Asus 11.6-inch U24E ultraportable laptop first impression

First look

The Asus U24E is an ultra-portable laptop that blurs the line between the ultrabooks and the laptops. As of now, the laptop has only been released in Japan and there's no news of when it will be released for the rest of the world. The 11.6-inch U24E weighs about 3.3 pounds and looks every bit stylish and solid like the rest of the ultrabooks today. With specs that boast of power and performance, the U24E seems to be a rival to its own line of Zenbooks.

Asus U24E laptop
Asus U24E laptop

What's new?

Categorizing Asus U24E is a tough task as it has features of both a laptop as well as an ultrabook. However, the name mini-laptop seems to be more befitting for the 11.6-inches U24E as it has the specs that you would usually find in a laptop. Powered by the heavy duty dual core i5-2430M Sandy Bridge processor from Intel the mini-laptop clocks at a speed of 2.4GHz like your regular laptops. It also boasts of a seven-hour long battery life and quick boot up, all thanks to its Power4Gear Hybrid program and the Instant On feature of the U24E.

What's been refreshed?

Asus launched its line of Zenbooks to take on the mighty Apple's MacBook Air, however that doesn't seem to be enough for the Taiwanese giant. With the 11.6-inch U24E, it now aims to compete against the ultrabooks available in the market today. And surprisingly, Asus doesn't mind giving competition to its own line of ultrabooks, which carry somewhat similar specs. The U24E is endowed with features that you would usually expect to see on a regular laptop such as the dual core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, HDMI out and more. And as the rumor mill suggests, it seems that this ultra-portable mini-laptop would be selling at a price that would be affordable to many who do not have the budget to go for the ultrabooks.

Features walkthrough

Dual core processor: Asus U24E is powered by the dual core Intel Core i5-2430M processor based on the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture that gives the laptop a clocking speed of 2.4GHz. If you wish you can also upgrade the memory of the system to 8GB from the standard 4GB.

Large storage: The U24E has more than enough space for most of your multimedia and document needs. This is where the difference lies between the ultrabooks and the U24E as it has a 750GB hard disk space for all your storage needs, instead of a SSD.

Instant On: Just like the Asus Zenbooks, the U24E also comes with the Instant On functionality. This feature allows the laptop to resume in just two seconds from sleep.

Lightweight: With a heavy specs sheet, it's hard to imagine that the device would weigh light. But, fortunately, Asus's 11.6-inches U24E weighs a comfortable 3.3 pounds (almost in the range of the ultrabooks).

Power4Gear hybrid Program: Asus has included a power-saving software that allows the users to turn off particular components of the hardware such as optical drive, webcam, fingerprint reader, hard drive, display and more when they are not in use.

What's good?

Asus hasn't announced the specs of U24E officially to the world yet. However, from the specs and the Japanese press release that we have seen, the mini-laptop is certainly solid and pretty. With specs like the latest Sandy Bridge processor, 4GB RAM, 750GB hard disk, 1366x768 resolution, USB 3.0 ports and a seven hour long battery, everything seems to be good for U24E. And if it comes at an affordable price, it could be a great alternative for those who are fond of the much smaller and lighter netbooks, ultrabooks or mini-laptops.

What's not so good?

Unlike ultrabooks, U24E carries a 750GB hard disk, which might increase the boot up time of the laptop although it can only be verified once we hear about an official release from Asus itself. And the poor 0.3 megapixel webcam that it has seems like the company included the webcam as an afterthought. A better megapixel would have seemed more fitting.

Price and availability

There are no words on the worldwide release of U24E, however it would be seen in Japan for a price tag of 59,800 Yen. If it's released in the global market, it might cost in the range of $700 - $760 (equivalent to the price in Yen). Although you can expect it to cost even lesser in global market.

Wrap-up

Asus is on a spree to bring out exciting products for the consumers just before the holidays. It has full line up for the tablet, laptop as well as the ultrabook market and it wouldn't be surprising, if Asus decides to release U24E during the holidays this year. After all U24E has it all to give some serious competition to the ultrabooks. It's beautifully built, lightweight, well priced, has solid specs and is from the trusted Asus brand. And that's more than enough to keep us glued to its international release.

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