Round Up: Five Powerful, Light Ultraportables

Asus U2E-AIB: Price, Battery, Performance

Price

Asus does not sell its own computers direct to consumers, so on its corporate Web site, it offers a range of links to third-party resellers who carry its notebooks. The Asus U2E-A1B is a distinct model—for example, there are more costly options that come with a 32 GB solid state drive in place of or in addition to the 120 GB conventional hard drive—that sells for a range of prices at various retailers such as Best Buy and NewEgg. The U2E-A1B is almost always configured identically to our review unit, though no Web site is currently offering configurable versions of the machine. The price range is $1899 to $1999, and Asus offers no manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Purely productivity-oriented buyers should note that the U2E offers one of the worst price-to-performance ratios of this ultraportable roundup: its price is in the middle of the pack, buts its performance is at the bottom. Yet, if there are other things that matter to you when considering a high-end, tiny computer, the Asus doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. With the U2E, you’re paying for design; if you don’t fall in love with the U2E’s design, the computer will seem like a huge rip-off. But if leather and chrome are your thing, you’ll be willing to pay for the privilege. Additionally, if as-small-as-possible-yet-still-has-optical-drive is high up on your priority list, that might be worth a few hundred bucks to you, and the U2E will look better and better. Finally, if a bit of durability is required for your lifestyle, this machine is a bit more rugged than others in the roundup.

No matter how you slice it, though, compared to the competition in this roundup, the Asus machine is objectively underpowered and subjectively overpriced.

Price Score: 3

Battery Life

The Asus U2E came with two batteries; we chose to test the higher capacity one. According to our battery life test program, BatteryEater Pro, the battery’s design capacity is around 2344 mAh (milliamp hours) at 10.8 V. The actual capacity after a full charge, again according to BatteryEater Pro, was about 2000 mAh. This is a comparatively low capacity battery and the BatteryEater Pro battery life tests confirm this: the U2E ran for exactly 60 minutes on a full charge.

Battery Life score: 1.45

Performance

With only a 1.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 CPU and a 4,200 RPM ATA hard disk drive, the U2E achieved the lowest score of the five ultraportable notebooks on our performance tests, even though it was the only notebook to sport 3 GB rather than 2 GB of memory.

Performance score: 2.43

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
18 comments
    Your comment
  • Anonymous
    Thanks for writing this article; I have been interested in how these things perform.
    0
  • Anonymous
    these are all at the high-end of the price spectrum, have you considered the asus eee pc or acer aspire one? i have one of these, and while it's not exactly a gaming powerhouse it does all you need in a small laptop... mind you the linux distros these things come with can be a real pain
    0
  • JJeng1
    A possible reason for the fingerprint reader placement. Look into the options of the fingerprint software, as sometimes the reader doubles as a scroll wheel.
    0
  • Regulas
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.
    -4
  • bjornlo
    Quote:
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.

    Typical ignorant fanboi BS.
    Get your facts straight. Nothing wrong with a Mac other than total cost of ownership and slightly reduced software choices... although the default browser is very unsecure (but fixable, DL any other). But, there is nothing special about them except their style and slightly better ease of use for the "technologically challenged".
    0
  • Placebo
    First of, Macs are rubbish. Buying one is alright for the creative crowd, whose fav. software is exclusive for OSX. Other than that, the company would have already closed up, if not saved by the mighty (LOL) Ipod-brand.

    Regarding the otherwise brilliant review, how come the Dell M1330 isn't mentioned, or even tested, its not even on the site?!?!

    Best selling product in the category for almost two years. Anyone buying should look into it. Had one for around a year, can honestly say its the best electronic device i ever owned.

    Its cheap, lightwight and with supurb spec!

    www.notebookreview.com for notebooks :-)Sry... they jus do a better job.
    1
  • cruiseoveride
    Linux > OSX >> Windows

    I wish the IBM one was cheaper.
    0
  • boostercorp
    i guess i never understood why you'd need such a small underpowered laptop and also never knew who would buy such a thing.
    But if you're on the road alot like me it would be more handy then dragging around a 8 pound 17" laptop like i 'm currently doing.

    i only hoped they'd be a little less expensive cause i bought my 17" for € 899 and got a shedload of stuff i didn't need like that fingerprint scanner ,bluetooth ,ir , ...
    -1
  • Anonymous
    Can we post a review of ultraportables with eSATA and Express Card ? I think the ASUS U6V (not sure) has one, the Dell E4200 and E4300 have eSATA but no Express Card. The Lenovo X200 and X300 series have some great features. I really hope manufacturers start making machines with eSATA and Express Card and not one or the other. Oh and How about the Toshiba dynabook R6 ?
    0
  • enforcer22
    "Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review."


    O your right and look i cant do anything i want to do with it either.. I also cant get it to look like a computer instead of a over priced pos paperweight. Linux is as usless to me as that over priced thing keeping my desk up to.
    -1
  • Anonymous
    @comedy
    have you actually read this article. NO! If you read the very first page, you will understand why we need these so called "ultraportables", and can't stand the new fashion of eee pc's, that can barely surf the net.

    We need these things to be small, so they can be with us at all times, but also powerfull enough to run heavy software. For an example, i would need one to be able to run apache server, illustrator cs4, firefox, dreamweaver cs4 and perhaps even photoshop at the same time.

    See some of us make a living from the nets and are not stuck in the office, so we want a computer that can perform in the tasks we need to accomplish, but also easily travel the world with us. One!
    0
  • onesloth
    For the price range of these machines, this article should have included the MacBook Air. It meets all he requirements the author chose, with the exceptions of not having a screen too small to read nor keyboard too small for serious typing.
    2
  • Anonymous
    Is there a reason the P8020 and the Sony TT weren't reviewed here? I know they're new, but it would be more informative to review the latest models, especially considering the advances in Intel's Centrino 2 package.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Mac Book Air beats all these hands down. While you can install Vista on a MacBook Air? Why would you. A notebook with OS X has a way better battery life and it runs faster then Vista. It's also more secure.
    -1
  • Anonymous
    Not having the Thinkpad X200 feels like a big slap in the face. It is a 12.1" notebook with an optional LED Backlit 1440x900 screen, something none of these offer. Plus it runs normal, not low-voltage, Core 2 Duo processors for outstanding performance. I just don't understand at all why it was not included.
    1
  • Anonymous
    @Anonymous 11/06/2008 1:47 AM

    take it easy, i was ASKING why not, the article doesn't specify those particular programs - and while yes, they're not 'powerful' they are portable, so i asked about it.
    the atom isn't so bad, i have a core2 laptop (19 inches and about 10 kilos) and while it outstrips the atom one in performance, they can both run the same stuff, it's just one is a bit faster than the other...

    perhaps you should think about going back to the office, all those programs you're running will suck the life out of any battery, get a desktop, a comfy chair and a window.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Windows is an operating system for those who need the absolute best software compatibility they can get. Windows has trouble running at times and it is has security wholes. Windows was designed to be played with and be customized to how you want it (lol staying with in copyright of course) to be for you.

    Mac OSX is a very stable operating system that comes with most all of the software you need and is by far the easiest to use. I still can not get used to the fact everything is done for me though. If you are technically challenged, do not care for Windows, or if you love Apple products then the Apple Macintosh is for you. The big flaw with Apple is there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIY COMPUTER BUILDING. I do not care for the hardware you get stuck with and can not change. Hardware customization is very important for those actively upgrading.

    Finally, there is Linux. Linux is the best running operating system you can get and is also the ultimate OS in customizing (if you have the know how). Linux has so many distributions to choose from such as Fedora Core, Red Hat Enterprise, Ubuntu (the most common from what I have seen), etc. Linux has been the choice operating system for many programmers due to the ease of customizing, low requirements, compatibility with most hardware, and most of the time the OS is free. Lol Linux is probably the only OS you can get for free only due to the fact that it has been in what I would think to be a never-ending "Beta." Linux is not very common due to the lack of it being less-user friendly for the technically challenged, however recent distributions have begun to solve that issue with Windows emulation and user-friendly GUI. Linux does not suffer from spyware and virus attacks due to Windows being the most pre-dominent OS on the market.

    One note on Mac OSX. OSX has a core and kernel with Linux FreeBSD coding at the heart. That's right Mac users you use Linux. This version of FreeBSD is just tweaked with ALOT of eye candy and a very-user-friendly GUI. This makes it very secure for the most part. However, concern has been growing within advanced users as the popularity of Apple computers are increasing. Windows is attacked not only because Microsoft can't build a brick wall to stop a virus, but also because of the fact it is the most used OS. If Mac OSX becomes the dominant OS of the world, expect spyware and viruses to begin infiltrating your hard disks. In the mean time make the switch from using Safari to Firefox. You will save the headache of someone stealing your logins or even worse your financial info. Sorry Apple users but Safari sux just as much as Internet Explorer. Make the switch to Firefox.
    0
  • Anonymous
    is it just me or...
    @Sony Vaio TZ298: Style and Usability page
    it states about using SSD HD yet at "Noise and Heat" section it mentions about "the drives were spinning" as far as i know SSD HD does not spin.
    or it might be the author plugs in supplied external optical drive.
    correct me if i'm wrong.
    0