Hands on Use
With benchmarks done, I came away very impressed with the performance that the reasonably priced ASUS U30Jc mustered and was still able to offer very good battery life. I have already mentioned that the machine is very attractive with its silver-brushed aluminum on the top of the lid and on the wrist rest area. The machine looks very high-end and the brushed aluminum catches less smudges and fingerprints than other notebooks that have glossy plastic lids.
This machine has a very glossy screen that has lots of glare in bright rooms. However, the screen is very good for watching video and movies when the workday is done. The fact that the ASUS U30Jc uses an NVIDIA GeForce 301M GPU means that this is one of the best notebooks for streaming video from Hulu and other sources that I have tried. The ASUS U30Jc can play streaming video in full screen mode with only an occasional hiccup. The video for the most part is smooth and you quickly forget you are watching on a notebook. Things are equally as smooth when watching DVDs using the optical drive.
The ASUS U30Jc has the typical ASUS keyboard. ASUS tends to put small right shift keys on their machines while the left shift key is full-size. I was able to use the slightly smaller left shift key without any issues. The keyboard just looks a bit strange thanks to the smaller shift key. The track pad is well defined and has a different texture that lets you feel when you are on the track pad. The buttons are well placed and easy to click.
The screen of the ASUS U30Jc is great for video and movies as I mentioned before and the GPU is up to the task of making that video silky smooth. Unfortunately, the sound system on the ASUS U30Jc is subpar. At full volume, I could barely hear the audio from the video I was watching in a room with nothing but a ceiling fan and a couple computers running. You can forget trying to watch video in a noisy area, you simply can't hear it. You can hear well with headphones using the onboard headphone jack, but if you want to watch with a group on the notebook, you will need external speakers.