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Round Up: Five Powerful, Light Ultraportables

Asus U2E-AIB: Price, Battery, Performance


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


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

  • Thanks for writing this article; I have been interested in how these things perform.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • bjornlo
    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".
  • 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! for notebooks :-)Sry... they jus do a better job.

  • cruiseoveride
    Linux > OSX >> Windows

    I wish the IBM one was cheaper.
  • 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 , ...
  • 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 ?
  • 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.