Monday, October 24, 2011

Asus U36SD-RX114V (SSD) Subnotebook Review

Slim and sexy. Although it is not a book of ultra manufacturer, it impresses with its elegant silhouette, its smooth but sturdy aluminum, the life of the battery and, above all, speed through SSD.

In early 2011, went Asus U36JC-RX081V (money) with our tests and ended with a 'good' at 86%. Now its successor is in our editorial, that US36SD RX114V-black. The 13.3-inch device does not remove all shortcomings of its predecessor, but it shows once again the forces earlier and because of the Intel SSD 320 series (160 GB), production has increased significantly.

2010 Intel Core Configuration (i5 480) was changed from the successful generation Sandy Bridge i5 2410M. In technical progress, the less attractive GeForce 310M is discarded and replaced by DirectX 11 entry-level GPUs, the GeForce GT 520 in combination with four gigabytes of memory work ahead of us a strong, heavy subnotebook 1.67 kg € 1100.

Make-RX114V U36SD better than the last U36JC-RX081V and can achieve a "very good" this time? We must respond to this with a "no" when we look at the test certificate. Find out why the note of the comments is equivalent to its predecessor, despite superior performance.

Specifications Asus U36SD-RX114V :
  • Processor : Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, 666MHz
  • Graphics adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M - 1024 MB, Core: 740 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, ForceWare 267.54
  • Display : 13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, CPT CLAA133WB01A, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : Intel SSD 320 Series 160GB SSDSA2CW160G3, 160GB MLC
  • Soundcard : Realtek ALC269
  • Connections : 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: line out, microphone, Card Reader: MMC, SD, MS/MS-Pro,
  • Networking : Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter (bgn), 3.0+HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : -
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 19 x 322 x 232
  • Weight : 1.67 kg Power Supply: 0.304 kg
  • Battery : 83 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5800mAh, 14.4V A42-U36
  • Price : 1200 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 0.3MP, 24 Months Warranty
Users who wander through the jungle for a rugged notebook, mate, if a proper and elegant work sometimes venturing into a difficult task. Cover, case, bezel TFT or major deficiencies are covered with high gloss or the laptop is like an attractive piece of plastic that the user prefers to hide the style conscious laptop in the bag when friends approach.

Shame or compulsions of this type should not be sustained U36SD. Although "only" Asus and Apple is not printed on the device box of 13.3 inches, some are envious glances. The angular design, strict matte black can be considered without slipping out of hand. Neither the cover or deformed during handling down. Especially thin layer has exceptional torsional rigidity.

Asus To do this, use a cover-magnesium alloy for the case of new and superior. This combination is light, on the one hand, and the other rigid. The surfaces were treated with a smooth, black Asus called nano-coating. No matter where you pull or push the case, U36SD remains unchanged from the normal forces.

The lid is kept closed and tight. It has a brake light on a range of 145 degrees and the screen does not tend to stagger TFT lot. Key to the surface or even the slightest, while writing about it and the same is true for the rest of the wrist. Asus has done a good job with the rigidity that the battery is removable. However, it raises the device forward and a small table and may be expelled from the back, by releasing two latches.

The SSD is constructed as a standard 2.5 inch SATA hard disk size. However, it remains hidden, as it only can be replaced by removing the entire motherboard. Only two RAM slots (1x4096 level installed option) are under one roof.

Connectivity is not the strength of the U36SD is. To the extent that nothing has changed compared to the U36JC before. However, we can say that the ports, including HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and (1) USB 3.0 are suitable for a subnotebook.

USB 3.0 devices can carry 5 volts, such as smart phones and other Tablet PC, when the sub-notebook is off (standby and load). The only difference with its predecessor is the Bluetooth technology. Version 3.0 is already installed.

Standard draft-n wireless LAN (Atheros AR9002WB-1NG) is exactly like the standard built-in Bluetooth (3.0 + HS) and Gigabit Ethernet (Atheros AR8151). In this way, users are updated. Unfortunately, the integrated 3G modem for mobile internet access is not installed - that was the highlight. Unfortunately, Asus does not have a model configured for HSDPA / LTE modem range.

There is no recovery DVD for Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit), included in the box. The user must create a data media burner Recovery AI. LifeFrame, Asus tool to take pictures or videos with a webcam, can only make images of 640x480 pixels. The results are possible, in daylight, but the image noise and blur is a problem in low light conditions.

The range of tools is very broad: Power2Go (burner) is the only commercial software (full version). Besides this, there is a wide range of tools Asus: Sonic Focus (better sound), AI recovery burner Secure Delete (delete irrevocable), USB charger (on / off state of charge of charge), Fast Boot (applications system startup), Live Update (updated driver) Scene Switch (ratios of office) or Power4Gear Hybrid (energy profile).

U36SD 24 months warranty including pickup and return service. Extended warranty up to a maximum of three years will cost about 80 €. You must be activated within 90 days of purchase.

Input Devices
Stand-alone keys give good feedback. They have a wide gap between their neighbors and the pressure drop and the most important point is very clear, marked. Button is firm but not hard. The area of ​​the keyboard does not give up.

Professional typists can criticize the laptop keys. Fingers lack of guidance just because of the lack of curvature of the conic (a curve). Use the arrow keys are separate from other keys, but at least in size (15x15mm), which should prevent most of the false rumors.

The Synaptics touchpad works accurately and give the finger to slide on the surface, with a diagonal of 9.4 mm, with a rub lively but not too high. The tablet can be disabled via Fn. The multi-touch features to detect the use of two fingers.

This allows the finger movements (zoom, scroll, navigation). The traditional one finger scroll bars exist (can be disabled), but are not visibly marked. The silver buttons (right + left) was unfortunately very short key down and emits a loud click and cushioned with its clear pressure point.

Glossy finish 13.3-inch (16:9), and testers will not take one or other potential buyers are also likely to find repugnant. Asus mimics the contrast of the screen and a matte anti-glare U36JC first. Although the display models are different, the brightness and contrast measures are completely identical (in this case the CLAA133WB01A CPT U36JC: COR17D8).

If it be a Glare-type, at least with an extended color gamut. However, Asus does not address that. sRGB and Adobe RGB are clearly failed. The high value of 1.44 black color also contributes to the black light and a gray iron foundry. Devices like the Vaio EB3Z1E / B with a Full HD screen (15.6 inches), which was available for € 800, shows that it is inevitable.

A subnotebooks that looks good and has a range of more than seven hours of courses to appear on the train, library or coffee. The user is faced with TFT reflective surface and the low light from an average of 207 cd/m2, which is not in direct sunlight. To read the sunlight sufficiently bright screen, brightness have a minimum speed of 300 cd/m2.

Same brightness, viewing angles do not meet expectations. However, there are only a handful of top quality ultra-light notebook with good viewing angles, such as. The image and penalize any deviation from the vertical angle (10 degrees) with the colors from fading ghosts. Script can be read in a broader perspective. The viewing angles of up to 45 degrees are possible within the (side view) horizontal. Massive investment is beyond.

2011 Intel Core i5 2410M (2x2.3 GHz), is a turbo clock up to 2.9 GHz. So remember Sandy Bridge CPU i5-480 (Turbo: 2.93 GHz) U36JC (predecessor). Since the case of a low-performance thin-cooling, it is questionable whether the core can be overclocked Intel under the definition of time (short term) through the "Dynamic Turbo Limits @ Frequency", or if they were not even looking at the gas below the default rate (2.3 GHz) due to high temperatures.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M (1024 MB) can be disabled by Optimus Nvidia in favor of a pure business HD 3000 Graphics (processor, graphics card). 4 GB RAM configuration is where prisoners MB 4096 module provides an easy upgrade to six or eight gigabytes.

What is the 2410M (2.3 GHz) capable of in comparison with the configuration of U36JC with i5-480M in 2010 (2.66 GHz)? The clock on the next generation remains a little lower, but the clock is the same as Turbo (2.9 GHz).

The 2410M reached 4635 points in single-core (Cinebench R10 64-bit only). The higher clocked 3927 score of 480 points is clearly beaten. The little strong, but very rare i5 2430M (2.4 to 2.3 GHz) does the speed of a little more with 4670 points. The advantage almost non-existent could also be a reason why the 2430M is not actually used. Unlike 2520m i5 offering 5015 points after all (Vostro 3550).

Multi-threading with a high clock, measured here with Cinebench R10 64-bit multi, ensuring rapid implementation of simultaneous tasks. The 2410M or 9508 points in this test. The 480 from 2010 clearly states: ~ 8557 points (average of all test units). The 2520m high end dual core (2.5 - 3.2 GHz) runs ~ 10,546 points in this test.

Overall, it controls the smallest i5 from Intel's current line very well. Above all, the test results because too show no loss of performance due to the limitation. Just because it was a fear of the case thin, single submission heatpipes and fans a little room for waste heat.

CPU tests, however, delivered an average above the average rate in all fields for this model of CPU. For comparison: the Aspire 4830TG with a 2410M, a prey to throttle the processor, just reached 3609, respectively, 7932 points in the above tests (Cinebench R10 single / multi-core).

Second SSD comes into play, and throws U36SD at great prices relative to system performance. Older ends with PCMark Vantage 9431 points. Books only to about 5300 points with a high-HD 3000 graphics and a 2410M (MSI CX640 for example). 7736 points is possible even when a fast 7200 rpm hard drive used (Vostro V131). Otherwise, with a stronger GPU, but a 6632 Aspire 5830TG manage points. Only other SSD-based laptops can beat U36SD example XMG A501 (11,848) or Toshiba Satellite R850-127 (10,378 points).

The new PCMark 7, which takes greater account of the performance of the GPU reaches 2861 points. Thus, the Packard Bell NX69, with the same CPU, but stronger than the 540 GT, can not keep up: 1849 points. The decisive advantage of the storage U36SD score 4509 points. NX69 (HDD), only to reach 1349 points. For example, the Asus K53TA (HDD) to reach 1470 points, and LG A520 (HDD), managed by 1509 points.

Nvidia GeForce GT 520M (1024 MB DDR3, Core: 740 MHz) based on GF 119 base plays in the class of input level. It has a bus 64-bit video memory, and here is the performance bottleneck. Therefore, high detail is only possible at low resolutions up to 1024x768 pixels or so. The DirectX 11 GPU performance is less than a GT 540m (128 bits), a Radeon HD 6550 or HD 6650 (128-bit at a time) in most benchmarks.

The synthetic benchmarks like Unigine Heaven 2.1 (8 fps), make sure the GT 520M is a performance slightly in HD 6470M (-14%) and is almost equal to a HD 3000 (5%) or Nvidia NVS 4200m ( - 1%). Sister model, the GT 540 has clearly led to ~ 13 fps.

In return, 3DMark 11 (GPU performance: G501) prefer the HD 6470M (8%). The popular GT 540M achieved a significantly higher score here: ~ G900. Major has a 3DMark06 score of 4741 points instead of a HD 3000 with 4000 points (average of test equipment). The GT 540M supports an average of 8000 points!

GT 520M seems only suitable for playing in very limited circumstances. Makes little difference especially a HD 3000 graphics processor to the question, at least for games, why two weak GPU were combined with Optimus here. A superior driver support from Nvidia recommend the use of a GT 520M in U36SD?

Prices are measured CrystalDiskMark 3.0 (read 258 MB / sec, HDTune (read 141 MB / sec) and SSD benchmarks (read 260 MB / s), talk about Intel SSD 320 Series (160 GB Model: MLC, SATA to 3GB / s) port.

Typically, the strength of the SSD has a read / write random blocks This is a particular strength of 320, due to the CDM and confirmed as the SSD SSD and the Samsung Series 9 900X3A (MSAT to 3GB / s Port), after reading the small wedges (CDM 4K: 10 vs. ... 16 MB / s) AS SSD to show cause: .. shortest access to the interest rate (0.301 vs. 0164 milliseconds) The advantage is again writing in context.

Verdict of the game
The last game should not be added to the list of wishes by any means. You can not play in the details and resolutions of DirectX 11, when the data are out. Older tracks like Half Life 2 - Lost Coast, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty 4 - Modern Warfare, Trackmania Nations Forever, Racedriver, Left4Dead GRID, however, can be played in height and, if necessary, details how the 520M GT spec sheet to see.

The difference in performance between the HD 3000 (IGP) and GT 520M wide in Deus Ex (12% in retail @ low), Dirt 3 (26% in average retail @) and Battlefield: BC 2 (2% @ low detail) and Mafia 2 (74% detailed @ low). But it is generally in favor of the GT 520M. So it can not be said that casual gamers will not benefit from the GPU part of the HD-3000.

The system noise
The 13.3-inch device is shown in the exemplary system noise. The fan is off most of the time at idle and low loads and runs only sporadically to 31.2 dB (A). The chosen mode of energy does not play a role here (Power4Gear: Quiet Office). When you add a GPU load, for example, a game or 3DMark06, we measured a maximum of 34.5 dB (A).

Users who like to demand the highest performance from their laptop will experience a noise level of up to 39 dB (A) (@ Cinebench R11.5). The U36SD gets really high when the GPU and the CPU is fully loaded simultaneously. Now, a sharp 44.3 dB (A) is audible. The last scenario is our stress test simulates the maximum noise level - a realistic case in practice.

The U36SD not just become a silent partner. The top and largest motherboard are lukewarm to warm up in standby mode during charging and sporadic (office setting). Only the area near the spinal button / power was very close to 40 degrees for stress management.

Temperatures rise to 48 degrees Celsius under load selective. This is clearly seen as too hot. A small CPU limitation may also be noted in this scenario. To: The palm rest and touchpad are still well below 35 degrees.

(Less) @ GPU bottleneck load
Controllers CPU clock at 2.4 GHz (default clock: 2.3 GHz) in the range of Turbo, in a stress test for several hours (Prime95 + Furmark). The CPU only Prime95 stress-induced, the clock is 2.7 GHz Court: Since the frequency is always greater than the default clock can not be considered true bottleneck.

In contrast to the 13.3-inch Aspire TimelineX, we examine a thin notebook suffering serious bottlenecks in performance, but simply can not exhaust the entire bandwidth of Turbo in the stress test. This is only noticed when the load on GPU U36SD the same time.

Two stereo speakers are located in a narrow front handset. Emphasizes the high range of sound, and neglects the mid-range and deep. The bass is nonexistent. The volume can be rotated a full clear distortions, which are sound even worse. Music lovers should be connected to headphones or external speakers to the headphone jack for analog.

Clarity of speech, can surround and bass modified with Asus tool Sonic Focus. The result is even more attractive in the case of speech intelligibility, since at least the voice broadcast clearly the overall sound quality poor.

Battery Life
Inactive for a long time to run (the lower the brightness, power saving mode) allows us to assume a low energy consumption. The measurements do not confirm this, at least in high-cost savings, one would expect. First, the power consumption in standby mode: Idle varies from 10.5 to 14.5 watts, depending on the power saving mode.

These figures represent the minimum and maximum power consumption in standby mode (without battery charging). Packard Bell NX69 (14 inches), with the same CPU, but stronger than the 540 GT, just to pay 7.6 to 12.5 watts from the wall outlet (60 Wh, almost 12 hours at least!).

The U36SD get very hungry when the stress test (Prime95, Furmark) and consumes 72 watts. The NX69 is content to above 58 watts, but only because the CPU handles the clock significantly. Our test unit does not, so the "top" of the load power consumption can be considered as a confirmation of the stability of the cooling system. The 75-watt AC adapter large enough (304 grams) is very complicated, but necessary for the application and then smoothly.

Battery life is proving to be very good, but can not exceed the specifications of the excellent pre U36JC (HDD, i5-480M). The hard U36SD 9:10 am waiting (U36JC: 10:09 hours). The most relevant test WLAN practically closes after 7:45 pm (U36JC: 20:07). A battery of 80 watts is responsible for the good. You can remove and walked a bit down.

Battery life is not bombastic, but when compared with Packard Bell NX69 with his waking hours and 11:40 hours of idling 6:39. This unit 14-inch "only" a 60 Wh battery and a strong 540 GT graphics (can be disabled via the Optimus).

Asus did a lot of good rates and some are even better than the previous U36JC. Unfortunately, the biggest difference, reflection and too dark for use in the hood is exactly the same. This has major advantage of the 13.3-inch device, the battery life of nearly eight hours, useless, but it reduces the pleasure of working under the sun considerably.

The Core i5 2410M, 2.3 GHz, which is used in many cases is not a stellar performance, but with the Intel SSD 320 series (160 GB), dual-core is in the best performance of the electrical system. All laptop hard disk are clearly defeated in reading and writing. Praise: CPU limitation is almost nonexistent. Acer TimelineX ultrabooks can also take a page from his book.

U36SD low noise mode or desktop applications are single copies. Even games not interfere with the unit of 13.3 inches, which is not surprising given the poor performance of graphics.

A good job has been done in terms of keyboard layout and feedback. Asus has chosen a twist and hard aluminum frame material, which is in line with the angle, and Matt looks. Any change U36SD in a compact and high-quality thin subnotebook that users want to take the case looks like.

Users who choose the first subnotebook criteria soft power, such as work and endurance, make a good choice with U36SD. The performance is very good thanks to the SSD. However, if you have the latest games, the GeForce GT 540M is preferred.

Acer is the Aspire TimelineX 3830TG with Core i7 and 128 GB SSD for the same price range of 1100 € (worse stability, throttling). Acer TravelMate TimelineX 8473TG with 120 GB SSD, and the GT 540 is available for less (but more stable, bulky, but not limited).

To dream of high quality subnotebook SSD become a reality at an affordable price, the Samsung QX412 € 900 (QX412-S04DE version with 128 GB SSD) could be an option. 14-inch device is equipped with the GT 520 If a dedicated graphics card as a useless ballast, the HP ProBook 5330m (anti-glare 13.3-inch) or the Dell V131 (800-950 €) can be considered . This is too expensive, SSD version of the Lenovo ThinkPad E325 board may be an interesting (from 439 €).

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