Ooooh, brushed aluminum
Although its spec sheet looks a little dull, the UL30A certainly doesn't. The first thing you'll notice is easily the brushed aluminum top panel, which makes the system look a lot pricier than it actually is. Well, when the lid's closed, at least.
More importantly, the lightly textured finish won't pick up fingerprints and smudges like glossy plastics. This ensures that the subtle industrial styling looks good even after being handled all day.
With dimensions of 12.7" x 9.2" x 0.58-0.97" (322 mm x 233 mm x 14.8-24.6 mm), the UL30A is most certainly larger than a netbook. It's heavier, too, at 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg). I think Asus' latest still qualifies as an ultraportable, though.
There's really no hard-and-fast rule that defines an ultraportable notebook, just like there isn't one that formalizes the distinction between netbooks and traditional notebooks. Such classifications are largely unimportant, anyway. The UL30A is light enough to easily carry around all day and small enough to fit in most reasonably sized briefcases and backpacks. You can't stuff it into a purse, but that's just fine by me.
Interestingly, the UL30A's proportions almost exactly match those of Acer's 13.3" Aspire Timeline. The Asus system is a little thinner, yet also slightly deeper, resulting in a taller profile when the two are opened up. Even with its additional two battery cells, the UL30A is still just 0.2 lbs heavier than the six-cell Timeline. Here's how the two look side by side and, er, on top of each other:
I told you they were about the same size. Both are 13.3" thin-and-lights based on similar Intel CULV processors, so I suppose that's to be expected.
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