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First Look: ASUS U31Jg A1

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First Look: ASUS U31Jg A1

1:55 /

For $829, the 13-inch Asus U31Jg-A1 is a rock-solid compact laptop with a good combination of CPU, graphics, and battery life. However, at this point, we'd hold off buying one until it gets upgraded with a second-gen Intel Core i-series CPU.

-I'm Scott Stein, senior associate editor at cnet.com and I'm here with the ASUS U31J. Now, if you're into the mood for a 13-inch laptop that's pretty portable, will slide in your backpack, well, the U31J might be one for you. It's small, although not as small as MacBook Air. It's definitely smaller than a lot of 13-inch laptops and that's because it doesn't have an optical drive. Now, this laptop is a lot like the UL30 if you can remember back a couple of years ago that we reviewed at CNET and liked a lot. This one has a Core i3 processor inside and some pretty nice and video graphics, but it doesn't have the next gen Intel Core i series CPU that we're now seeing in a lot of laptops. Is that a letdown for you? Well, for the price of $829, you might be expecting something a little more cutting edge, so you might wanna hold out until this laptop gets its upgrade, which is bound to be soon. On the other hand, if you can get this thing for an affordable configuration, we saw it on amazon.com for $699 with a slightly smaller 320-gig hard drive instead of the 500 gig that this one has. You might consider it's still worthwhile after all that Core i3 processor, still really good, and the graphics are definitely better than average. They're good enough for playing most mainstream games. The battery life on this little guy came in at about 4 hours, which is fine and actually is above the mark that we'd be expecting for a laptop, though we've seen others do better. However, it's not really much of a looker. This laptop kinda feels like it looks a couple of years old, and the keyboard, it feels a little bit plasticky to our taste, the trackpad is a little bit small. Overall, it's a good laptop. Is it a great one? We probably will feel that way once it gets a CPU upgrade. I'm Scott Stein and this is the ASUS U31JG-A1.

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