Heat and Noise
The U41JF has a single-fan cooling system with a heat exhaust on the left side of the chassis. At idle, the notebook feels lukewarm on the surface and is inaudible. During software benchmark runs, the fan spooled up and was relatively noisy, developing a higher-pitched whine. The fan noise is hard to ignore in a quiet room, but with the help of background noise, it is bearable. The chassis warmed up slightly but did not get hot in any particular area, even on the bottom. Unless the notebook is being stressed, chances are the fan will not be heard. Overall ASUS did a good job on the cooling system. It could have been quieter had they used a larger-diameter fan.
The U41JF has a beefy 8-cell, 85Wh battery; typical 14-inch consumer notebooks come with six-cell batteries half as powerful. With the Windows 7 Balanced power profile active, 70% screen brightness, wireless active, and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds, the U41JF lasted 7 hours and 25 minutes. This is an impressive time and not a number competing notebooks can match. The Nvidia Optimus graphics-switching technology certainly helped out; if the dedicated GT 425M graphics card was active all the time, power consumption would have been a lot higher.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
On paper the U41JF is a solid mid-range entertainment notebook; in real life it suffers from numerous issues that might steer away customers. The build quality is below average; the chassis has too much flex and feels cheap. The keyboard has an abnormal amount of flex and provides a mediocre typing experience. The touchpad has a pleasant surface but has poor tracking accuracy and the buttons missed a high percentage of my intended clicks.
The U41JF is not without its pluses, however; graphics performance is excellent and the seven and a half hours of battery life is fantastic. The chassis is also quite slim and the notebook itself looks respectable.
When all is said and done, however, the ASUS U41JF is not overwhelmingly recommendable for the above-stated reasons.
- Great graphics performance
- Excellent battery life (7.5 hours)
- Subpar build quality
- Poor keyboard
- Inaccurate touchpad
- Fingerprint magnet
- Not enough ports