Asus U36Jc review: Asus U36Jc

This laptop also has automatic-switching graphics courtesy of a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 310M CPU with Optimus, which auto-detects which programs require advanced graphics and switches as needed between the dedicated GPU and integrated Intel graphics. Bottom line: basic gameplay is possible, but this is an entry-level graphics processor.

Unreal Tournament III ran at 1,280x768 resolution and medium graphics settings at 74.4 frames per second; that's a step up from the previous U35JC, which only achieved 38.7fps. Street Fighter IV was very playable at full-screen 1,366x768 with antialiasing off: we got 41fps in the benchmark test. There is a caveat, however--again, upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors boast integrated graphics that should easily match what the GeForce 310M is capable of. That's not to say the U36JC-A1 doesn't perform well, it's just not next-generation under the hood, yet.

Juice box
Asus U36JC-A1 Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.61
Sleep (10 percent) 1.41
Idle (25 percent) 14.13
Load (5 percent) 55.78
Raw kWh 59.82
Annual energy cost $6.79

Annual energy consumption cost
Samsung QX410
$5.08 
HP Envy 14
$6.66 
Asus U36JC-A1
$6.79 

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Unreal Tournament 3
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1280x768, 0X AA, 0X AF  
1366 x 768, 4X AA, 8X AF  
HP Envy 14
92.6 
57.8 
Asus U36JC-A1
74.4 
68.6 
Samsung QX410
42.4 
38.1 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

The Asus U36JC-A1's eight-cell battery lasted for 3 hours and 44 minutes in our video playback battery drain test. The U35JC-A1, its predecessor of sorts, had slightly better battery life at a hair under 4 hours, but the U36JC's superior CPU speed doesn't result in much battery drop-off. Future updates with new Sandy Bridge processors might improve battery performance, but for now it's hard to tell. At least we can credit the U36JC-A1 with having a full-power processor, unlike some thin laptops with underperforming CULV CPUs.

The Asus U36JC-A1 comes with a longer-than-industry-average two-year warranty, which could be an attractive deal for those on the fence between this laptop and another competitor. 24-7 tech support and toll-free phone lines can be found on Asus' Web site, though the information can get hard to track down with so many different models and configurations.

System configurations
Asus U36JC-A1
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 M460; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 310M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG-7805
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 M460; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 + 128MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Samsung QX410
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core i5 M460; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 310M + 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Samsung 5,400rpm

HP Envy 14
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 M450; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite M645-S4055
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 M450; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 330M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

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Where to Buy

ASUS U36Jc B1 - 13.3" - Core i5 480M - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 4 GB RAM - 500 GB HDD

Part Number: U36JC-B1

MSRP: $899.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
  • Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Installed Size 4 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 3.7 lbs
  • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 310M / Intel HD Graphics - 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • CPU Intel Core i5 480M / 2.66 GHz
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