3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the Asus U36SD. Experts rate Asus U36SD 8/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Asus U36SD and Asus Laptops.
Finding an ultraportable notebook with the power to handle your everyday tasks as well as some lightweight gaming is a bit of a challenge, especially when you're not looking to pay over a grand. ASUS's 13-inch U36SD-A1 could be the answer. At less than one inch thick, this 3.6-pound machine packs the power of an Intel Core i5 processor along with Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics. But, a slim body and lots of muscle aren't the only things that make a laptop great. Does the U36SD have it all?The U36SD-A1 is elegant in its simplicity. Its black magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis covers the system with a smooth and smudge-proof finish. The sole exterior detail is a silver ASUS logo inlaid in the center of the notebook's lid. In addition to making the U36SD look chic, this minimalistic design approach also serves to accentuate the notebook's slender profile.Pop open the lid, and the stealthy black aesthetic continues on the U36SD's deck and keyboard. In the top right corner of the deck you'll find a silver power button and an accompanying blue LED indicator.
It's hard to resist a thin laptop that crams in as much power as a desktop replacement. The Asus U36SD-A1 ($899.99 list) ultraportable does exactly that, squeezing in an Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia graphics chip with the intention of winning every performance race. Where it fell short, though, was keeping heat emission in check, a serious side-effect when fast parts are used in a thin chassis. It's a fast ultraportable, but it's best to buy it with a cooling pad. The U36SD-A1's black casing is made of magnesium allow, though coarsely textured frame doesn't give the immediate impression that it's made from metal. It isn't as embellished as the brushed metal of the Toshiba Portege R835-P50X ($850 list, 4 stars) and Acer Aspire AS3830TG-6431 ($750 street, 4 stars) or as elegant as the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Thunderbolt) ($1,299 direct, 4 stars). What makes it stand out is the fact that it measures a mere 0.75 inches thick. The U36SD-A1 is still thicker than the Samsung Series 9 ($1,650 list, 4 stars) and Apple Air 13-inch, but it needed to be in order to tame its faster parts (the other two run on low-voltage processors).
To sum up: the Asus U36SD is a 13.3-inch ultra-portable with an Intel Core i5 processor and a discrete graphics card, all in a chassis weighing under 2 Kg for under £700. Now let's see what all this gives in practice! The US36D's chassis is sober and elegant, its aluminium and magnesium alloy giving a soft coating to the hood and palm rest. The finish is excellent. Pernickety as we are however, we would have liked to see Asus push the matte thing a bit further to cover the contour of the screen and the screen itself (glossy). The keyboard is in the chiclet style. The keys are well-proportioned, well-positioned and give supple, instinctive keying that minimises keying errors and gives the user a comfortable typing experience. Asus has used the space at its disposal well. We were also impressed with the touchpad. It's precise and the glide makes it nice to use. As with the U30SD, the webcam gives mediocre results with moving objects. The contours are poorly defined, the image pixelised and the black is blocked. If you've got nothing else to hand, it'll do as a fallback solution but you'll need an external webcam for regular use. The connectivity covers all the bases.