Asus UL20 Review

Asus UL20 Review

Asus’ premium ultraportable notebooks fall under the UL (ultra-light) series and the Asus UL20 is the smallest and lightest of the lot at 12.1 inches.

The the thin and light notebook comes in a silver, brushed-metal finish with black glossy bezel. Its got a thin form factor and light weight comparable to the cheaper but plastic-built Asus Eee PC 1201T and 1201N. The UL20 has a more solid built and not prone to smudges and finger-prints, unlike the Seashell series.

The chiclet-type keys are appropriately sized and spaced although I’d prefer the keyboard styling Asus did with the Seashell models. The trackpad is contiguous with the palm-rest and the only demarcation are pimple-holes which also provides ample friction to the touch.

The clickers are also not split but is wide enough that you don’t get confused between the left and the right click.

The 12-inch screen has a glossy display; and while its got some pretty bright and crisp resolution (1366×768 pixels), it’s also prone to glare when outdoors are against bright light sources.


As for performance, the UL20 is one of the best performing CULV notebooks I’ve tested with a Windows Experience Index base score of 3.4 (GPU) while the CPU scored 4.1 (the additional 0.1 from our chart is due to the 64-bit OS).

The notebook can easily play HD videos locally and handles YouTube HD 720p just fine (YouTube HD 1080p is already choppy though). Full benchmarks of the Asus UL20 is published on the PCLabs blog.

(Top) Asus UL20A vs (bottom) Asus Eee PC 1201T. It will be interesting to match the UL20 with the Acer Timeline 1810tz.

The UL20 comes with a 2GB DDR2 RAM but I was able to bump it up to 4GB. The 320GB HDD is also more than enough. For connectivity, it’s got WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 (absent in the 1201 models). Standard ports include a VGA port, 3 USB ports and an SD card reader. The absence of an HDMI port is a little disappointing.

As for battery life, the unit has 6-cell Li-Ion battery rated at 4400mAh which is similar to the one used in the Eee PC 1201T and 1201N (they’re practically inter-changeable). BatteryBar gives it a decent 3 hours 40 minutes on regular use but I can stretch that to 4.5 to 5 hours if I dial down the display brightness (or run the Asus Power4Gear Hybrid utility).

I can forgive the battery capacity on the cheaper 1201 models but for a notebook twice the price, I was hoping Asus had put in a higher capacity 6-cell pack. Something like a 5600mAh 6-cell battery could probably push this rig to at least 6 hours on a single charge.

The Asus UL20A started out with a whooping retail price of Php49,990 which is on the higher end of the price spectrum. Fortunately, they dropped it to Php37,990 in February. That puts it on the top of the contenders in the 12-inch CULV category.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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27 Responses

  1. Rom says:

    are there any recommendable Asus reseller shops around?

  2. Rich558 says:

    Why do you think the battery life is almost the same with the 1201T? I thought CULVs were supposed to have longer battery life? And to think that it doesn’t even have a decent GPU like the ATI HD3200 or the Nvidia Ion.

  3. how’s the after sales support for Asus?

  4. nitecrawler says:

    Asus is not lending you their UL80Vt model for review?

  5. Gregory says:

    I wonder why electronics are a bit more expensive here compared to the States and other countries. The Asus UL20 is priced at $570 in the States. A big difference if you ask me.

  6. Jhay says:

    Once more, the battery performance disappoints given the level of performance it gives.

    Is there an option to upgrade the battery without losing its sleekness?

  7. jpzante says:

    not good enough! we can still get better performance with the acer ULVs, the timelines/ulvs – whichever you choose, looks better, feels better, and lasts longer in a single charge.

    I’d rather go with a netbook than this, and save the extra 15k.

  8. yuga says:

    @jpzante – I’ll do a comparison between this one and the Acer Timeline 1810tz.

  9. GadgetMeister says:

    @yuga – 1810tz and ul20… that’s a worthy comparison however spec sheet dictates that the 1810tz will win by a mile (hdmi, battery life, form factor)

  10. Paul says:

    Is the 1810TZ available locally? The UL20A is relatively common but I have yet to see an 1810TZ in malls.

  11. laptoper says:

    fujitsu to launch laptop with supposedly 18 hour battery life

  12. rainier says:

    Good Day!

    Anyone who can give a suggestion? Are there Asus laptop that cost around 30k??? I’m planning to buy Asus laptop. With 14 to 15 inches screen..

  13. jhorwin says:

    Are you serious about the P49,990 price?????
    There are plenty of this baby at ebay for only P25k+

  14. tetchie says:

    I just bought this UL20a for around 36k (with 3GB RAM and pre-installed windows 7 home basic) and am loving it so far.

  15. rainier says:


    Where did you buy your UL20a?

  16. NineSwordz says:

    The looks and the feel.. UP!
    Performance.. DOWN!

  17. JP says:

    oh, my. I just had an orgasm.

  18. That’s Too nice, when it reaches in india hope it could create a Rocking location for youngster. hope which come true.

  19. I desire to use some of the content on my weblog. Naturally I’ll offer you a hyperlink in my internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  20. bea says:

    hi can you help me find a nice asus model that’s has fine camera? on a tight budget here..thanks i’m looking for a long time now and I can’t still find the best deal for me thank you :)

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