The Good Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics; slim design.
The Bad Weak battery life; low-voltage Core i3 processor is slower than other Core i3 laptops; too much keyboard flex.
The Bottom Line A thin design and Nvidia Optimus automatic-switching graphics make the Asus UL80JT-A1 an initially appealing laptop, but looks can be misleading: the underwhelming CPU and battery life are both serious negatives.
Asus UL80JT (Core i3 330UM 1.2GHz
When it comes to slim 13- and 14-inch laptops, there are currently a lot of options worth considering. The Asus UL80JT-A1 is certainly thin and even manages to pack a DVD-burning drive into its compact 14-inch-screened frame. It also manages to fit some dedicated graphics in, too, offering up an automatically switching Nvidia Optimus-powered GeForce 310M GPU.
There are drawbacks, however: at $860, this laptop isn't cheap. And, most unfortunately, the Core i3 CPU that's included is misleading: it's actually a lower-speed Core i3-330UM ultralow-voltage processor that performs more slowly than a normal Core i3. And the Nvidia Optimus graphics technology, which switches on the fly between a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 310M GPU and integrated Intel graphics, is supposed to greatly enhance battery life--and yet, the UL80JT-A1 didn't do significantly better than other standard-voltage Core i3 laptops in our testing.
Sure, for its size this might be an appealing laptop for some. However, the price-to-performance ratio factored in with so-so battery life make this a disappointing package from Asus. (Note: in our back-to-school retail laptop roundup we reviewed the Asus UL80J-BBK5, a nearly identical retail version of this laptop which was slightly less expensive.)
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