New Laptop – Ideal for taking in van

For those that think we’re just bums and travellers, well can’t really argue, but really I’m also an techncial IT manager.  So for us, having a laptop when away is key.  We have a Samsung NC10 which is a perfect little laptop, but for some things its a little too small (the screen, keyboard and processor mean its not perfect for long use).

So I ebayed all of my other laptops and bought a new ASUS UL30 laptop from Carphone Warehouse.  Total price of £349 with 5% cashback as well!  Not sure the exact model is still available, but look out for similar models with ultra-low voltage CPU and “claimed” battery of 10 hours


Considering the price the specification is rather good. 

  • 320Gb hard disk – plenty
  • 3Gb RAM – plenty!
  • 13.3″ LED lit 1366×768 screen – visible even outside!
  • 9hr battery life!   Yes!
  • 1.7kg – very light!
  • Size is great – very thin
  • Webcam
  • Dual core processor
  • Windows 7 Home Premium x64 installed
  • SD Card reader (for cameras)
  • USB ports, VGA port and HDMI port (for HD connections)

Other things are really good – the keyboard is better than I imagined. It has an “instant on” mini operating system for quick internet access.  The trackpad is superb even allowing 2-finger gestures.  And there are some really easy to use power settings between high performance and long long battery life with some clever adjustments.  Due to the ultra-low voltage of the processor it also runs very cool so doesn’t burn your legs!

It takes a lot for me to be impressed having bought 100’s of laptops previously, but this appears to be very very well made for the money. 

The “down sides” are:-

  • Processor is slow 1.2Ghz – but as its dual core it is very responsive.  It won’t play top end games, but it is as responsive as myh other powerful laptop in normal use.  Playing HD video, Office, Internet, SQL/Accounts etc all work perfectly.
  • Lot of stickers to remove!!!!
  • No bluetooth (but I have a mini USB adapter)
  • No DVD drive (I have USB one)


For in-van use where you really want something small, usable, good screen, and long battery – then there really isn’t anything that will beat it for the price.  This is a LOT more powerful than a Netbook and much easier to use.  We’re glad to have both, but I know which I’ll be using!

Other Information

If you use UK Hot Deals site, then this laptop has been listed numerous times with always postive results.  See HERE for the information.  This is where I first learned about it.

Also, there are a bunch of geeks on “overclockers” who gave this a quick review HERE and a bunch of the geeks bought one. Now if they like them – they are good!


There are alternatives available.  Normal netbooks may be okay, but remember these are only 10″ screen, smaller keyboard, and slow ATOM processor.  Dell, Toshiba, Compaq all sell similar models to this – but none with the specification for the price. The models they sell appear to have much slower (Atom esque) processors and/or weaker batteries. 

Anyway hope this is suitable for someone!

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