Back when ASUS released the UL80Vt last year, we gave it a glowing review, praising its balance of performance and battery life without breaking the bank. The UL80Vt had an overclocked Core 2 Duo SU7300, an NVIDIA G 210M with a manually switchable option, and ASUS’ now standard (for the U/UL series) 84Wh battery. This gave it pretty solid performance, on par with larger mainstream notebooks, and close to 13 hours of ideal-case battery life, even with Turbo33 mode enabled. Today, we’ve got the UL80Jt, an updated version running the new Core i3-330UM processor and NVIDIA’s Optimus-enabled G 310M graphics.

ASUS UL80Jt-A1 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i3-330UM
(1.20GHz, 32nm, 3MB L2 cache, 18W)
Overclockable to 1.60GHz
Chipset Intel HM55
Memory 2x2GB DDR3-1066
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce G 310M 1024MB
(16SPs, 608/1468/1240 Core/Shader/RAM clocks)
Intel HD Graphics (Optimus Switchable)
Display 14.0" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)
Hard Drive(s) 500GB 5400RPM HDD (Seagate ST9500325AS)
Optical Drive 8x DVDR SuperMulti
Networking Atheros AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9285 BGN
56K Modem
Audio HD Audio (2 stereo speakers with two audio jacks)
Battery 8-Cell, 15V, 5600mAh, 84Wh battery
Front Side None
Left Side Headphone/Microphone jacks
2 x USB
HDMI
VGA
Cooling Exhaust
AC Power connection
Right Side Optical Drive (DVDRW)
Flash reader (MMC/MS/MS Pro/SD/xD)
1 x USB 2.0
Gigabit Ethernet
Back Side None
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium
Dimensions 13.5" x 9.6" x 1.1" (WxDxH)
Weight 4.8 lbs (with 8-cell battery)
Extras Webcam
86-Key keyboard
Flash reader (MMC/MS/MSPro/SD/xD)
Multi-touch touchpad
ExpressGate OS (8-second boot)
Warranty 2-year global warranty
1-year battery pack warranty
1-year accidental damage
30-day zero bright dot LCD
Pricing ASUS UL80Jt-A1 starting at $869

Like its predecessor, the UL80Jt is a thin and light 14” notebook, sharing the same dimensions and form factor. Not much has changed on the outside, as we’ll get to in a moment, but the insides are pretty different. The Core i3-330UM has a default clock speed of 1.20 GHz, and ASUS’ Turbo33 utility gives it a 33% overclock, raising the total to a much livelier 1.60 GHz. The i3, unlike its more expensive i5 and i7 brethen, does not benefit from Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, which will automatically adjusts clock speed for single or multi-threaded applications. The other change here is the not-so-new G 310M and the Optimus graphics switching technology. We’ve extensively covered both of these in the past, so I’ll just gloss over them in the intro and go more in-depth in the graphics performance section.

As for the rest of the specs, we’ve got a 1366x768 resolution 14” screen, 4GB memory, 500GB hard drive, 2.4 GHz wireless-G, and that glorious 84Wh 8-cell battery. What’s interesting to note is that there is no Bluetooth to be found here, even with an $869 pricetag. We'll have to see if the revised UL80 can top the equally well rounded and more powerful U30Jc that also earned our Bronze Editor’s Choice award.

ASUS UL80Jt Inside and Out
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  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    From the article:

    "I’ve been hearing some things spoken in hushed tones, mostly alleging that the Core 2010 ULV processors aren’t nearly as power efficient as the previous generation CULV processors, and our experience with the i3 and i7 ULV chips is proving this correct. "

    Now do people see why some manufacturers are not migrating from Core2 to Core i3, especially in ultraportable chassis?

    Thanks, Vivek.
    Reply
  • deputc26 - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    No UL80Vt benchmarks included?

    would be nice to see what progress has been made...
    Reply
  • cknobman - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Exactly!!!

    It does not exactly take a genius to guess that when a company does a update to a line of computers that it would be nice to have both the old and new line benchmarks in there for comparison. I mean logically it makes sense so readers and potential buyers can see what (if any) performance differences there are (especially when both units are still for sale).

    Crappy article, this site deserves better.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    We could dig up the old performance numbers from the UL80Vt, but that was tested nearly a year ago and quite a few things have changed since then. For one, not a single game in our current suite is the same as the UL80Vt. So all we can really look at is the application performance and battery life, but even the battery life test changed somewhat for Internet use.

    Anyway, here's the link to battery life:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2886/7

    If you'd like specifics, the UL80Vt offered up 33% better idle battery life, 22% better Internet battery life, and 27% better x264 battery life. The UL80Jt is 12% faster in PCMark Vantage, essentially tied in PCMark05, 5% faster in single-threaded Cinebench, 23% faster in multi-threaded CB, 18% faster in x264 pass 1, and 26% faster in x264 pass 2. (If you compare overclocked scores, the results might change a bit but not by much.) Optimus also trumps manually switchable graphics, though some might disagree with that assessment.

    But, while all of that is potentially useful information, you're missing the point of the article: U30/U33/U35 are superior in every single way relative to the UL80Jt, other than slightly lower battery life. It looks better, it's significantly faster, and we already liked the U30Jc more than the UL80Vt for a variety of reasons. We prefer U3x to all of the UL80 line right now.

    Okay, UL80Vt costs $700 compared to $850 or so for the others. Does that change the recommendation? Perhaps slightly. The UL80Vt isn't so slow as to be unusable by any means, and in fact it can get better battery life in its overclocked state than the UL80Jt can at stock, and it also outperforms the stock Jt when overclocked. So, if you want a faster laptop the choice is clear: U3x. If you want better battery life with "okay" performance, the UL80Vt is actually still the better buy in my opinion. Does that help?
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Speaking of gaming performance, is it just down to drivers that the U30 never matches the UL80? The U30 generally wins, but if it were only the CPU I would expect a difference with the overclock, which there generally was not.

    But yeah, unless Asus is planning on getting rid of some other systems this one is pointless. How can it have worse battery life than the U30 in overclocked mode when still way below the speed of the U30?
    Reply
  • yehuda - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Jarred: I noticed that the UL80Vt, with its pre-Optimus switchable graphics configuration, requires a special driver from Asus which is not available from Nvidia or other sources. That driver has not been updated since 2009 and may never be updated again. Would you say that is a reason to prefer the Optimus-driven UL30? Thanks. Reply
  • yehuda - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    Correction: U30Jc. Thanks. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    Yeah, the lack of driver updates is something of a concern, but you actually need to go to the ASUS support site, then for downloads look at Notebooks->Drivers->VGA to get the latest list. I'm pretty sure one of the relatively recent NVIDIA drivers there will work with the UL80Vt. And if you can get at least something like 25x series or later, I don't think you'll need to worry about the G 310M performance. Heck, I doubt anything beyond 19x series has done much for the 310M. Reply
  • Santroph! - Thursday, November 18, 2010 - link

    I must say that, being a ASUS UL80VT owner myself, this is really absurd.
    I didn't had YET a problem with a single game, and that's why I didn't bother THAT MUCH in changing for a new notebook yet.
    But I have already had problems with some of the HTPC stuff about my note and I know for a fact that it is driver related and NVIDIA has already solved the problem in newer drivers but ASUS doesn't bother in releasing them.
    The UL80VT has an amazing battery life, and with a SSD, which I already got for it, it doesn't bother me at all with it's performance.
    Living in a country as Brasil, in which IT stuuf and Gadgets are really expensive comparing to USA, I can't change notebooks as fast as you guys can, so I do give a real importance for Warranty (which the ASUS one is Awesome, worldwide and 2 years, including one for accidents) and long term updates maintenance. The updates are generally excellent with ASUS, but with this model, things are off :(
    I still recommend it to the biggest part of a normal population (read non tech friends and family) since it's allround battery/performance is above average, but I would really prefer the u30 today.
    I was in fact looking for the 13 inch model with G210 when I got the UL80VT, but I couldn't find it with Optical drive and G210 available when I was at USA last year.
    Greetings Santroph.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - link

    That's why arrandale is worse... the gpu sucks more power. But why would you want a more power hungry gpu if you are using a dedicated gpu? It doesnt make any sense, except if you enjoy lining intel's pockets. Reply

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