Asus UL30A-A1: A thin-and-light worth buying

If you're in the market for an affordable thin-and-light, the Asus UL30A-A1 provides great value and a solid Core 2 Duo CULV processor in an attractive package.

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Whether CULV thin-and-light laptops will ever fully find a spot between the Netbook world and the full-featured laptop world, they are most definitely a category that's growing every day. Dropping an optical drive and throwing a low-voltage processor alongside a long-lasting battery is the trend of 2009, although the low-voltage laptops we've seen so far have often sacrificed either build quality, performance, or value-for-dollar.

It's relieving to say, therefore, that the 13-inch Asus UL30A-A1 is a thin-and-light that we'd gladly carry around in our bag for a long time to come. With a sturdy frame, a decently-performing new Core 2 Duo CULV processor as opposed to the disappointing single-core Core 2 Solo CULVs we've seen, and really good battery life, it's close to a complete package for a sub-$1,000 laptop that doesn't resort to an Atom processor.


While we've seen similar-looking products here before, including the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 and the MSI X340, we liked the overall performance on the UL30A-A1 better.

And as far as its closest competitor goes, the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T, the Asus UL30A-A1 had equal or better performance, better battery life, and costs $100 less than the 3810T did at launch. This is a thin-and-light that does everything we had hoped thin-and-lights would do, and it costs nowhere near what a MacBook Air or a Dell Adamo does.

Read the full review of the Asus UL30A-A1.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired,, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.


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