ASUS UL80Jt: Overclocked i3 ULVby Vivek Gowri on November 17, 2010 1:15 PM EST
Back when ASUS released the UL80Vt last year, we gave it a glowing review, praising its balance of performance and battery life without breaking the bank. The UL80Vt had an overclocked Core 2 Duo SU7300, an NVIDIA G 210M with a manually switchable option, and ASUS’ now standard (for the U/UL series) 84Wh battery. This gave it pretty solid performance, on par with larger mainstream notebooks, and close to 13 hours of ideal-case battery life, even with Turbo33 mode enabled. Today, we’ve got the UL80Jt, an updated version running the new Core i3-330UM processor and NVIDIA’s Optimus-enabled G 310M graphics.
|ASUS UL80Jt-A1 Specifications|
Intel Core i3-330UM
(1.20GHz, 32nm, 3MB L2 cache, 18W)
Overclockable to 1.60GHz
NVIDIA GeForce G 310M 1024MB
(16SPs, 608/1468/1240 Core/Shader/RAM clocks)
Intel HD Graphics (Optimus Switchable)
|Display||14.0" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)|
|Hard Drive(s)||500GB 5400RPM HDD (Seagate ST9500325AS)|
|Optical Drive||8x DVDR SuperMulti|
Atheros AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9285 BGN
|Audio||HD Audio (2 stereo speakers with two audio jacks)|
|Battery||8-Cell, 15V, 5600mAh, 84Wh battery|
2 x USB
AC Power connection
Optical Drive (DVDRW)
Flash reader (MMC/MS/MS Pro/SD/xD)
1 x USB 2.0
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium|
|Dimensions||13.5" x 9.6" x 1.1" (WxDxH)|
|Weight||4.8 lbs (with 8-cell battery)|
Flash reader (MMC/MS/MSPro/SD/xD)
ExpressGate OS (8-second boot)
2-year global warranty
1-year battery pack warranty
1-year accidental damage
30-day zero bright dot LCD
|Pricing||ASUS UL80Jt-A1 starting at $869|
Like its predecessor, the UL80Jt is a thin and light 14” notebook, sharing the same dimensions and form factor. Not much has changed on the outside, as we’ll get to in a moment, but the insides are pretty different. The Core i3-330UM has a default clock speed of 1.20 GHz, and ASUS’ Turbo33 utility gives it a 33% overclock, raising the total to a much livelier 1.60 GHz. The i3, unlike its more expensive i5 and i7 brethen, does not benefit from Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which will automatically adjusts clock speed for single or multi-threaded applications. The other change here is the not-so-new G 310M and the Optimus graphics switching technology. We’ve extensively covered both of these in the past, so I’ll just gloss over them in the intro and go more in-depth in the graphics performance section.
As for the rest of the specs, we’ve got a 1366x768 resolution 14” screen, 4GB memory, 500GB hard drive, 2.4 GHz wireless-G, and that glorious 84Wh 8-cell battery. What’s interesting to note is that there is no Bluetooth to be found here, even with an $869 pricetag. We'll have to see if the revised UL80 can top the equally well rounded and more powerful U30Jc that also earned our Bronze Editor’s Choice award.
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slagar - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link"Unfortunately, the LCD bezel is still glossy plastic, a recurring theme with ASUS notebooks. Dustin went off on this in his last review, but I’d like to touch on it again. It’s stupid, stop doing it."
This gave me a laugh; well said. Nice review, thanks!
I think the CULV i3 is well suited to 11-12" notebooks, like the UL20FT, as long as you don't mind the short battery life. But as said in the review, it sort of loses its purpose in such a "large" laptop when there are better options available.
Personally, I've still got an EEEPC 900 and it goes great. I'm looking at upgrading to a 12" UL20, but I'm not completely satisfied with the current revisions; maybe next year ;)
scook9 - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - linkI have a UL80Vt from work and aside from the horrible build quality and screen and touchpad (I know, right?) it is a great laptop. I like that the battery life is longer than windows 7 can handle (sits at 10h 00m for like 1.5 hours haha)
And if you get SetFSB...Well I was able to bench my UL80Vt at 320 FSB without any instability :D - at room temperature with no special measures taken.
G-Man - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - linkHi, Vivek
I like how you intentionally come across as frustrated and resigned over both keyboard and the lcd-screen. Actually, you seemed frustrated throughout the entire review. The reviews aren't usually so harsh here on Anandtech, but in my opinion it was a nice change of pace.
VivekGowri - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - linkIt was kind of a frustrating notebook all around, actually. I mean, it was slower and had worse build quality than the U30, but everything else (including price and battery life) was basically the same. So while it's not a bad notebook, I don't really understand why it exists, or why anyone would buy it versus the U30.
AstroGuardian - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - linkWhy? Because not everybody buys a laptop for some special reason. And most people want to just buy a laptop. Not everybody looks for a hair inside the egg you know.
VivekGowri - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - linkLet's say Honda made an Accord with the 1.5L Fit engine that has roughly 60% of the power as the Accord's standard 2.4L 4-cylinder. Let's say this model with the undersized engine got very marginally better fuel economy and cost the same as the larger engine, but was significantly slower than the normal 2.4L Accord.
You would question what the point was. Not every notebook needs to be "special", but come on - Asus sells a very parallel system that costs the same, weighs the same, gets roughly the same battery life, has better build quality, and is significantly faster.
Evil_Sheep - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - linkAsus's product strategy seems to be: unload a dozen clips in the general direction of the target, hope something hits. To continue that analogy, Apple would be the professional hitman who waits hours for the perfect shot and then only fires once. The contrast could not be more extreme.
To be fair, Apple's execution isn't flawless and Asus's is hardly terrible. It just would be nice if it weren't so scattershot.
fokka - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link"Asus's product strategy seems to be: unload a dozen clips in the general direction of the target, hope something hits." roflmao :D
jabber - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - linkRemember we are judging this machine (most of us) purely as a written comparison with another machine thats just a few months old.
Most of the folks who look at this machine and buy this machine will love it and think its brilliant.
Why? Cos their last PC or laptop was bought 5 years ago.
On its own it still sounds a pretty decent machine...but we nit pick essentially over cup holders.
strikeback03 - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - linkI'm pretty sure most people buying a laptop on the internet do at least a little research (look at the "What laptop should I buy" thread over at notebookreview) and even a little searching will show that the current UL series seems inferior to the U3x series. So if internet buyers are out, that leaves in-store buyers, and unless the U3x isn't present while the UL is, the better build quality of the U3x will probably be the deciding factor. So sure this is an upgrade to something 5 years old, but when better upgrades are easily available it still doesn't make sense.