Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05 review: Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05

A pleasant surprise on the UL50VT, and one of its chief advantages, is its switchable graphics capability. The included Nvidia GeForce G210M offers 512MB of dedicated graphics for gaming, and the UL50VT can switch between the Nvidia processor and energy-conserving integrated Intel graphics with a press of a chrome button on the upper left side of the keyboard. Being able to pick whether you need the GPU helps extend the battery life on the UL50VT, and makes it a great hybrid laptop to consider. However, be forewarned: Nvidia has recently announced Optimus technology that enables auto-switching of graphics, making the process even smoother. You might want to wait for Optimus models to arrive before buying a laptop; however, even if you don't, the UL50VT still offers more graphics customization that most laptops. The UL50VT also offers Asus' "Turbo 33" overclocking on its CPU, but the results of such additional performance tweaks still couldn't begin to match going with a Core i3 CPU instead.

With GeForce graphics turned on, Unreal Tournament III ran at 33.5 frames per second in native resolution, which is an acceptable but not screaming score. While the UL50VT is hardly a "gaming laptop," it certainly can play many mainstream games.

Juice box
Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05 Average watts per hour
Off 0.41
Sleep 0.9
Idle 9.03
Load 44.96
Raw kWh Number 42.41
Annual power consumption cost $4.81

Annual power consumption costs
Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05
$4.81 
Dell Studio s15z-2249CPN
$5.73 

The Asus UL50VT ran for 4 hours and 44 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, using the included eight-cell battery with its Nvidia GeForce graphics turned off. That's a very good battery life for a laptop this size, although we would have expected slightly better performance with dedicated graphics turned off. Needless to say, activating the GeForce graphics will make another dent on the UL50VT's battery performance, although you should get more than five hours of battery life with integrated graphics under more casual usage scenarios.

Asus includes a one-year warranty on parts and labor with the UL50VT. E-mail and Web support are also available, and Asus' Web site has become easier to use in recent years, but it's still far from ideal. Help is also available through a toll-free number for tech support, which is available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

Find out more about how we test laptops.

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)

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

System configurations:
Dell Inspiron i1564-6980CRD
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 M330; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 32MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Dell Studio s15z-2249CPN
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.26GHz Intel Core i5 M430; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Toshiba Satellite A505-S6025
Windows 7 Home Professional (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 M330; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 310M; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dv4-2165dx
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 M330; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 64MB (Dedicated)/1,696MB (Total) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Toshiba 7,200rpm

HP Pavilion dv7-3165dx
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.5GHz AMD Turion II Dual-Core M620; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 320MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

HP Pavilion dv4-2155dx
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.13GHz Intel Core i3 M330; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 6

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    Asus UL50VT-RBBBK05

    Part Number: UL50VT-RBBBK05
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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
    • Installed Size 4 GB
    • Color black
    • Weight 5.1 lbs
    • Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL)
    • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce G210M - 512 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
    • CPU Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 / 1.3 GHz
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