We’ve got neatly classified genres in laptops, notebooks – the normal ones, ultrabooks – ultra thin, but ultra expensive, and netbooks – cheap and portable, but relatively small and with lesser power. But, what do you get when there’s a cross between the good points of an ultrabook and a netbook. Yes, something that’s not too small, not too expensive and is quite thin. You get something that looks like the new Asus U32U notebook. But, does this one withstand our litmus test? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
The U32U comes dressed up in a dual tone colour of silver and black. The exterior has a matte finish to it, so fingerprints aren’t too much of a problem. The interiors have also been well designed. The U32U has a demure, modest look with the shades they’ve chosen, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing.
Connectivity ports on the right
The left side consists of a USB 2.0 slot, an HDMI slot, and a VGA port along with a heatsink vent. The right consists of a Kensington lock, the power slot, an Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 slots, a headphone jack, the SD card slot and a microphone jack. The inclusion of an Ethernet port is good news, as the laptop tapers out towards the end. But this form factor also means that the DVD writer slot needs to be eliminated.
The LCD panel has some good support with two sturdy hinges. They’re quite strong and tough and offer some good resistance to the screen wobbling problem that we so often see in laptops. The 13.3-inch screen itself has been reinforced pretty well from all sides. It’s thin, but durable. There’s some good amount of metal on the bottom panel as well.
No heating problems
The design may appear to be plain to some, but it didn’t disappoint us one bit. Also, the thin profile gives the U32U that oomph, which we mostly reserve only for Ultrabooks, like the Zenbook UX31, we reviewed earlier. Obviously, it’s not as thin as that one, but we’ll suggest you have a look at the price tags before you complain. In terms of build as well, the UX32U impressed us quite a lot.
The notebook is powered by an AMD E-450 APU at a clock speed of 1.65 GHz. It’s got a whopping 8GB (!) of RAM and a 320GB hard disk. The U32U comes with an integrated graphics card – the AMD Radeon HD 6320 and has a display resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Connectivity options, include a camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. All this is held together by the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system.
The U32U comes with a few pre-installed software. There’s the AMD VISION engine control centre that’s basically your one stop shop for all your tweakings and settings. It’s got a range of presets also including – gaming, battery saver and web browsing. Asus also have included a few utility softwares, including USB charger plus, a recovery app, boot optimizer software and a secure delete application. It’s well loaded with the basic stuff you’ll require to configure and manage your laptop.
Updated 23 May, 2013, 11:30 am IST
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