In our 2009 Notebook Buyer's Guide, we discussed the merits and perils of CULV based notebooks. This suddenly popular and quickly growing sector looks to bridge the gap between the bargain basement netbook and the full-size notebook. It makes sense to think that a swath of 13.3" to 14" machines would be needed for those who find 10.1" netbook displays too tiny and 15.4" rigs too large, and that's exactly the sweet spot that Asus is attempting to hit with its new UL30 range. The particular model that we're looking at today is the UL30A-A1, though a handful of other configurations will be available as well. This 13.3" machine looks to offer more power than a typical netbook, yet provide nearly the same level of portability and battery life.
The UL30 was just introduced last week along with a few other CULV machines, which stands for Consumer Ultra Low Voltage. This moniker refers to the Intel processor within, which is a more powerful chip than the Atom options found in most netbooks, yet isn't quite as potent as the full-fledged Core 2 Duo CPUs found in most full-size notebooks. Again, this whole machine is about splitting the difference, and we have to admit, it's a fine line to walk...