Monthly Archives: January 2010

My New Laptop – Asus UL80Vt

I considered buying a 12 inch netbook but decided against that.

Asus UL80Vt

I chose the Asus UL80Vt because it offers performance in a thin and light package.  This laptop gave me the best of both worlds.  It’s very good on battery life when in the right settings.  However, it has the hardware to handle some gaming if I wanted.

The switchable graphic option was the main reason why I got this laptop.  I don’t need a discrete graphic card all the time.  The overclocked CPU is the same.  The system will overclock the CPU to 1.73 GHz when you need more power but will operate at 1.3 GHz to extend battery life.  Asus does over the same package in a 13.3″  (UL30Vt) and a 15″ model (UL50Vt), but I wanted a DVD drive for movies on the go.

Asus UL80Vt

Here are the specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 1.3GHz (Factory overclocked to 1.73 GHZ in Turbo33 Mode)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
4GB DDR3 1066 MHz
14″ (1366×768) LED backlit screen
Intel GMA 4500MHD and Nvidia G210M 512MB DDR3 Graphics
500GB 5400RPM Hard drive
DVD RW drive
SD card reader
0.3 Web cam
802.11G/N Wifi
11.5 hours of battery life
2 Year warrenty with 1 year of Accidental Damage Warranty

You can pick this unit up for about $820 at Amazon with Free Shipping.  Amazon Product Page Link

Choosing A New Laptop Part 1

There are so many things to consider when choosing a new laptop.  I mean, for geeks, buying a new computer is like buying a new car for most folks.  What do I want to do with the computer?  What kind of features do I want?  How fast?  Now compare that to a car.  Do I want a sedan or a SUV?  Sports package, luxury package, technology package, etc.?

It’s finally time for the Chief Monkey to buy a new laptop.  My 4 year old IBM T43 Thinkpad has served me well and finally gave out the other night.  I thought my Eee PC 1000H could support my mobile computing needs, but I find it a little challenging.  I aos consider getting the bigger Asus Eee PC 1201N netbook, but $500 is a lot to spend on a faster netbook.  So, a new laptop is in order.

The first thing you want to consider when buying a new laptop is budget.  How much do you want to spend?  Once you know your budget, you can figure out what kind of computer you can get.  The keyword here is compromise.

Once you set your budget, think about what you want to use this laptop for?  Will you need a fast processor for demanding tasks?  Do you need a dedicated graphic solution for games?  How about mobility?  Will you be traveling much with it?  Do you need something that is thin and light for easy packing?  Do you need a large battery to stay mobile for longer periods of time?

So for me, I want all that. I need something fast with a dedicated graphic solution in a thin and light package.  I don’t need the fastest laptop.  Just something with enough horsepower to handle anything I will throw at it.  No, I’m not going to render a whole 3-D movie on it.  Here’s the tricky part.  I need something that get’s good battery life too.  That’s like getting an extremely fuel efficient car with a lot of horsepower.  It’s a difficult balance.  With power, you sacrifice battery life and vice versa.

Fortunately, many of the laptop components are designed with light power consumption in mind.  Every component is to be as efficient as possible.  Look at the netbooks.  The Intel Atom CPU is so small and so efficient that you can squeeze out at least 6+ hours of battery life depending on how you use the netbook.  However, the Intel Atom CPU can’t handle a demanding task.  Intel is getting better at designing processing chips that are powerful while efficient at the same time.

To be continued…