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Asus UL20A review

An impressive and highly-portable laptop that offers terrific value for money

Our Verdict

A smart looking laptop with decent office performance and great battery life. One for those who need the portability

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768

View full specification

For

  • Build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Decent performance
  • Quickstart operating systems

Against

  • No internal disk drive
  • No Bluetooth

Asus is famous for kick-starting the netbook market with its EeePC branded machines, but also offers a broad variety of full-size laptops, including high-quality ultraportables. The Asus UL20A offers an enticing blend of portability, usability and performance.

We were impressed by the durability of the machine and it certainly feels like a laptop which will absorb some punishment on the road – unlike the Sony VAIO VPC X11Z1E/X. The solid chassis is built from tough plastics and features an attractive, yet understated, weave pattern on the palmrest.

The brushed aluminium lid is as tough as it is attractive, and this laptop looks a lot more expensive than it is.

Great battery

Adding to its roadworthy credentials, the laptop features a fantastic 557-minute battery life and weighs in at just 1.6kg. While it's not the lightest machine, it is by no means a cumbersome machine to carry around with you, thanks to its relatively small and light form factor.

The 12.1-inch panel of the UL20A is no exception. It is bright and crisp, and also boasts excellent colour reproduction with impressive contrast and deep blacks. Like the Acer S243HL, a shiny screen coating is in place, however, and the reflections may irritate.

The keyboard is a little sluggish, unfortunately, but the keys feature a textured finish which provides decent purchase. Overall we found the board to provide an acceptable typing experience – although it is not quite as intuitive to use as the Acer Aspire's.

Asus ul20a detail

Everyday performance is decent and you'll have no problem running office applications. We found 3D power to be adequate, meaning that basic photo editing is also possible.

A 320GB hard drive offers plenty of space for your files and folders, as well as any media libraries you might want to carry around with you.

Unlike the Acer and Toshiba Portégé R600-13Z, however, the Asus lacks an optical drive for using CDs and DVDs. It also fails to feature Bluetooth, which may be a consideration for those who need to regularly synchronise devices such as smartphones with their machine.

It does feature a quickstart button, however, that lets you access the internet without starting up the main operating system.

We like the Asus UL20A a lot. It is compact and boasts an excellent battery life, providing you with hours of power on-the-go while also looking very smart and delivering decent performance.

This laptop is exclusive to PC World and Dixons.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500MHD
Product FamilyUL20A
Brand NameAsus
Screen Size30.7 cm (12.1")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGS45 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyColour Shine
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR2-800/PC2-6400
Height30.9 mm
Width296 mm
Depth210 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesUL20A
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelUL20A-2X140V
Product NameUL20A-2X140V Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberUL20A-2X140V
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

Designed for uninterrupted, extended computing, the ASUS UL20A-2X140V Notebook features up to 8-hours battery life, thanks to the ASUS Power4Gear. It facilitates the deployment and usage of power according to the users' preferences in relation to the specific tasks that they need to perform.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • UL20A-2X140V Notebook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty2 Year