If you are looking for a portable laptop able to satisfy almost any needs, from the shape and weight to those of power and autonomy, you will be glad to know that Asus has launched Asus U36S model, a 13.3″ inch portable which is likely to become a bestseller.
In short, U36S is the new version of the U36J model which offers long-awaited hardware upgrades misses at that time.
Display: 13.3-inch screen, 1366 x 768 pixels, glossy
CPU: Core i5-2410M at 2.3 GHz with HT and TurboBoost
Graphic card: Hybrid graphics: Intel HD graphics and Nvidia GT 520M with Optimus
Memory: 6GB RAM
HDD: 640GB 5400 rpm
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wireless N, Gigabit LAN
Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, card reader
Battery: 4400 mAh 6-cell 63 Wh
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Size: 322 x 232 x 19 mm
Weight: 1.6 kg with 6 cell battery
The version offered in stores will contain only 4GB of RAM and the battery will be a standard 8-cell with 84 Wh. In addition, instead of the 5400 rpm HDD, we will find a faster SSD drive.
Design, external keyboard and screen:
We will not go into detail about these because the U36S exterior is identical to the old U36J model.
Hardware and performance:
The only notable difference between the two 13.3″ portable is the hardware platform, Asus U36S including a processor from the Intel Sandy Bridge model range – Core i5-2410M at 2.3 GHz, which benefit from HyperThreading and TurboBoost. Along with this we find a hybrid graphics solution. The chip integrated into the processor, Intel HD graphics and Nvidia GT 520M dedicated solution, both controlled by the Nvidia Optimus. We also have 6GB DDR3 RAM, a 640GB HDD and of course Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
All this will be enough for the Asus U36S portable and can run without problems about any type of application, from the common to professional programs and video or photo editing. Full HD multimedia content is not a problem for the Asus U36S, and it can run even the most-recent game titles. Of course, Nvidia GT 520M chip is still at entry-level, so do not expect too much from it: you can run latest games or applications, but sometimes you may need to reduce some of the details if you want it to run fluently.
Because some tests we could conclude a brief comparison between the two generations, speaking about performance: in daily use, they behave relatively similar, but in games or programs that require a powerful graphics chip, the new version is superior. In addition, it manages to be more energy efficient, which translates into a superior battery life.
Battery and autonomy:
Intel Sandy Bridge platform is more effective than the common tech on Asus U36J model, and this is seen in practice for this ultra-portable. If the old model got an average range of about 5 hours with an 8-cell battery, Asus U36S model got the same time with a smaller battery, 4400 mAh 6-cell.
This translates into an average range of 5.5 – 6 hours for the version available in stores, with the same high-capacity battery, according to an average daily use. Of course, it can vary from 3-8 hours depending on how you use your laptop, but even so, this autonomy is a very good performance for a portable.
I think the 13.3-inch laptop is the perfect solution. They combine portability and processing power with high autonomy.
Asus U36S/U36SD is the laptop that could have been having a lot of advantages, all presented in this article. Unfortunately, it has a big disadvantage: excessive heat, and this is not just a matter of discomfort, but could also represent a long-term reliability issue because high temperatures have the “gift” to negatively influence the electronics.
If you are looking for a portable and powerful laptop, priced around $1000, Asus U36S is probably the best option that you have. That of course if you want a laptop with a dedicated graphics chip, more powerful than the standard Core i5 processor. If not, then probably a configuration that lacks the dedicated chip might be a better solution, and so you will escape the excessive heat or fan noise.