ASUS U2E 11" Ultra-mobile Notebook Review - In a class of its own
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The Hype - it's been building
The ASUS U2E was first spotted back in June of last year during Computex in Taiwan but was largely overshadowed by the Eee PC that was also on display for the first time. But where the Eee PC lacks the performance and features that seasoned road-warriors require, the ASUS U2E promises all of them and more.
A fervor has been gathering about the ASUS U2E on sites like engadget, Gizmodo and others that take in every breath of the tech world. Stories of laptops that are both powerful and practical usually do get a lot of attention but this particular ASUS model was competing with the rumors of the Apple MacBook Air and the Lenovo X300; can it stand up to such strong competitors though?
Specifications (from ASUS.COM)
Hardware Overview Evaluation
The hardware the goes into the ASUS U2E is pretty impressive when taken in context of its rather slender profile. The processor is a dual-core Core Duo ULV U7500 that runs at a meager 1.06 GHz on a 533 MHz front-side bus and 2MB of L2 cache. It does use a newer Intel 965 chipset with integrated graphics that helps with battery life but won't win you any performance crowns. The system will ship with 3GB of DDR2-667 memory; a great benefit to the slower processor giving it faster access to the data it needs.
The LCD screen is an 11" widescreen monitor with a decent 1366x768 resolution that seems to fit the screen size just right. It is also LED back-lit for a slimmer design and lower power consumption and coupled with ASUS' ColorShine screen type (shiny, not matte) creates a pretty impressive look to this ultra-mobile machine. Readers that felt the 7" screen on the ASUS Eee PC was just too small for them should attempt to see one of these in action.
Storage is provided by either a solid-state drive of 32GB or a standard 120GB 4800 RPM hard drive; the SSD will obviously improve performance but limit your storage potential while the 120GB model will run considerably slower. On the bright side, ASUS did indicate that buyers of the 32GB SSD model will get an external 160GB drive included at no cost. The U2E also includes a slim optical drive that supports DVD-RW drive that many other systems of this size and weight shun; the MacBook Air and Lenovo X300 come to mind.
ASUS claims the U2E is only 2.5cm think at this narrowest point and only 2.9cm at this widest; we are talk about some seriously small hardware.