The Good Powerful 13-inch with Nvidia Optimus graphics and new Intel Core i3 CPU.
The Bad Bulky and heavy; only $100 less than a 13-inch MacBook; no Bluetooth.
The Bottom Line Asus has built a solid workhorse in the 13-inch U30Jc-1A that sacrifices some portability for gaming prowess, but still has great battery life.
|Asus U30Jc-A1||Lenovo Yoga 920||Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)||Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)|
|Price||$899 MSRP||$899 MSRP||$980 Dell, Inc.||$2,249 Amazon.com||$2,599 Amazon.com|
We're fond of saying that the 13-inch laptop is so unique it deserves its own category in the laptop family tree. In general, a 13-inch system hits the sweet spot of being the biggest laptop we'd consider carrying around every day, and also the smallest we'd consider using on a daily basis for serious work. It may not be the perfect solution for either road warriors or desk jockeys, but it comes the closest to straddling that line and being universally useful.
As typified by Apple's 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro, however, most 13-inch laptops require a certain amount of sacrifice on the horsepower front, especially when it comes to gaming. Hoping to add a little more oomph to a typical 13-incher, Asus has added an Nvidia GeForce 310M GPU to the Asus U30Jc.
But the real bonus is that the system also uses Optimus, Nividia's new switchable graphics solution, which turns your GPU on and off on the fly. Previously, switchable graphics required you to actively turn off the discrete graphics card when you didn't need it. It's a seemingly simple concept, but according to Nvidia, engineering challenges have only recently made it possible.
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