Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ASUS U36S Notebook Review

U36S ASUS is a 13.3-inch ultraportable with magnesium and aluminum frame that weighs only 3.1 pounds. At just 0.75 "thick, with more than 8 hours of battery life, this notebook can be one of the best buys this year Here's a tip: Read on if you plan to buy a MacBook Pro for Christmas.

The full effect (no low voltage) Intel Core i5 and dedicated Nvidia graphics card is impressive given the specs U36S thin frame. " These specifications are above average for a 13.3-inch notebook. The only weak point is the slow hard drive 5400, Model 7200 is preferable. Note that this notebook comes standard with a two-year warranty and includes accidental damage protection in the first year, most manufacturers do not offer coverage for one year warranty on laptops for consumers.

Specifications ASUS U36S :
  • 13.3-inch glossy 720p display (1366x768 resolution)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor (2.3GHz, up to 2.9GHz Turbo Boost, 3MB cache, 35W TDP)
  • Intel HM65 chipset
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics card w/ 1GB DDR3 dedicated video memory
  • Automatically switchable to integrated Intel HD graphics via Nvidia Optimus technology
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM (1x 4GB; supports up to 8GB - 2x 4GB)
  • 640GB 5400RPM Seagate hard drive (ST9640423AS)
  • 802.11n wireless network adapter (Atheros AR8151)
  • Internal Bluetooth v2.1+EDR
  • Integrated 0.3 MP webcam
  • No internal optical drive
  • 2-year limited warranty w/ 1-year accidental damage protection
  • 8-cell Li-ion battery (83Wh)
  • Weight: 3.11 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.9 x 9.4 x 0.75 inches
  • Price: $899.99
Design and build
ASUS U36S ($ 899.99) is a pretty good faith in the black and gray finish. Surfaces with a laptop is magnesium-aluminum alloy, which is strong and very light. The entire notebook is also great to 8-cell battery weighs only 3.11 kg. In addition, the notebook has an exceptionally thin formed in just three quarters of an inch with the lid closed.

Build quality is excellent, the chassis is almost inflexible and the lid has a strong back-up protection of the metal alloy. I like the way it is shaped upper part of a single piece of alloy metal surrounding the keyboard. Finally, anti-reflective properties of the metal alloy does not show fingerprints or dust and scratches must resist quite well. The only area of ​​build quality could be improved is part of the screen, the shiny plastic is difficult to keep clean the surface of the glossy screen.

Unlike many other armored laptops (the ones with the fruit logo on the cover) is an upgrade of RAM inside the U36S easily accomplished by removing the panel by the user at the bottom of the cabinet. Come to the hard drive is another matter, the entire chassis must be removed. It's a shame, I think a lot of customers who want to upgrade to an SSD, or at least a faster hard drive.

Ports and Features
U36S ASUS has a standard range of ports on a 13.3-inch laptop with a USB 3.0 port. It has no internal optical drive, ExpressCard slot, DisplayPort, eSATA o. All descriptions of the images from left to right.

Screen and speakers

13.3-inch screen has a glossy / reflective and a resolution of 720p (1366x768). The display has no outstanding features. The brightness and contrast is more or less like any other under $ 1000 for laptops, viewing angles are good but the colors distorted horizontally from the top and bottom, as one would expect the TN-type display.

Color rendition is less (as in most laptop screens), everything seems a little 'cold / cool with the default settings. Fortunately, ASUS includes a built-in color profiles, press the [Fn] and [C] to switch between them. ASUS is the only mainstream notebook manufacturer to include this feature, and is certainly appreciated.

The screen resolution is 1366x768, this is the standard size of the screen. I prefer 1600x900, because it has more room to work (several lines of text can be displayed on the screen without scrolling), however, up to 13.3 "laptop is nowhere near the price range U36S '. Finally, the display polish clarity, but acts as a mirror, create reflections, which is why I like the sun visors.

There are two stereo speakers located beneath the palm rest, they sound thin and lack bass. The sound is muffled, even when hands are placed on them to write.

Keyboard and touchpad
Asus has changed the standard keyboard design U36S; Island / chiclet keyboard is fully integrated into a single alloy, which forms the top surface. This keyboard is a major improvement, which have been used in previous notebooks Asus, seems solid and does not flex.

The keys have a flat surface and a granular structure, which is likely to bring brightness over time. The key travel (the distance down and pressed the United Nations strains) is just right, more than any other Asus notebooks. Also, the keyboard is relatively quiet. Overall, the only thing missing is a backlight, is still a rarity in the notebook market.

The touchpad is of adequate size. It has a smooth dull surface and are easy to find by touch. The responsiveness and accuracy are expected. The touchpad button can only be improved, the pressure required to produce a single click is inconsistent depending on where you press the button. More clicks are stronger than they should, people around you know that you are clicking. Finally, it has a reflective surface, which always look dirty.

Performance and Benchmarks
Our results show the U36S benchmark is more than enough power for everyday use, including the most demanding tasks, such as Adobe Photoshop CS5, which is also capable of playing 3D games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops with Nvidia card dedicated graphics.

The heat and noise
One fan is exceptionally located on the left palm rest, it is very likely that ASUS has had to move things to accommodate the necessary components for such a slim chassis. The fan is almost silent, while only surfing the Internet for a more demanding task that the game will certainly noisier than not to the point where it is a distraction. The left side of the chassis warmed considerably, probably due to the thinness of the chassis, and the fact that the chassis is made of metal, and conducts more heat than plastic.

Battery life
The U36S contains a large 8-cell battery with 83Wh powerful note. We measured a further 8 hours, 30 minutes of life in our battery rundown test standard (Windows 7 diet profile, screen brightness to 70% of wireless assets and refreshing a web page every minutes). This is an excellent time for an ultraportable and certainly one of the best moments in the classroom, especially at that price.

ASUS is one of the few notebook manufacturers that include high-capacity batteries as standard equipment and the use of technology Nvidia Optimus (automatic switching to low power integrated graphics when high performance is not necessary) help probably battery life too.

U36S Asus laptop is an impressive and easily the favorite sub-$ 1000 ultraportable. It is a metal enclosure, high quality alloy and ultra-thin shape. The keyboard has a good feel for the overall performance is good for the game, and once again I can not emphasize how thin and lightweight, this laptop is. Couple this with 8.5 hours of battery life, and it is hard to resist. Two-year warranty and a USB 3.0 is the icing on the cake.

The disadvantages of this laptop is relatively mild, I would like anti-glare screen and touch pad buttons are quieter, with better speakers. In addition, the touchpad buttons to go glossy.

ASUS U36S is highly recommended for those looking for a versatile notebook, laptop with good quality and a lot of battery life.

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