Whether CULV thin-and-light laptops will ever fully find a spot between the Netbook world and the full-featured laptop world, they are most definitely a category that's growing every day. Dropping an optical drive and throwing a low-voltage processor alongside a long-lasting battery is the trend of 2009, although the low-voltage laptops we've seen so far have often sacrificed either build quality, performance, or value-for-dollar.
It's relieving to say, therefore, that the 13-inch Asus UL30A-A1 is a thin-and-light that we'd gladly carry around in our bag for a long time to come. With a sturdy frame, a decently-performing new Core 2 Duo CULV processor as opposed to the disappointing single-core Core 2 Solo CULVs we've seen, and really good battery life, it's close to a complete package for a sub-$1,000 laptop that doesn't resort to an Atom processor.
While we've seen similar-looking products here before, including the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 and the MSI X340, we liked the overall performance on the UL30A-A1 better.
And as far as its closest competitor goes, the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T, the Asus UL30A-A1 had equal or better performance, better battery life, and costs $100 less than the 3810T did at launch. This is a thin-and-light that does everything we had hoped thin-and-lights would do, and it costs nowhere near what a MacBook Air or a Dell Adamo does.
Read the full review of the Asus UL30A-A1.