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

Remember that “glossy displays” are aimed at users looking for sharpness and color vibrancy when viewing images and movies. In general, these displays may seem nicer in the showroom because of the dim light and their shiny design. However, they have their pitfalls. They reflect light and have a propensity to show fingerprints. If you plan on taking your notebook into very well-lit environments with overhead lighting, look towards a matte display. Otherwise, glossy remains our recommendation due to picture vibrancy.

While it makes to us that Asus chose glossy displays for the 1215N and 1215T, we're more surprised to find the same finish on its UL20A. Asus is after a more business-oriented user with that model, which would seem better-complemented by a matte display. With that said, we are seeing more and more vendors using glossy displays, even on notebooks we would consider purely business-oriented, such as some of the Lenovo ThinkPads. Off the record, we have heard that this is related to pricing. The volume on glossy displays used on consumer notebooks facilitates lower costs. This might be what we're seeing on Asus' UL20A. 

Whatever the reason, you should note that glossy displays are going to be penalized in well-lit environments with overhead lighting. Note that the 1215N and 1215T share identical displays, which is why we are only show one next to the UL20A.

The CCFL LCD on Asus' UL20A comes out a tad brighter than the LED LCD on its 1215N and 1215T. Roughly speaking, setting 13/16 on the UL20A matches 10/10 on the 1215N and 1215T.

The viewing angles are what we have come to expect from notebooks. Typically, we don't see poor viewing angles in well-lit areas unless images have aggressive dark tones.

Asus originally informed us that the 1215T and 1215N share the same displays. For good measure, we broke down the system to confirm they both use a Hannstar HSD121PHW1. However, there is a difference that we noticed during testing. The 1215N has a slightly higher yellow balance. But other than that, the displays are the same.

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