.

can't wait for Brazos.
Score
1
January 18, 2011 12:38:57 PM


Lads, if you've never even touched, let alone owned a netbook, try not to make guesses about them. Some of the comments I read are just plain crazy.

On my samsung netbook I have 7 tabs open on chrome, skype, winamp and I'm typing this, it loads up windows faster than my overclocked quadcore desktop and 'runs' just as fast when doing anything internet related. Nothing I am using is "slow". Obviously gaming or encoding or any of that crap would be slower. Even the keyboard is 92% full size, its perfectly fine. I hate trackpads but meh I get used to it, its not like I am playing SC2 or something and need the mouse that bad.

My only issue is the high quality video streams can be jerky and high quality video (.mkvs) can judder.. hence the interest in soemthing netbook sized but with the power (without sacrificing batt power or portability) e.g. the 1215n or the new HP dm1z



Score
1
January 18, 2011 12:39:08 PM

Why are 11.6' note/net books being totally left out here?

Sorry but I think you left out one of the main size categories here -50 points on the review.
Score
-1
January 18, 2011 1:19:42 PM

I have a UL80Vt from work and I really love it except for 1 thing......the build quality on it is just GARBAGE. The screen is THE WORST I have even seen....period.....and the keyboard feels like a trampoline (only word I could come up with to describe it). The inclusion of highly glossy plastic everywhere is also a huge let down.

It is a real shame because the internals of this notebook are great and the performance is awesome for the form factor.....they just shot themselves in the foot with a cannon when it came to build quality of the rest of the notebook :( 
Score
1
January 18, 2011 2:50:30 PM

These are NOT premium netbooks. Too big. Anything larger in formfactor than 10.1" is not a netbook. Put a CULV in a 10.1" formfactor with a 1360x768, and now you have a premium netbook...

So far, the D550 is serving my needs quite well...
Score
0
January 18, 2011 3:37:26 PM

Definition of netbook:

10-11.6" 1280x720-1366x768
low power consumption
low temps
good cpu + igp perfomance
great price

=
Fusion
Score
0
January 18, 2011 5:43:52 PM

Quite frankly, I'm really interested in a nettop but I really don't see anything worthwhile until the Fusion systems are available for purchase. Seems like a much better value for the same price.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 8:08:20 PM

I have an UL20A notebook with dual-core Celeron SU2300 as a second computer, which I use for word processing or Internet browsing when I need mobility. It's lightweight construction, small form and durability make that notebook just perfect for carrying it in a bag. It's performance in Windows 7 environment is good, with appropriate respond times. Unlike the author I don't find notebook's wrist-rest and integrated touchpad design as a disappointment. Plastic in these areas collects no dirt or fingerprints. Also in my copy of UL20A there are no problems with poor support around the O, L, K,keys.
Battery life is very good, much over 4 hour with wi-fi turned on.
Score
1
January 18, 2011 9:55:14 PM

I have the same opinion as Darth_Kaar. I replaced a netbook with my an Acer 1410 with the same dual-core SU2300 CPU and have never looked back. Albeit these ultraportables are not a flashy or as powerful as some of the latest gear but they get the job done. None of these systems are really good for gaming. Even more powerful laptops are only passable. A friend has an i5 ASUS laptop with a 14 inch LED screen and an Nvidia 335 GPU and he still prefers to play 3D games on his desktop with a 20+ inch monitor because it is a much more immersive experience. The 14 inch screen size makes the experience feel confined. In the end, I believe it is the physical screen size that will affect your enjoyment of games. Don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Play any 3D game on a 22 to 24 inch monitor and then play it on even a 17 inch laptop and you'll understand what I mean.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 11:11:13 PM

I have the ul30A and this is the best laptop for portability I have ever purchased. It have about a 10 hour battery and after I upgraded the HDD to a SSD the battery life was extended to 11 hours with Wifi on. I love the performance with the SSD. The system feel likes it flies. It can also run HD divx very well. What can I say it the best laptop for flights and long distances.
Score
0
January 18, 2011 11:11:30 PM

I have the ul30A and this is the best laptop for portability I have ever purchased. It have about a 10 hour battery and after I upgraded the HDD to a SSD the battery life was extended to 11 hours with Wifi on. I love the performance with the SSD. The system feel likes it flies. It can also run HD divx very well. What can I say it the best laptop for flights and long distances.
Score
0
Anonymous
January 18, 2011 11:13:44 PM

Geez

No real comparison. Add a mac air.. no competition.. the mac wins

Toms you better learn to compare the complete set of notebooks.

Sorry but this report is just rubbish.
Score
-1
January 19, 2011 2:22:10 AM

gmcd2245Geez No real comparison. Add a mac air.. no competition.. the mac winsToms you better learn to compare the complete set of notebooks.Sorry but this report is just rubbish.

Sure, compare a 1k+ machine to a 4c+ machine... They are not in the same bracket, not made with the same parts, or are intended to compete in the same space...
Score
-1
January 19, 2011 3:40:05 AM

I recently bought my Mom a $330 i3 laptop. I don't see where the CULV notebooks are supposed to land between this an a netbook. In my opinion, laptops are $300-$550, unless you're looking for a desktop replacement that plays 3D games.

I'm just not really sure what point this article is making. I guess it could be, "You don't have to spend $800 on a laptop if you don't game on it." I suppose these laptops are worth something though if you can't stand only getting 6 hours of battery life like you do with i3's and moreso with upcoming AMD and Intel CPUs.
Score
0
January 19, 2011 5:18:11 AM

In my own opinion netbooks are not about the size of screen but for convenience, for performance I would agree it is not really fast but it is how you manage your application (the one that you really need).

For me netbooks helps a lot - little things that works and quite convenient. Maybe if you got big hands and bad eyes then you will complain. This is just my own opinion.
Score
0
January 19, 2011 5:52:11 PM

Great review, I've got a UL20FT myself and I've not experienced any poor support around the O,P,K etc. keys (or anywhere else for that matter) and the plastic finish on the keyboard / touchpad doesn't seem to collect fingerprints or dirt either.
Score
0
January 23, 2011 4:21:31 AM

Why get this outdated tech when more powerful Sandy Bridge based laptops are already out?
Score
0
March 3, 2011 5:19:11 AM

Because there's a set of computing needs that laptops don't address - small, portable computers that let you perform your computing tasks without weighing you down with a large footprint or hefty pricetag. I made the mistake of buying a 15" laptop before and I hardly ever used it. My 10.1" netbook goes with me everywhere because it's so small and light. I sometimes forgoe bringing my netbook if I can get by with my iPhone apps.
Score
0
Anonymous
May 21, 2011 7:40:06 PM

I bought the Asus 1015PE last year and I've been blown away by the battery life. I've literally never drained the whole battery before I wanted to stop using my computer. I purchased the 1215N Thursday and I'm waiting for it to come in the mail. Your review is spectacular! It further reinforced my excitement at making an informed purchase decision, and probably the best one I could make for the price I got. A+ on this review!
Score
0
!