ASUS U33Jc - Introduction

 

For the second time this month, I get to review a fashion-conscious notebook. Instead of aluminum and glass, this time we’re looking at wood—or, to be more specific, bamboo. ASUS’ U33Jc is part of ASUS’ U-series Bamboo Collection and features bamboo panels on the lid and the interior, with the palm rest and touchpad rendered in the darkly finished wood. It’s definitely an interesting touch, with ASUS claiming tensile strength nearly equaling that of steel and unparalleled eco-friendliness. We’ll get into those claims a bit later on, but for right now let’s just say that the bamboo paneling gives the U33Jc a nice aesthetic that’s pretty unique compared to most other portable computers.

ASUS U33Jc-A1 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i3-370M
(32nm, 2x2.40GHz + Hyper-Threading, 3MB L3, 35W)
Chipset Intel HM55
Memory 2x2GB DDR3-1066
Max 2x4GB DDR3-1066
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 310M Optimus
Intel HD Graphics
Display 13.3" LED Backlit Color-Shine WXGA (1366x768)
Hard Drive 500GB 5400RPM 8MB cache
(Seagate Momentus 7200.6 ST9500325AS)
Networking Atheros AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet
Intel WiFi Link 1000 802.11bgn
Audio HD Audio (2 speakers with headphone and mic jacks)
Battery 8-cell 5600mAh, 84Wh
Front Side None
Left Side 1 x USB 2.0
HDMI
VGA
Cooling Exhaust
Kensington Lock
Right Side Memory Card Reader (SD, MMC, MS/Pro)
Headphone and Microphone jacks
1 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.0
Gigabit Ethernet
AC Power Connection
Back Side None
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 13.12" x 9.52" x 0.80-1.20" (WxDxH)
Weight 3.96 lbs (with 8-cell battery)
Extras Bamboo Exterior Finish
Bluetooth 2.0
2.0MP Webcam
86-Key Keyboard
Multitouch Touchpad
SD/MMC/MS Pro Flash reader
Warranty 2-year global warranty
1-year battery warranty
30-day LCD Zero Bright Dot guarantee
Pricing U33Jc-A1 at GentechPC for $969

Unlike the Dell Adamo though, the U33Jc still has all the good stuff on the inside. Where the Adamo really cut down the specs, with a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo ULV, integrated graphics, and a tiny 40Wh battery, the U33Jc has basically the same specs as the much-loved U30Jc. It has a full voltage Core i3 processor, NVIDIA’s Optimus graphics switching technology, Intel’s wireless display technology, and a massive 8-cell battery. The only thing it gives up is the integrated DVD drive, but in the exchange the U33Jc is 0.2” thinner than the U30Jc at both the thinnest and thickest points along with being almost a full pound lighter.

But if you were just looking for a slimmed down U30, the forthcoming U35Jc is a better option. It’s basically just a U30 minus the optical drive, and, at 3.7lbs, weighs a bit less than the U33. The U33Jc is really about the look and feel of the bamboo panels. If that strikes your fancy, there's plenty to like.

Asus U33Jc - A Look at Bamboo
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  • chrnochime - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    If you want to do graphic design/photo editing any desktop paired with a good display does a better job than pretty much any laptop on the market anyway. Reply
  • darckhart - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    is it the usual nec providing the usb3 support? Reply
  • geok1ng - Thursday, July 29, 2010 - link

    "the only differences other than the bamboo and WiDi are the addition of Bluetooth, the lone USB 3.0 port, and a higher resolution 2.0MP webcam"

    For $150 these differences are a fair trade IMO. The USB 3.0, no matter how "slow"is a welcome feature for futureproofness. and Stile ans status are priceless.
    Reply
  • chris1317 - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    I am really disapointed about the display too. I love the look, need USB3, need a small(ish) laptop.

    I am also a photographer. Colour accuracy is important to me. 16x10 would also be nice but I dont think that's going to happen :)

    Maybe next year ASUS
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Yea... or maybe never... It seems like Asus s a follower and not a developer of good technology. At least they have been acting like that... Reply
  • erple2 - Saturday, July 31, 2010 - link

    Sadly, more or less everyone is a follower. The low resolution 720p crummy displays seem to be the norm in the computer industry, or at least for the laptops that Anandtech reviews. Maybe that's a problem endemic to ACER and ASUS's though.

    I don't know. Maybe some people just don't get it. The display is one of the most important things about any laptop. oh well...
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Friday, July 30, 2010 - link

    Why would you suggest a unit that has not been reviewed yet as a better option? Looking at the specs on Amazon there is probably at least a $75 component difference and the other $75 is for the Bamboo. That $75 seems like an acceptable amount to have a unit that is certainly unique and looks damn good at least to me. Who knows, the U35 might be a bust. I would probably still go with the U30Jc since I need an optical drive or wait for the 14" version of the Bamboo that has both the optical drive and a core i5. Reply
  • lemonadesoda - Sunday, August 01, 2010 - link

    I would like to see a thorough review comparing laptop screens (only). IMO, most laptop users don't worry about an extra 5% performance on the CPU... (except perhaps a few people who use their laptop as a gaming rig). However, 95% of laptop users would jump at longer battery performance AND A BETTER SCREEN; whether higher contrast, matte, higher resolution, faster response time, wider gamut, more accurate colour calibration.

    I would like to see an industry laptop screen roundup here on anandtech. Perhaps that will have a small impact on the industry. And the review pages will become a reference point for many other websites/forums.
    Reply
  • Alexo - Sunday, August 01, 2010 - link

    Vivek: why would reviewing the U35Jc be a priority when the results are expected to be within a margin of error from the U30Jc and the U33Jc? Wow about reviewing the UL30Jt instead (or in addition)? Or even better, the PL30Jt that is available with a matte display? Reply
  • Joepublic2 - Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - link

    Tensile strength of "steel". Mild steel I'll give them that; most tool steels and structural aluminum alloys like the 2000 or 7000 series no fucking way. I'm more worried about the compressive and fatigue strength of a material when it's being used a structural component for a laptop that I've plunked down roughly a grand for.

    Seriously, a "green" laptop is one of the dumber ideas I've ever heard of. More than a ton of petroleum is used in this laptop's production and assembly regardless of what its outer shell is made of.

    Computers will never be "green"; they require tons of energy and ghastly chemicals to produce their ICs and tons of oil in the form of energy and structural precursors to fabricate their PCBs and other electrical components.
    Reply

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