Asus UL30A


The rest of the case is reasonably well apportioned. Along the left side are one USB port and VGA and HDMI video-outs. On the other side: a five-in-one card reader, two more USB ports, a 10/100 ethernet jack, and headphone and microphone jacks. That's on top of the 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, and an integrated 0.3-megapixel Webcam. Overall, it's a good collection of features. The only thing this machine lacks is an optical drive--and that shouldn't come as any surprise considering that the UL30A, at about 3.7 pounds, falls in the category of lightweight laptops.

The software that comes with the UL30A adds some value. The AIRecovery utilitiy is a tool to easily archive your data. LifeFrame 3 is a painless Webcam software package...and you get a couple bits of trialware.

All said and done, this machine a reasonably good package, but it is $800. You might find yourself asking if you want to get something that might not run as long, but have more muscle (like, say, ) or forgo a little bit of that power and save a few bucks with a plain ol' netbook. But final judgments are pending: We still need to run the UL30A through our labs, and when that's complete, we'll come back with a full review.