ASUS U2E Overview

ASUS U2E Specifications
Processor Core 2 Duo U7500 (1.067GHz 2MB 533FSB)
Chipset Intel GM965 + ICH8-ME
Memory 1x1024MB + 1x2048MB DDR2-667
Maximum 4GB Supported
Graphics Intel GMA X3100 (Integrated)
Display 11.1" WXGA (1366x768) with LED Backlighting
Hard Drive 120GB 1.8" 4800RPM 8MB Cache (A1B)
32GB 1.8" SSD (A2B)
Optical Drive Ultra Slim 8X SuperMulti DVD+/-RW
Networking Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
Intel 4965AGN WiFi
Bluetooth v2.0
Audio Realtek ALC660 2-Channel HD Audio
Battery 3-Cell 29WHr
6-cell 53 WHr
9-cell 86WHr
Front Side 4-in-1 Flash Reader (SM, SD, MS/Pro)
Left Side 2 x USB 2.0
WiFi On/Off Switch
VGA
Micro-DVI
ExpressCard/34
Headphone/Mic
GPU Cooling Exhaust
Right Side Optical Drive (DVDRW)
Gigabit Ethernet
1 x USB 2.0
56K Modem
Back Side Kensington Lock
Operating System Windows Vista Business 32-bit
Dimensions 277mm x 194mm x 24.9-29 mm (WxDxH)
10.91" x 7.64" x 0.98-1.14" (WxDxH)
Weight 2.75 lbs (A2B with 3-cell Battery)
Extras Fingerprint scanner
0.3MP webcam
BlueTooth Mouse
Leather palm-rests and top
Carrying Bag
Warranty 2-year standard
1-year Battery pack warranty
30-day Zero Bright Dot guarantee
Free 2-way FedEx overnight shipping
24/7 phone support

ASUS is offering two different versions of the U2E. The A1B model is a more typical ultraportable notebook, equipped with a 1.8" 120GB hard drive. The A2B is identical in all areas except for the choice of mass storage. Instead of a traditional hard drive, ASUS includes a 32GB solid-state drive (SSD). That should certainly improve performance in disk intensive applications, but with the size of Windows Vista and modern applications 32GB can fill up very quickly.

The solid-state drive in our A2B comes from Samsung, and it offers very good read/write performance in comparison to 1.8" platter-based drives (57MB/s read, 38MB/s write). Unfortunately, besides the lack of space the drive also increases the price of the U2E substantially. The base model A1B carries an MSRP of $2000, while the A2B ups the ante to $2600. A quick search on the Internet however reveals that the A2B can be found for $2500. The A2B is also supposed to include an external 160GB USB hard drive - or at least that's our understanding; we didn't receive one with our review sample and it's not entirely clear looking online whether all A2B models include the extra drive or not.

Beyond the hard drive considerations, the U2E does offer some very interesting features. One of our complaints with ASUS' earlier U1E ultraportable - and a complaint we also have with the MacBook Air - is the lack of an optical drive, and ASUS has managed to remedy that. It's really nice to get a DVD+RW in an 11.1" chassis; the inclusion of the optical drive almost certainly increased the overall size and weight of the U2E, but we're more than happy to deal with a few extra millimeters thickness for the added flexibility.

The video options are also very good, providing users with both VGA and Micro-DVI outputs. Many other ultraportables provide only one or the other. It might have been nice to get HDMI rather than just Micro-DVI (the difference being HDMI supports audio), but most people won't care. We tested both outputs and found they worked well; being able to run 1920x1200 over a digital interface is definitely preferable to VGA.

Related to the video options is the display, which is one of the better LCDs we've used on a laptop. ASUS uses LED backlighting, which allows for a brighter display while reducing weight and power requirements. For an 11.1" LCD, the 1366x768 resolution works quite well; we have been spoiled by our use of large 24" and 30" desktop LCDs, but it's unreasonable to expect such high resolutions in an ultraportable - and we're not sure our eyes would be able to cope with such a fine dot pitch even if they were available.

The remaining features include all the usual stuff: Gigabit Ethernet (with no silly USB dongle), 802.11N networking, Bluetooth - even a modem, just to be safe. You also get three USB ports, a flash memory reader, and an ExpressCard/34 slot. The list of features isn't going to compete with larger notebooks, but in comparison to other ultraportables and the MacBook Air, the ASUS U2E does very well. The default battery is somewhat small (2600 mAh), but ASUS offers two upgraded battery capacities (4800 mAh and 7800 mAh). We received both the stock and XXL batteries for testing. ASUS also does an exceptional job with the packaging, as you can see in the following gallery.

One feature that might be easy to overlook is the very good warranty that ASUS provides. Users get a standard two-year warranty - one year on the battery pack - and a 30-day Zero Bright Dot Guarantee for the LCD. That should ensure that everyone is happy with their laptop when it arrives, but just in case things go wrong the warranty coverage includes free overnight shipping both ways if you need to send the notebook in for repairs. While not as convenient as on-site service, free overnight shipping is definitely better than what you get with most laptop warranties. ASUS states that the warranty is a $250 value, and that seems reasonable. Of course, many ultraportable business notebooks include three-year warranties, and if you purchase from a larger OEM you can even get next day on-site service. Regardless, the ASUS standard warranty is much better than the one-year warranty many laptops provide.

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  • sam13007 - Friday, November 06, 2009 - link

    hi friends
    please what's the model of the motherboard of this asus U2E please friends answer me.
    thanks
    Reply
  • Anonymous Freak - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    [quote]We still think that it would have been nice if ASUS could have managed to provide easier access to the bottom memory socket.[/quote]

    Why? If they are going to ship it with a 2 GB module in there, why does it matter? The chipset only supports a max of 4 GB of RAM, so 2x2GB modules would get you there. Heck, if they were going to supply it with 3 GB of RAM, why not go the MacBook Air-route, and solder the 2 GB onboard to save space, leaving just the one SO-DIMM socket.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    I wrote that before finding out that ASUS was switching the lower socket to a 2GB SO-DIMM - or at least, that's what they say. But then, you never know if your RAM is going to go bad, and making it easy to replace never hurts. A small panel on the bottom could have made this tons easier. Reply
  • howardmoore - Monday, September 15, 2008 - link

    Hi,

    Is there a way to find out whether the bottom SO-DIMM socket does have 2GB of RAM installed without having to take the thing apart?

    I say that because I have a U2E and bought 2GB Ram upgrade (2 x 1GB) on the advice of Orca Logic in the UK. Before I upgraded it said that I had 2GB of Ram, though the chip that was already in the top tray was a 1GB. I presumed therefore that the bottom tray had 1GB also. When I installed one of my new 1GB chips into the spare top tray the upgraded RAM read 3GB, but I would have thought that:

    a) If the bottom already had 2GB the top would have read 3GB already.
    b) If I installed 1GB more into the top, it would read that I now had 4GB.

    So, what to do!? Do I go through the laborious (and potentially dangerous for the laptop!) task of disassembly to see whether I can upgrade the bottom socket, or just live with 3GB? Also, is there a problem with the two sockets being on different amounts - I read somewhere that they had to have the same memory amounts to work effectively. Finally, why cannot I not see 4GB showing?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 15, 2008 - link

    You can use CPU-Z (from www.cpuid.com) to see what memory is installed. Reply
  • Nimbo - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    3 years ago I could buy a 10.6' laptop with centrino platform (1.1GHz) 512MB and 80GB HDD for $1000 and DVD CDRW combo for $1000. How come a similar laptop with updated to today's hardware it's dobled in price. Back then the ultra small laptops were not regarded as special and Averatec did not charched a premium because of the form factor.
    Asus should follow the same path and de-primiumaze this niche market so I can aforded again.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 17, 2008 - link

    The ASUS Eee PC 900 series takes care of the lower spec market, I suppose. It seems that the ultraportable market has either become lucrative due to business interest, or perhaps there just aren't enough customers so they need to recoup the R&D expenses. The specs of a modern ultraportable are quite a bit better than the three year old stuff, though. Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - link

    It would be nice if the optical drive could be swapped out with other hardware, like an extra battery or another hard drive... Reply
  • IvanAndreevich - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    Last time I used the optical drive on my laptop was to install the O/S. Really, I would prefer my T60 didn't have one. As for this, it would be a much better thing to have the full 2.5" HDD, and perhaps a slightly bigger battery, or faster processor instead of the aforementioned optical drive.

    I also have an IBM X31 without an optical drive, and it doesn't bother me a bit.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - link

    I use the optical drive on my T43 quite a bit for watching DVDs, burning the occasional disc, and loading programs. Plus the bay can hold another battery or hard drive. Too bad ASUS couldn't fit that functionality into the U2E, would let most people be happy with what they put in the bay. Reply

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