ASUS U6 Notebook PC - Review

ASUS U6 Notebook PC - Review

ASUS U6 Laptop PC - Review

Core 2 Duo T7700 Processor 2.4GHz, 1GB RAM

When it comes to top-of-the-line, the ASUS U6 certainly holds nothing back. Sure, its leather exterior may be nothing to shout about, but under the hood we are talking about a hybrid harddisk (more on that later) and 3G (HSDPA) connectivity. Though it is the successor to the U1f, the U6 manages to maintain a slim and light profile while offering an integrated optical drive. It gives other premium models like the Sony VAIO TZ and Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010 a run for their money.


It may not be as ostentious as the leather-clad ASUS S6, but every inch of the ASUS U6 solidifies it as a premium model. The palm rest and battery are covered in leather, while the top lid sports a unique glossy paint job with shimmering fiber look. Despite similar dimensions and weight to the ThinkPad X61, it manages to squeeze in a DVD writer.

What's really impressive is the generosity of connectivity options offered. Like the Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010, the ASUS U6 comes with a 3G (HSDPA) slot for use with mobile broadband. 802.11n, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth and modem are all present. Despite its small stature, there are four USB 2.0 ports and a full ExpressCard/54 slot, along with VGA and HDMI outputs. It is quite a feat for ASUS to fit them all into an ultraportable profile.

A unique feature is the hybrid harddisk. Instead of using expensive all-flash storage like the VAIO VGN-TZ18GN, it combines a flash component with conventional magnetic platters. This is a good compromise between speed and price, though we don't expect this machine to have an issue with performance. While most notebooks in the ultraportable range rely on ultra low-voltage processors with integrated graphics chipsets, the U6 gets the blazing T7700 2.4GHz chip as well as a discrete Nvidia GeForce 8400M G video card. Short of high-end gaming this baby is capable of almost any task thrown at it.

Other notable features include a built-in Webcam, fingerprint biometric sensor with TPM security chip as well as Windows Vista Ultimate operating system.


With all the connectivity and power mentioned above, it would seem the ASUS U6 is a perfect ultraportable, right? Well, one of the key aspect for ultraportables is the battery life. After all, the reason for choosing an ultraportable and living with the smaller screen size is so one can use it anywhere. However, with the full-powered processor and discrete graphics built into this ASUS, we suspect the small three-cell battery may not be able to handle the load for long.

For those with mobile broadband plans, be ready to fork out for another SIM card as the 3G slot is located behind the battery. This rules out hotswapping and obviously requires the unit to be turned off before putting in the SIM card.

Another gripe is the choice of the glossy cover. No doubt it is attractive, but use it in desktop replacements or even midsize notebooks instead. Ultraportables are expected to be handled and moved around with high frequency, and having to keep cleaning the glossy cover will probably irritate U6 owners no end.

Avid photographers will, by now, have noticed we didn't mention the presence of any memory card readers. That is because the U6 has none. Though external card readers are cheap and some are barely larger than a USB flash drive, it is nonetheless another item to lose in your kit bag.

Last, but not least, is the price of such a unit. Though no official word was given, looking at the ASUS U1, we hazard a guess that the U6 will probably hit close to the S$4,000 (US$2,631.93) mark. Certainly not one for the budget-minded.


The ASUS U6 has an exceptional set of features coupled with nice aesthetics. Its full-powered processor and discrete graphics card should please those who need power on-the-go. However, its price and small battery may hinder its full potential as the ultraportable of choice for frequent fliers.

1 Comment:

The comment about the card reader is incorrect; the U6S has an 8-in-1 reader.