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 Post subject: Asus UL80Vt: A CULV Laptop with Hybrid Graphics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:51 am 
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Asus UL80Vt: A CULV Laptop with Hybrid Graphics

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:55 am 
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Nice review. Now that notebooks have a 70% market share, quiet notebook computers are extremely relevant around here.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:53 am 
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Neat.

Are you going to review any more Acer/Gateway models? The Travelmate Timeline laptops seem to be at a sweet-spot of value for money. I can only guess about the accoustics though.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:16 am 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Great review. In my fairly limited experience with different notebooks, it does seem like you need to go up to the "Business" class (ie Latitude, Thinkpad, etc) for sturdy construction, especially with the savage price competition nowadays.

I am typing on an Acer 5536 and it's build quality definitely isn't the greatest--but for the $388 I spent on it it's fantastic :D

Also agree on seeing a Timeline or Travelmate/Timeline model in for review. I've been eyeballing the 14" model since it has an optical drive personally.

Thanks for the detailed results on the differences between integrated and discrete...they must be able to completely shut the graphics cores down when on the other.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:03 am 
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Any chance to see noise levels with SSD? On some markets the laptop comes with bluetooth and in silver/black. There's also UL30 which is same but with 13,3" screen and no optical drive (when was the last time you used one?)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:15 pm 
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Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Yeah, these new CULV chips are very nice. I have the UL30 model witht he SU7300/4500Intel chip, and it is perfect for my needs. Long batteryvlife, quiet, cool temps and fast. You cant ask for much more.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Kepakko wrote:
Any chance to see noise levels with SSD? On some markets the laptop comes with bluetooth and in silver/black. There's also UL30 which is same but with 13,3" screen and no optical drive (when was the last time you used one?)


Funny - I got Comcast the other day, and my modem was rebooting on install. I called it, and the tech said, "Did you put the CD in the drive", and I replied, "I don't have one" (you DL the installer automatically anyway). Anyway, took about a minute of "What do you mean, you don't have one?" back and forth before we just moved on.

Haven't had one for years (Thinkpad X32)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:21 am 
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I got a IBM ThinkPad X200s with the 1.8 ghz CULV chip. Added an SSD to it and now it's silent unless the CPU gets stressed. These CULV laptops are really the way to go if you want silence.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:35 am 
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"If you prefer to use the GeForce G210M when running on battery power, you can expect to loose quite a bit of run time." Page 6, 4th paragraph. "lose"

People point out when I make mistakes at work too. ;)

If I needed a laptop, I'd probably go with something cheaper with more conventional parts and shorter battery life.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:47 am 
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Location: San Jose, California
I got the 15" A model without the discrete graphics and overclocking for my wife for Christmas. She loves this laptop and the extreme battery life is liberating. She can work all day on the couch or kitchen and never need to return to the wall for power. She's never complained about the speed of the 1.3ghz cpu. I lied and told her it is as fast as her desktop Athlon X2 2.1 ghz but seriously the performance can't be that far off. The notebook surfs the web just fine and plays all the videos I throw at it.

So far the only downside is flash video playback, but the Intel GPU can do acceleration with Flash 10.1 beta, so I am not concerned about that in the future. I won't install beta software on my wife's machine, but when it goes live, this notebook will be able to handle anything I want it to.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:50 pm 
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autoboy wrote:
I got the 15" A model without the discrete graphics and overclocking for my wife for Christmas. She loves this laptop and the extreme battery life is liberating. She can work all day on the couch or kitchen and never need to return to the wall for power. She's never complained about the speed of the 1.3ghz cpu. I lied and told her it is as fast as her desktop Athlon X2 2.1 ghz but seriously the performance can't be that far off. The notebook surfs the web just fine and plays all the videos I throw at it.

So far the only downside is flash video playback, but the Intel GPU can do acceleration with Flash 10.1 beta, so I am not concerned about that in the future. I won't install beta software on my wife's machine, but when it goes live, this notebook will be able to handle anything I want it to.

I actually find that the SU7300 is capable of 720p Flash HD (Legend of the Seeker ep1 Hulu HD) when running full speed (high performance power profile). By the way, the speed might not be too much of a lie. It's a 45nm part and clock for clock, the 45nm Core 2's are faster than Brisbanes, I believe.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:49 am 
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Location: Orlando, FL
ilovejedd wrote:
autoboy wrote:
I got the 15" A model without the discrete graphics and overclocking for my wife for Christmas. She loves this laptop and the extreme battery life is liberating. She can work all day on the couch or kitchen and never need to return to the wall for power. She's never complained about the speed of the 1.3ghz cpu. I lied and told her it is as fast as her desktop Athlon X2 2.1 ghz but seriously the performance can't be that far off. The notebook surfs the web just fine and plays all the videos I throw at it.

So far the only downside is flash video playback, but the Intel GPU can do acceleration with Flash 10.1 beta, so I am not concerned about that in the future. I won't install beta software on my wife's machine, but when it goes live, this notebook will be able to handle anything I want it to.

I actually find that the SU7300 is capable of 720p Flash HD (Legend of the Seeker ep1 Hulu HD) when running full speed (high performance power profile). By the way, the speed might not be too much of a lie. It's a 45nm part and clock for clock, the 45nm Core 2's are faster than Brisbanes, I believe.


Especially since if it has the Power4Gear or whatever its called with Turbo33, that 1.3ghz Core 2 Duo is actually running at like 1.73ghz. It really wouldn't surprise me if a 1.73ghz Core 2 Duo ran at the same speed or even a little faster than a 2.1ghz Brisbane.

----------------------------

I got the UL80VT-A1 for x-mas and so far I have been very pleased with its performance once I did a clean install to get rid of all of the bloatware (seriously, there is a ton).

About the only gaming I do is WoW and it can handle that just fine; I get around 35fps in Dalaran and like 130fps in instances with the settings mostly turned down.

I am still not used to the keyboard and the position of the right shift is pretty annoying. Unlike many reviews, I haven't noticed any creaking or flex, though I also usually use it on a hard flat surface. The touchpad is too rough for my liking and makes my fingertip a bit raw after extended use and the mouse-buttons are a pain, I usually just end up tapping the touchpad to click.

The fan also seems to get pretty loud when I am playing WoW, though it is a fairly low frequency sound, at least compared to most laptops that I hear. Then again, after reading here for so long, I am pretty spoiled on quiet. My desktop currently has an 800rpm S-Flex, a voltage controlled 1200rpm S-Flex, the very quiet fan in the Signature 650 and a suspended 500gb Green HDD. Basically, my desktop is for all practical purposes inaudible in my room and I judge all other computers against it.

It may sound like there are a lot of things that I am complaining about, and there are, but they are mostly minor inconveniences. Overall, this is a great laptop because of its flexibility, I have the option to leave the charger at home when I am at school/work all day since I can get more than 9 hours using wifi or I can swap over to discrete graphics and have enough juice to do some portable gaming.

I think that this direction is a good one for laptops, to have both incredible battery life and enough power to get stuff done. Especially with both Intel and AMD working on SoCs that integrate the graphics onto the processor, I really hope they continue to work on this sort of hybrid graphics; it is probably more important for Intel chips since they have repeatedly shown that they could care less about graphics performance. All Intel would have to do is have enough GPU for Windows and browsing the internet, then someone who can actually make a decent GPU can add an a discrete chip that you can switch to when needed.

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Laptop: Asus UL80VT-A1


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