ASUS U6S 12.1" Ultra-mobile Notebook Review
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Introduction and Specifications
The market for notebook computers has been growing at a much faster rate than desktop PCs for several years now and many expect the "tipping point", where notebooks officially outsell desktops, to occur in 2008. The reason behind this growth is easy to discern: laptops have become more powerful, smaller, lighter and are running longer on batteries than they ever have. Couple that with the incessant need for people of our generation to be on-the-move so to speak and you have a recipe that spells success for companies like ASUS, who have taken it upon themselves to really push the mobility market.
Today's review looks at one of ASUS' new flagship parts, the U6S, an ultra-mobile platform based around a 12.1" screen with a 1280x800 resolution that is LED backlit, adds in a powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR2 memory to create a machine that is both light and responsive - but does that combination inherently mean that battery life won't be ideal? Read on to find out.
The ASUS U6S is a great machine when you look at it on paper and most of that translates well into the implementation of the machine:
Unlike build-to-order notebook suppliers like Dell or HP, the ASUS lines of laptops usually come in just a handful of configurations. The U6S is in the same boat with only a few optional components listed on their while rest are fixed - this helps ASUS save money on building the machines and of course we expect that savings to be passed on to the consumer.
The processor inside the U6S is the Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 that runs at 2.2 GHz on an 800 MHz FSB. This CPU will definitely not hold back a computer like this and should be enough power for most any applications you might run on it. The Intel 965PM chipset is used here with 2GB of DDR2-667 memory; the 965PM chipset doesn't have integrated graphics so instead the U6S comes with the NVIDIA 8400M mobility GPU and 128MB of discrete video memory. The 8400M is a great chip in and of itself - it supports DX10 and just enough gaming to make most machines that utilize it at least decent for games. ASUS has another version of this notebook, the U6E, that doesn't use NVIDIA's GPU and instead uses integrated Intel graphics.
The U6S also sports a 160GB hard drive that spins at 5400 RPM - slower than the 7200 RPMs we have come to love but saves on power and heat. Other features on the notebook included Bluetooth support, a built-in web camera, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n wireless support and host of connections and ports that we'll go over in detail on the upcoming pages.
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