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Asus U35JC-A1 Notebook Computer Review

Oct 28 2010, 12:59pm CDT | by , in News | I4U Gadget Reviews

Asus U35JC-A1 Notebook Computer Review
 
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Ultraportable with nice price and decent performance


Specifications

The Asus U35JC-A1 I am reviewing is silver and you can get it in black too. The series can be had in different models with different specs. My review unit has an Intel Core i3-370M CPU, 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD, a 13.3-inch screen, Intel HD graphics and Intel GeForce 310M with Optimus tech, and it runs Window s7 Home Premium. The battery is an 8-cell unit.

Benchmarks

To test out the Asus U35JC-A1 I will use iTunes encoding, movie encoding, and Battery Eater Pro. The Asus U35JC-A1 took 1 minute and 33 seconds to encode my Stone Temple Pilots Core test album from MP3 to AAC using iTunes. This score puts the machine in the lower section of the pack for machines I have tested so far.

The next test was my movie encoding benchmark where I take the Microsoft Magic of Flight video and encode it to XviD with Lame MP3 sound. The Asus U35JC-A1 took 401 seconds to encode the video to XviD. This was not the Asus U35JC-A1 notebooks strong suit with a score right near the bottom of the rankings with the only machines scoring worse including the Eee 1215N, MSI U230, and the Vaio VPCY216FX/G tested previously.

The final test was of battery life using Battery Eater Pro. The Asus U35JC-A1 lasted 135 minutes in performance mode with power saving features turned off. That run time put it in fourth place overall bested by only a few machines. Your battery life in the real world will vary.

In Use

After the testing was over, I used the notebook and found that it had no glaring issues that would prevent me from using the machine. The keyboard is irksome, but not a deal killer. Asus uses the chicklet keyboard it typically uses on its notebooks. The problem I have with the keyboard is that it leaves lots of space between the keys unused. The keys could have been significantly larger. The shift keys are both smaller than average and with a 13.3-inch screen the keyboard should really just be better than it is size wise.

The typing feel and feedback of the keyboard is good though. The trackpad is small, but large enough to use without issue. It has good sensitivity and accuracy and its tap to click feature works without issue. The right and left buttons are easy to click and offer good feel and feedback. The trackpad has a different texture than the wrist rest to set it apart from the wrist rest.

I fired up Hulu to see how well the Asus U35JC-A1 streams video and it did a good job. The video has slight stuttering at some points but the playback was smooth overall and I could watch the video in windowed and full screen modes without suffering. The sound system is good with more volume that you find on some similar machines. You can hear it in a reasonably loud room but those looking for bass will need headphones or external speakers. Colors are good with nice contrast. The glossy screen has issues with glare.

The notebook is sized well with a thin profile and weight that make it very portable and easy to take with you on the road. The machine also has enough battery life that most users will be able to stay away from an outlet all day without issue. I like the matte silver finish on the lid. The brushed aluminum look doesn't have an issue with gathering smears like a glossy notebook does.

Verdict

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Good battery life
  • Good streaming performance

Cons

  • Smallish keyboard
 

Conclusion

The only sore point for me with the Asus U35JC-A1 is the keyboard that is smaller than it really needs to be. The machine performs as you expect a machine in its class to and has a decent price at under $900.

8.5
10
 
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