There’s no doubt that some laptops, for what you receive, are very overpriced. It could be said that the U36JC from Asus has a very high price tag, but when you take a look under the hood and see what this baby’s running, you’ll definitely understand why it’s so high.
Sporting 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 2.53Ghz Intel i5 Processor and a NVIDIA GeForce 310M with 1GB DDR3 VRAM, the U36JC should be able to handle pretty much anything that’s thrown its way as well as provide decent enough graphics for most of your gaming needs. Let’s see how it well it performs.
As well as being the host to an array of high performance parts including the Intel Core i5-460m, it is also listed in the “Superior Mobility” category on the Asus website giving it the best of both worlds really. Because of the increasing popularity of notebooks around the world, the gap in the market for a high performance, light and durable notebook is something that hasn’t really been tapped into yet.
Even with the high price tag, the U36JC sports a very uninteresting design, but the black, magnesium-aluminium chassis definitely isn’t something to complain about because, although unattractive, it also provides a very strong and robust chassis for the expensive hardware it houses.
As with most Asus notebooks and other products, we can clearly see the Asus logo on the lid. Obviously, due to the fact that this is classed as an Ultra Portable laptop, there is no optical drive on the U36JC; this does cause a few problems if you wanted to install games such as Call Of Duty or Crysis.
With the U36JC weighing a mere 3.74 lbs and being less than 1 inch thick, you’d expect the body to be quite flimsy; but with the robust aluminium chassis, there is virtually no flex on the very thin screen or both hinges connecting the screen to the main body.
If we turn the U36JC over, you can see a decent amount of ventilation is available for the U36JC. On closer inspection though, you can clearly see the motherboard / RAM through the vents, which could be a recipe for disaster if you accidently place the U36JC down on a wet surface!
If we go ahead and open up the U36JC, you’ll clearly see that the plain black design carries on through out. And, obviously with all laptops you have the touch pad located in bottom centre of the main body and the keyboard just above it.
Both the power button and the fast-boot Express Gate environment buttons are located on the left and right, respectively. Express Gate is a linux distribution with basic networking functions and basic functionality, including a Firefox based web browser, a few games, and image viewer, Pidgin Instant Messenger and a few other features.
Well, as well as the usual left and right mouse buttons, Asus have decided to implement a fingerprint scanner, in the usually empty space in the centre, that works very well! It runs in the background works by bringing up the fingerprint software when you enter a password on a webpage. It then asks if you want it to remember passwords and lock them to your thumb or fingerprint. This feature allows you to have ultra secure passwords without the need to remember them because they’ll only be accessible to you, using your fingerprint.
The keyboard layout has been completed relatively well, with various function buttons available for a variety of tasks. There is quite a bit of empty space on either side of the keyboard that I feel could have been put to better use though, perhaps a few more “special” buttons for making tasks simpler during your stressful day at work.
By pressing the Fn (Function) key and one of the corresponding buttons, you have the ability to take screenshots, control your media player, put the laptop to sleep, control the WiFi Adapter and loads more.