Review Asus PL30JT-RO030X Subnotebook

Sebastian Jentsch, 07/19/2010

Low Voltage Turbo. Overclocking, Turbo Boost, virtual cores and GeForce graphics. That doesn't fit to a runtime strong 13.3 incher? Asus proves us wrong. Core i5 supplies performance and Nvidia Optimus supports battery life.

PL30JT-RO030X: A picture-perfect performance subnotebook?
PL30JT-RO030X: A picture-perfect performance subnotebook?

Fancy a subnotebook? No, thanks. I want performance. Those who think this way, but are toying with a 13.3 incher anyway, might just take a liking to the Asus PL30JT-RO030X. It's not unaffordable with 890 euro, but it pulls no punches for a subnotebook. Core i5-520UM (2x1.06 GHz) with Turbo Boost and hyperthreading (four threads), reads in the configuration, just as good as Nvidia's Optimus and GeForce G 310M. Asus adds its CPU overclocking, Turbo-33, known from its UL range on top. And it gets even better: Asus makes the unabashed claim that it can hold a runtime of ten hours.

Are we faced with a successful mix of performance and runtime? Find out everything about the performance of the ultra low voltage Core i5-520UM. We put a focus on battery life and power consumption, just like on the limited gaming suitability.

Case

Slim but solid
Slim but solid
Slightly spongy hinges
Slightly spongy hinges
Brushed aluminum
Brushed aluminum

Asus has sent a 1.82 kilogram light and slim 13.3 incher to our editorial office. The case has an adequate torsional stiffness despite its slimness. The battery moves slightly in its compartment in our twisting test. The wrist-rest convinces with a high firmness and the base unit's rear part can't be dent anywhere, either. The large, inserted battery, which was still a weakness in construction of the quasi-predecessor, UL30A, now fits tight.

The wrist-rest's aluminum surface and the plastic base plate fit tight and don't yield anywhere, not even under high pressure. In our opinion, the lid is adequately stiff in view of its slim design. We can only twist the lid by a few degrees when it is picked up at the corners. Slight pressure on the aluminum surface doesn't immediately provoke pressure points on the screen due to its high stiffness.

Both hinges, on which the display is mounted, are a bit spongy. Nevertheless, the display stays firmly in place in every position. Jolts, like they sometimes turn up during train or car rides, allow the lid to only teeter marginally.

The manufacturer has done a good job with the surfaces and material combination. The lid and wrist-rest surface, made of brushed aluminum, have a pleasant, high-end feel. The keyboard is fringed with a rubber coating that prevents slipping, as well as smeary surfaces. Piano lacquer is only found on the display bezel, in the key gaps and between the hinges. The manufacturer could have been a bit more austere here for office friends. Oily finger are kept within limits though, making this little flaw tolerable.

Connectivity

VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0
VGA, HDMI, USB 2.0

Asus uses the whole available width for connections. Nevertheless, it's not enough for an abundance of interfaces, despite the lack of an optical drive. The manufacturer doesn't equip the front with any ports, switches or cardreaders. We find all connections on the right or left side. The rear is reserved for the battery unit.

The port distribution is unfavorable for the utilization of external monitors: VGA is directly beside HDMI in the front left area. Thick VGA/HDMI cables could obstruct lefties when a mouse is used. Righties have a slight advantage, as at most two USB cables could thwart mouse usage here.

Cardreader and audio ports are found in the front right area. Connections on the rear would have of course been perfect for the use on the desk at home. However, it wouldn't have been possible to build in a big, removable battery this way.

Front: no connections
Front: no connections
Left: VGA, HDMI, USB
Left: VGA, HDMI, USB
Rear: no connections
Rear: no connections
Right: Card reader, line-out, microphone, 2 USB 2.0, Ethernet, AC, Kensington
Right: Card reader, line-out, microphone, 2 USB 2.0, Ethernet, AC, Kensington

Express Gate allows surfing, chats or listening to music without the Windows operating system. The Turbo-33 button opens the Express Gate Flash OS (Splashtop) when the notebook is turned off. This slim and energy saving Unix OS has a web browser, an image view, a Skype client and a music player. If you want to show your pictures on the fly (hard disk access) or look up the train schedule, you could very well take a liking to the mini OS. The same key enables Turbo-33 (CPU overclocking) under Windows.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is acceptable for frequent typists. The key bed only yield under stronger pressure (center). The detached keys have sufficiently sized gaps even for larger hands, which increases accuracy. The pressure point could be a bit more distinct, but the stroke is sufficiently firm.

The well-made layout with the big keys (see arrow keys) and the clear lettering is a big advantage of the keyboard. The blue function keys for addressing special functions, like display brightness, volume, mute, touchpad and WLAN off and standby, are clearly marked. A number pad is also available via the FN keys (FN assignment).

Touchpad

The touchpad is delimited from the rest of the wrist rest both optically and haptically by a silver edge. The plastic surface in aluminum-look unfortunately makes sweaty fingers glide a bit unsmooth (blunt). It's a multi-touchpad (Elan Smart-Pad V2.2). It recognizes the use of two fingers (two finger gestures: e.g. zooming with two fingers). A vertical/horizontal scroll bar (single finger control) is not available. We have to inevitably apply two fingers.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Arrow keys
Arrow keys
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

Slight reflections
Slight reflections

The AR coated AUO display (type B133XW01 V1) can't impress the testers in any way. The 16:9 screen's resolution of 1366x768 pixels is standard for the size. Just like the low contrast of 165:1, unfortunately. Colors don't gleam intensely; black has a light gray touch. The AR coat isn't the reason for the low contrast, though. A glare type would optically give the colors a certain brilliance, just like the black value.

196
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
193
cd/m²
180
cd/m²
180
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
165
cd/m²
161
cd/m²
162
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 196 cd/m²
Average: 178.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 180 cd/m²
Black: 1.09 cd/m²
Contrast: 165:1

The matt AUO screen doesn't have a good brightness. We measured an average of 179 cd/m2. Our meter records a maximum luminance of 196 cd/m2 in the upper left corner. Just in view of a subnotebook outdoor scenario, a luminance beyond 230 cd/m2 would have been desirable.

Is a stress-free use in sunlight possible with this brightness? Yes, but we can't really enjoy it. The matt display prevents reflections significantly, but the display simply remains to be too dark. The notebook doesn't reduce the brightness in battery mode. Outdoor users will have to look for an especially shady place to have a nice view on the 13.3 inch display.

Outdoors - frontal
Outdoors - frontal
Outdoors - left
Outdoors - left
Outdoors - right
Outdoors - right

The horizontal viewing angles are fairly good. We can see writing up to about a 50 degree deviation from the optimal position. However, colors already invert at about 40 degrees. The displayed writing stays readable up to about 30 degrees when our view strays downward. The brightness, however, already dims clearly as of 10 degrees (colors falsify intensely). If several people gather around the Asus PL30JT, the viewers from the upper positions will hardly see anything of the movie. The colors are already inverted massively at a 25 degree vertical deviation. Writing can't be recognized or read any longer and colors are extremely falsified.

ASUS PL30JT-RO030X's viewing angles
ASUS PL30JT-RO030X's viewing angles

Performance

As all i5 CPUs, the Core i5-520UM is a dual core with Turbo Boost, hyperthreading and integrated GMA HD. The big difference to i5 CPUs in larger notebooks is the operating with a low voltage (Core voltage). The clock rate of 1.06 GHz is also significantly lower. It can be increased up to 1.86 GHz with Turbo Boost when required. In comparison: A Core i5-430M clocks between 2.26 and 2.533 GHz.

Interesting for users: The dual corer also has the hyperthreading feature that accelerates multi core applications. Every physical core is supported by a virtual core. Core 2 Duo generation CULV/ULV processors (e.g. SU9400, SU7300) aren't capable of this feature.

The integration of the memory controller and the IGP graphic card (GMA HD) in the processor bundle are standard for Core i5 CPUs. This allows a combination with a dedicated Nvidia 310M graphics. The Nvidia Optimus Technology allows an automatic switching between the Intel HD and the dedicated 310M, depending on every power requirement.

Contrarily to previous hybrid GPU solutions, the Intel HD is always enabled because its frame buffer is used for the video output. A dedicated GPU practically writes in the Intel HD's video memory and allows the Nvidia image to be displayed. For this reason, there aren't any latencies or black, flickering screens during switching. Thus, the hardware button for hybrid graphics can be omitted. The benefit of Optimus is supposed to be an improved battery life, because the dedicated G 310M can be completely disabled.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info GPUZ Geforce G 310M
System info GPUZ Intel HD
System info HDTune
DPC Latency Checker WLAN On-Off
 
System information Asus ASUS PL30JT-RO030X

Our synthetic processor benchmarks certify the Core i5-520UM (2x1.06 GHz) a performance above the i3-330M  (2x2.13 GHz) but below the i5-430M (2x2.26 GHz). The test system reaches 3083 points at computing with one core (Cinebench R10 Single 64 bit). Core i3-330M achieves around 2900 points, i5-430M scores an average of 3400 points.

The Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 (typical CULV subnotebook processor) is considerably weaker despite overclocking with 2100 points (Asus UL50VF, Asus UL80VS). Even an SL9600 (ULV, 6MB cache, 2.13 GHz), used in high-end subnotebooks, only reaches 2726 points in Cinebench R10 Single).

The i5-520UM can't replicate the proud single core result while computing with all available threads (hyperthreading: 2 cores + 2 virtual cores). Cinebench R10 Multi (64 bit) finishes with 6107 points. (i3-330M = 6600; i5-430M = 7800). But once again it is proved: The ULV sister processor, SL9600, is clearly defeated with 4815 points.

What's Turbo-33 good for?

The alias for CPU overclocking is enabled by pressing the turbo button (upper left keyboard). The notebook starts up immediately again. The ULV processor now runs with a maximum of 2.12 GHz (normal max. 1.86 GHz with Intel's Turbo Boost). The multiplicator is set to 12 for this. Every core's clock rate can reach a maximum of 1.94 GHz in multi-core computing (about 1.46 GHz without Turbo-33).

We've compared the Cinebench rates with and without Turbo-33. Cinebench R10 Single: 3083 versus 2377 (with/without: 23% increase) Cinebench R10 Multi: 6107 versus 5051 (with/without: 18% increase). We've summarized the various operating states in the following screens.

665MHz
without Turbo-33 idle silent office 665 MHz
1463MHz
without Turbo-33 Multi-Core Benchmark 1436 MHz
1840MHz
without Turbo-33 Single-Core Benchmark 1840 MHz
885MHz
with Turbo-33 idle silent office 885 MHz
1947MHz
with Turbo Multi-Core Benchmark 1974 MHz
2124MHz
with Turbo-33 Single-Core Benchmark 2124 MHz
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2549
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4935
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
967
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
3083 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
6107 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
1135 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
7.73 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.59 Points
Help
PC Mark
PCMark 054682 points
PCMark Vantage4536 points
Help
3.3
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.1
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
3.3
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
5.4
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.7

We experience the overall system performance as smooth. Multiple, simultaneously running programs don't stress the PL30Jt and even processor-biased games, like Sims 3, cooperate. The 4 GB DDR3 RAM is likely only an insignificant reason. Due to the 64Bit Windows 7, the entire 4096 MB RAM can be used.

PCMark Vantage checks the interaction of CPU, graphics, RAM and hard disk. We've disabled Nvidia's presetting "preferred GPU Intel HD" and set to "preferred GPU Nvidia". Turbo-33 was enabled for the system test.

Performance insatiable customers can look forward to this. PCMark Vantage determines 4536 points. Thus, the subnotebook, PL30JT, is on par with Core i3-330M laptops (e.g. Toshiba Qosmio F60, GT 330M) with dedicated GPUs. A Core 2 Duo SL9600 system (Lenovo ThinkPad X200t) is clearly defeated with 3095 points.

3D Mark
3DMark 038832 points
3DMark 056262 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
2963 points
3DMark Vantage1052 points
Help
Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS
Transfer Rate Minimum: 35.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 7.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 58.4 MB/s
Access Time: 18.5 ms
Burst Rate: 71.1 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %

The Seagate Momentus hard disk (type ST9500325AS) with a gross capacity of 500 GB works with the usual 5400 rpm. HDTune establishes an average rate of 58.4 megabyte per second in sequential read. This data throughput is slightly under par of comparable 2.5 inch hard disks.

The HDD is slowed down by the low burst rate of 71.1 MB/s. A high burst rate is, for example, 117 MB/s (e.g. Acer Aspire 5740G-434G50MN). The burst rate describes the transfer rate that can be reached by the HDD cache. Buyers can detect the maximum transfer rates that the hard disk can reach with it. The SATA II hard disk doesn't show irregularities during operation and stays almost silent.

Gaming Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

The Nvidia GeForce 310M can access 1024 MB DDR3 video memory. It's a starter GPU that is capable of DirectX 10.1 effects, but not PhysX. The performance complies with the GeForce G 210M (identical core rate of 625 MHz). Asus has downclocked the memory rate to 667 MHz (common: 800 MHz).

The GPU is only suitable for gaming to an extent. It's rather more for supporting the processor on the mainboard. HD decoding (H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4. etc.) can just as well be managed by the 310M (PureVideo HD) as video coding (CUDA, DirectX Compute and OpenCL).

We determined a poor 2963 points in 3DMark06. A negative verdict for game play is obvious. Nevertheless, we didn't refrain from trying two more or less demanding games.

The gaming test of Modern Warfare 2 and Sims 3 is clear. These fairly new games only run smoothly in low resolutions (800x600 here) and lowest details (low, 0xAA here). And then at least without stutters with 48, respectively 78 fps. Gaming souls should better look around for an ATI HD5650 or Nvidia GT 330M. These GPUs are also built into small, light notebooks (starting at 14 inch). See Acer's Aspire 4820TG.

MoW2: 48fps
Modern Warfare 2: 800x600 Low 48fps
MoW2: 18fps
Modern Warfare 2: 1024x768 Medium 18fps
MoW2: 14fps
Modern Warfare 2: 1366x768 High 14fps
Sims3: 17fps
Sims 3: 1366x768 High 17fps
Sims 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1280x1024high / all on, high AA17.27 fps
 1024x768med / all on33 fps
 800x600low / off78.1 fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1366x768all on/high vsync off, high textures, 4xAA14.6 fps
 1024x768all on/med vsync off, normal textures, 2xAA17.7 fps
 800x600all off/low vsync off, low textures, 0xAA48.3 fps
low med.high ultra
Sims 3 (2009) 78.13317.27fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2 (2009) 48.317.714.6fps

Emissions

Air outlet
Air outlet

System Noise

The 13.3 incher always remains quiet in undemanding office mode (without Turbo-33, only Intel HD GPU) at a constant 31.6 dB(A). If you surf a bit and occasionally read out pictures from a memory card, you won't even notice the fan. 

The little fan can attract attention when performance is demanded (Turbo-33 enabled) with up to a very audible 39.1 dB(A). This was, for example, the case in the computer gaming tests. However, the fan really turns up in the stress test of CPU and GPU (Prime95 & Furmark). Now we measure 42.6 dB(A).

Noise Level

Idle 31.6 / 31.6 / 31.8 dB(A)
HDD 31.9 dB(A)
Load 39.1 / 42.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)
CPU stress test: 90 degrees max.
CPU stress test: 90 degrees max.

Temperature

The fan dissipates warm to hot waste air over a vent on the case's left side, depending on the activity. It's enough for acceptable lukewarm surface temperatures in idle, when the fan runs the calmest. You can't call the 13.3 incher cool, though (average of 34 degrees Celsius at a high room temperature).

During our processor and graphic benchmarks, the Asus PL30JT got considerably warmer. We measured a maximum of 44.6 degrees Celsius on the work surface after a two hour stress test with CPU and GPU load. The testers could hardly even touch the base plate in stress conditions. Our thermometer indicated 51.8 degrees selectively. The average was close to 39.6 degrees. The Core i5-520UM heated up to a maximum of 90 degrees.

The waste heat looks hazardous at first sight, but we'd like to point out two things: Due to the warm summer, the room temperature was about 5 degrees higher than usual. And the stress test is also an unrealistic maximum load.

Max. Load
 44.1 °C41.6 °C36.6 °C 
 43.6 °C44.6 °C36.8 °C 
 39 °C39.5 °C35.4 °C 
Maximum: 44.6 °C
Average: 40.1 °C
35.1 °C39 °C51.8 °C
35.3 °C44.2 °C48.4 °C
31.5 °C34.2 °C36.9 °C
Maximum: 51.8 °C
Average: 39.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  60.1 °C | Room Temperature 27.2 °C

Loudspeakers

The stereo loudspeakers placed on the front (bottom) deliver a better sound than we are used to from 13 inchers. The loudspeakers from Altec Lansing can't create any deep basses, but a balanced, even if midrange-prone, sound. The relatively high volume is even enough to let the wrist-rest vibrate a bit.

Connecting external loudspeakers over a 3.5 millimeter jack is an option of choice for hi-fi fans. We tested with two active Yamaha speakers (YST-M20SDP). The volume tethered to the notebook can be adjusted freely. Static doesn't turn up with the onboard sound card even at very low input levels (audio test only).

Battery Life

The battery life easily surpasses normal Intel Core i3/i5 configurations. We tested it without Turbo-33. The comparison, however, is affected by the fact that 430M and 520M CPUs are usually built into 15.6 or 17 inchers. The Dell Latitude E6510 (15.6 inch) has a Core i5-520M and a similarly strong battery (90 Wh). It lasted for 219/427 minutes (WLAN/idle) in the test. Our PL30Jt reached almost twice the time in the WLAN test.

The subnotebook also comes close to its runtime strongest Core i5 13.3 colleagues. An Asus U30JC (84Wh, 520M, 310M, Optimus) reaches 331/516 minutes (WLAN/idle) in the WLAN test. Our test system achieves 378/509 minutes with the same battery capacity. That is still 50 minutes more in WLAN than the all-day runner, Asus U30JC, with a non-ULV configuration.

The maximum runtime with BatteryEater in Reader's mode is an assessed 509 minutes (8:29 hours). That's unrealistic though, because WLAN was disabled and the processor fell asleep because it was bored (idle). Users with tendency toward mobility can reckon with a real battery life between six and seven hours.

If you're constantly playing with the Asus PL30JT and always leave Turbo-33 on, you'll push the runtime down to 2:11 hours (131 minutes). It's 3:18 without turbo (198 minutes). Watching movies is (almost) endlessly possible. Our DVD loop first stopped after 6:16 hours (375 minutes).

WLAN test: 378
WLAN test: 378
Idle test: 509
Idle test: 509
AVI movie: 376
AVI movie: 376
Load test: 198
Load test: 198
Load test with Turbo-33: 131
Load test with Turbo-33: 131
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
8h 29min
WiFi Surfing
6h 18min
DVD
6h 16min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 18min

Especially the strong 84 watt hour battery prompts the Asus PL30JT this way. The ULV processor, with a 18 watt TDP, doesn't look very economical at first glance. But the graphic card and memory controller are included in it (previously in the chipset). A CULV Core 2 Duo SU7300 has a TDP of merely 10 watts.

The power consumption assessment at the mains (without battery charging) shows a very modest subnotebook. We measured 9.5 watts in idle (Turbo-33: 9.8 watts). This confirms the economical components of the chipset, LED screen and memory. Turbo-33 is hardly noticed in idle with a difference of merely one watt. This changes obviously under load. 3DMark06: 50.2/40.4W (with/without Turbo-33); Furmark+Prime95: 55.8/48.0W (with/without Turbo-33).

Our meter shows an average effective power of only 29.3 watt with maximum brightness and enabled Asus screen saver. The screen saver doubled the power consumption and should thus better be disabled.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 1 Watt
Idle 9.8 / 13.3 / 18.8 Watt
Load 50.2 / 55.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Asus PL30JT-RO030X: Overclocking Subnotebook
Asus PL30JT-RO030X: Overclocking Subnotebook

If you want a long battery life without having to do without performance, you should take a closer look at the Asus PL30JT-RO030X for currently 890 euro. With its Intel Intel Core i5-520UM ultra low voltage processor, all positive features of the new Core i5 generation are at hand (Intel HD integrated, Turbo Boost, hyperthreading). The standard clock rate of 1.06 GHz sounds low. But up to 2.12 GHz are possible due to Turbo Boost and with Asus' own overclocking (Turbo-33 + Turbo Boost).

Whilst The Asus PL30JT offers a very good subnotebook performance on the one side, it can be very mobile with good six hours (WLAN test) on the other. The stable case, the matt display and the feasible input devices make it to a good office companion. Unfortunately, AUO's LED screen is too dark. 1366x768 pixels merely gleam with 179 cd/m2. A considerably brighter screen would have been needed for the outdoor use in the cafe.

The second significant weakness is the high waste heat under load. The flat case heats up extremely during gaming or in the stress test and even reaches 50 degrees selectively. The waste heat and system noise, however, stay acceptably low at normal use without Turbo-33.

Asus ASUS PL30JT-RO030X: Kombiniert starke Subnotebook-Leistung mit einer real sechsstündigen Laufzeit.
Asus ASUS PL30JT-RO030X: Kombiniert starke Subnotebook-Leistung mit einer real sechsstündigen Laufzeit.
In Review: Asus ASUS PL30JT-RO030X
In Review:  Asus ASUS PL30JT-RO030X

Specifications

Asus PL30JT-RO030X

:: Processor
Intel Core i5-520UM 1.06 GHz @ 2.12 GHz
:: Mainboard
Intel HM55
:: Memory
4096 MB, PC3-10600
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 310M - 1024 MB, Core: 625 MHz, Memory: 667 MHz, DDR3, ForceWare 189.64
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO B133XW01 V1, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS, 500 GB 5400 rpm Seagate Momentus 5400 8MB
:: Soundcard
HD Audio
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Line-out, mic, Card Reader: SD,MMC,MS,MS-Pro,xD,
:: Networking
Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 2.1+EDR Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 24.6 x 322 x 232
:: Weight
1.823 kg Power Supply: 0.214 kg
:: Battery
84 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0.3 640x480, 24 Months Warranty

 

Quietly and without fanfare, the Asus PL30JT has
Quietly and without fanfare, the Asus PL30JT has
and very stable.
and very stable.
The HDD cover is made of aluminum.
The HDD cover is made of aluminum.
The Seagate hard disk underneath
The Seagate hard disk underneath
has a capacity of 500 GB.
has a capacity of 500 GB.
The stereo loudspeakers are underneath the wrist-rest.
The stereo loudspeakers are underneath the wrist-rest.
The DDR3 RAM has been placed on two modules with 2048 MB each.
The DDR3 RAM has been placed on two modules with 2048 MB each.
We discovered the WLAN card here, which can be exchanged, too.
We discovered the WLAN card here, which can be exchanged, too.
Asus builds a matt 13.3 inch TFT from AUO.
Asus builds a matt 13.3 inch TFT from AUO.
Slight reflections turn up anyway.
Slight reflections turn up anyway.
When we take out the battery,
When we take out the battery,
a gap between base unit and lid is created.
a gap between base unit and lid is created.
The lithium ion battery A42-UL50
The lithium ion battery A42-UL50
has a high capacity of 84 Wh (5800 mAh).
has a high capacity of 84 Wh (5800 mAh).
The adapter needs a whole three hours for recharging it.
The adapter needs a whole three hours for recharging it.
The bottom proves to be compact
The bottom proves to be compact
Inappropriate: high-gloss in the key gaps.
Inappropriate: high-gloss in the key gaps.
It's light is very subtle.
It's light is very subtle.
been placed on virtual shelves of online shops.
been placed on virtual shelves of online shops.
That's why it's now first noticed: An overclocking mode is to supply performance
That's why it's now first noticed: An overclocking mode is to supply performance
and a thick battery for a ten hour runtime.
and a thick battery for a ten hour runtime.
Can the battery life be correct? There is an Intel Core i5 inside!
Can the battery life be correct? There is an Intel Core i5 inside!
The slim case doesn't have an optical drive,
The slim case doesn't have an optical drive,
but an over six hour runtime with Core i5,
but an over six hour runtime with Core i5,
that's surprising - even for a 13.3 incher.
that's surprising - even for a 13.3 incher.
The construction is high-end and solid,
The construction is high-end and solid,
the lid's surface is brushed aluminum.
the lid's surface is brushed aluminum.
Only the most necessary connections are present,
Only the most necessary connections are present,
eSATA, docking port or ExpressCard are missing.
eSATA, docking port or ExpressCard are missing.
In return, there is a dedicated Geforce G310M with Nvidia Optimus onboard.
In return, there is a dedicated Geforce G310M with Nvidia Optimus onboard.
The looks are made to be unobtrusive (webcam).
The looks are made to be unobtrusive (webcam).
We also see that on the power button.
We also see that on the power button.
It's light with 214 grams, but supplies 65 watts nevertheless.
It's light with 214 grams, but supplies 65 watts nevertheless.

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Liionforce Battery Asus U30 Series 14.8VV 4400mAh/63wh compatible with Asus N Series PL30 PL30JT PL80 PL80JT Pro Series 32 5D 5G U Series U30 U30JC U30SD U35 U35JC U45 U45JC UL30 UL30A UL50 UL50Vt UL80 UL80 S UL80A UL80AG UL80J UL80JC UL80JT UL80V UL80VA UL80VE UL8
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Pro

+Long battery life
+Very good performance for a subnotebook
+Overclock mode
+High-end, stable case
+AR coated TFT display
 

Cons

-No eSATA, ExpressCard
-Poor contrasts
-Low TFT brightness
-High waste heat under load

Shortcut

What we like

Turbo power when we want it. Battery life when it matters. The Geforce G 310M is adequate for a bit of gaming.

What we miss

A docking solution would have been the icing on the cake. Mandatory for such a mobile subnotebook is a 3G module (UMTS).

What surprises us

The performance of a ULV system on par with a standard system (Core i3).

The competitors

Asus U30JC: Core i5-430M power at a similarly long runtime; Acer Aspire 4820TG: Gamers are better advised with a Radeon HD 5650 in 14 inchers; Asus UL30VT: if less performance suffices (starting at 660 euro); Sony Vaio VPC-Y11S1ES: A day of mobility; Acer Aspire 3820T: i3-330M and slightly superior graphics

Rating

Asus PL30JT-RO030X
12/04/2010 v2
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
60%
Weight
89%
Battery
93%
Display
73%
Games Performance
62%
Application Performance
82%
Temperature
73%
Noise
86%
Add Points
90%
Average
81%
85%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Asus PL30JT-RO030X Subnotebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2010-07-19 (Update: 2013-06- 6)