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First Look: Asus U35JC-A1

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First Look: Asus U35JC-A1

2:53 /

The Asus U35Jc-A1 is a thin, but solid, 13-inch laptop with no processor compromises and Nvidia Optimus graphics, covering all the basics--except an optical drive.

-Hi I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at CNET.com and this is the ASUS U35JCA1. It's a 13 inch slim laptop without an optical drive that is an update to the UL30A that we really love last October and found had a great battery life and a really nice processor in a really slim package. Now the new version has a video Optimus automatic switching graphics, which we talk about a lot and it has dedicated graphics that switch on or off that conserve a little bit of battery life and in this case it has a video GeForce 310M processor, which is entry level, but gets the job done for any basic game playing and a couple of other features that might involve dedicated graphics such as high definition video. It also has a full Core i3 processor. I say full by meaning standard voltage. There are low voltage versions of this that we see in thin and light and small laptops that operate half the speed that we've not been satisfied with, but this is the same Core i3 that you will find in other larger laptops, which means that it performs like a full pledge contemporary machine. The Core i3 in this laptop performs as well as any other Core i3 laptops that we've seen and the graphics are good and the battery life is also good. It got a little under 4 hours, which is not bad for dedicated graphics and is actually better than other comparable in video Optimus laptops that we've seen recently. Plus the construction is really nice. It feels really compact. The lids are really thin. The keyboard actually feels fantastic. It feels a lot like a MacBook keyboard. It doesn't have any flex, some ASUS keyboards do have flex. This one really felt great to type on. Although we prefer not having this row buttons up here because it cramps the Enter and Shift keys a little bit. Look wise, I think it really haven't change at all since the UL30A last year and it's really kind of a bit of throwback. There's a lot of brass metal, especially on the outside, very angular look, its kind of an 80's looking especially with that ASUS logo, it's kind of like a DeLorean laptop type of style. At about 849, more or less depending on where you might find it for sale. It's not a bargain per se and there are other laptops out there that do, do similar type of a job including the Great Toshiba Portege 705 laptop that has an optimal drive. This lacks a couple of modern high end features such as Intel wireless display. It also does not have any optical drive whatsoever, which you know if you wanna be able to install a disk space soft program or if you wanna be able to play DVD, it could be a bit of let down. The port assortment is substandard, 3 USB 2.0, HDMI out, it's all useful. There is no express card. There is no bluetooth. So don't look for any extra bells and whistles. But overall, this has got all the basic things you want in a laptop and a really nice package and it performs pretty well. So, we really like it and it's a really nice update to a laptop that we were big fans of last year. So I'm Scott Stein with the ASUS U35JCA1.

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