Thursday marked the official launch of Windows 7, so perhaps we can finally put those Mac versus PC commercials behind us. Whatever your feelings towards Vista, the fact remains that it garnered a less than stellar reputation. As we discussed in our Windows 7 RC1 article, many people have the impression that Windows Vista is awful but they can't tell you why. Microsoft hopes to change things with the launch of Windows 7, a.k.a. Windows Vista 2.0.

One of the sore spots for Windows, and Vista in particular, has always been battery life. We have discussed this previously, but the simple fact of the matter is that Mac OS X on a MacBook is easily putting any Windows laptop to shame when it comes to mobility. There are many potential contributing factors, including better optimization of the hardware/software combination, tweaks to perhaps enable lower voltages by default on Intel CPUs, and the ability to keep the CPUs running in deeper sleep states more of the time. We will have an updated comparison with OS X in the near future, but to date everything appears to be in favor of Apple MacBook; Windows 7 improves the situation.

Microsoft has a white paper detailing some of the changes in Windows 7 that should result in improved battery life. We have already explored this topic previously, but those are only preliminary results. Moving forward, the laptops we review are going to shift to Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista, and today marks the onslaught of the Windows 7 laptop releases. One of the first Windows 7-based laptops to arrive in our labs for testing comes from ASUS.


We looked at the ASUS UL50Vt running on Windows 7 Home Basic and found that ASUS could deliver nearly 7 hours of battery life while surfing the Internet -- and that's using our heavy Flash-based tests. One of the more interesting aspects of the ASUS UL series is that they allow overclocking of the ULV processors -- typically 1.73GHz instead of the default 1.30GHz, though in low-power states it's also overclocked from 800MHz to 1066MHz. The overclocking is achieved by simply raising the FSB from 800MHz to 1066MHz; since the chipset and other components can all run a 1066FSB already, the only component that's truly overclocked is the CPU, and it has no difficulty running at 1.73GHz.

We have the final release version of the ASUS UL80Vt in our hands, and we have begun testing. Today we provide a quick look at what the laptop offers and our initial impressions.

ASUS UL80Vt Overview
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  • HimeNoHogosha - Thursday, January 14, 2010 - link

    Has the updated Best Buy model made an appearance yet? Didn't see it on their website.. Reply
  • geok1ng - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I am still not convinced that this nottebook from Asus ai better than the Dell Studio 14z: the processor is inferior and no amount of overcloking will make it better than Dell's. The dual VGA/IGP solution is terrible: it uses battery life for a VGA that is minimally better than the 9400M ( and there are softwares that allow overcloking the 9400M to 210 clock levels, but this is also a bad idea from a battery and heat management point. And we have the higher resolution option on the Dell Studio 14z, that can have a 14" 1440x900 LCD. Reply
  • Matiero - Monday, November 30, 2009 - link

    For those in this thread whom believe glossy LCD screens are no big deal, consider this:

    Take a look at image #3 in the Photo Gallery for this computer. Notice how the image of the keyboard is reflected within the glossy screen? Well, when the computer is ON, this reflected image (or whatever background the screen reflects) is ALSO fully in view. In other words, the reflected image is ALWAYS superimposed over the image you're actually trying to view from the computer--creating visual confusion when using the computer.

    Glossy finishes on any video/computer screen is just plain dumb and makes no sense whatsoever.

    Asus, pay attention--at least change the LCD to a matte finish and win the business. Better yet, offer an option for a high-rez screen for those who care. But glossy finishes on viewing screens is stupidity personified.
    Reply
  • - Saturday, November 28, 2009 - link

    Wasn't there supposed to be an full review of this coming up?

    It has already been over a month. By the time it comes out, the laptop will be obsolete.
    Reply
  • CheesePoofs - Monday, November 16, 2009 - link

    I too would gladely pay a $100-$200 premium for a better screen. If this came with either a 1440x900 or 1600x900 matte screen I'd buy it in a heartbeat. As is I might have to go with the Dell Studio 14z for it's better screen. Reply
  • tasho - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    So a Best Buy model is coming out, looking seriously at this notebook and would be nice to see it in person- anybody have a clue when this might be available- I'm guessing I shouldn't hold my breath! Reply
  • zxc367 - Friday, November 13, 2009 - link

    mine sucks! all the colors are sooo dull. Reply
  • ArchAngel777 - Thursday, November 12, 2009 - link

    Is this review ever going to get updated like it was promised? The review, while better than most, still has many things untested. I'd like to see the follow-up before christmas. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 16, 2009 - link

    Coming.... Reply
  • ArchAngel777 - Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - link

    Thank you Jarred. I am really looking foward to it. Anxiously... Reply

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