Gigabyte U2442N Ultrabook Review
The U2442 is Gigabyte’s entry to the ever slimming ultraportable laptop market. For a notebook this thin, it sure packs a punch with its innards. Gigabyte really made the U2442 sleek and stylish. The brushed aluminum lid really looks good. The keyboard pretty much looks like a MacBook at first glance. It sports a 14” 1600 x 900 LCD screen which is bright and outputs vibrant colors.
This notebook is incredibly thin for the specs you’ll get. The build feels very solid as the chassis is made from aluminum. The U2442 is just 18mm thick vs the Macbook Air’s 17mm and weighs about 1.6kg, so to answer your question on portability, yes this one is very portable.
On the left side, you’ll see an Ethernet port, 2x USB 2.0 ports and speaker/mic port. On the other side, you have the memory card slot 2x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and the power slot.
You can see the exhaust on the back side. Now for an Ultrabook packing this much power, certainly heat will be an issue, but the strategically placed exhaust cools the U2442 quite effectively. I used it for 4 hours on a flat surface (wooden table) and it didn’t heat up that much and didn’t produce too much noise.
The speaker can be found on top of the keyboard. This provides ample audio output to watch movies with your friends when you’re out and about, but don’t expect Dolby-like quality.
The 1600 x 900 screen is clear and bright enough which makes the U2442 suitable for both work and entertainment purposes. The only thing I dislike is the thick bezel, maybe it’s a personal thing, but thick bezels distract my eye away from the screen, and the fact that it’s gray doesn’t help.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keys in the keyboard are big enough to be comfortable to type to for hours and spaced adequately to prevent pressing the wrong buttons. Typing is a delightful experience and the backlight is a big plus.
I’m not a fan of the textured trackpad like the one used here because of the friction it produces but it is responsive and the left and right click feels just about right.
Enough with the cosmetics, now let’s get to the juicy part. The U2442 boots like no other thanks to the latest Ivy Bridge i5-3210M and the SSD fitted in this model. I timed the startup process from pressing the Power button to having a usable desktop and it clocked in around 10-15 seconds. That’s from cold boot!
For an ultraportable, this sure beats a lot of the ultraportable specs in the market today. It seems to be in that perfect balance of price per performance. It scores a 6.7 on the Windows experience index and everything is maxxed out at 7.9 except for the graphics card, which is the Geforce 640M.
As I’ve said, the startup time of the U2442 is stunning. And you don’t have to worry about your SSD filling up because the U2442 is also equipped with a 750 gb HDD. Now talk about a multimedia machine that can handle almost everything you throw at it and still have space for your favorite series/high-def movies. Multi-tasking is hardly a problem with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Everything is certainly built to help you be more productive and at the same time, entertain you on your breaks.
The GeForce 640M is good for light gaming and video editing, and it can also easily render 1080P output to a big screen via its HDMI port. I tried playing Dishonored in this machine and it played smoothly around 45-50 FPS on high settings @ 1600×900 resolution.
The battery life is one of the downside of this ultraportable. I only managed to get around 2 to 2.5 hours of regular work, surfing with Wi-Fi on, occasional music and watching youtube videos. But you can probably squeeze around 3 hours working with word processors or excel spreadsheets.
Not bad for Gigabyte’s entry in the ultrabook space. They’ve managed to produce one of the best specs in its size, not to mention the price/performance ratio is more than just about right on this one. If you’re on a budget and looking for a portable machine that’s as thin as 10 1-peso coins stacked together with the performance of a bulky notebook, the U2442 is a sure winner.
|Gigabyte U2442N Specs:|
|Intel Core i5-3210M 2.50GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost)|
|Windows 7 Home Premium|
|14″ HD+ 1600 x900 LED Display|
|8GB DDR3 RAM|
|NVIDIA GT 640M 2GB VRAM|
|128GB SSD / 750GB HDD|
|THX TruStudio Pro Technology|
|Gigabit 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN|
|2T2R Double Antenna Wi-Fi|
|2 port x USB 2.0 / 2 port x USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, SD Card Reader|
|1.3 MP Webcam|
|Li-Po 4.2V, 44@h battery|
|SRP: Php55,590 | Php63,590 (Core i7-3517U version)|