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Asus UL20A

Introduction

This is a netbook-notebook hybrid. Quite small, with extremely long battery life, but very powerful.
Specs as tested: ASUS UL20A 2X022V, Core2 Duo ULV SU7300 1.3 GHz, RAM 3 GB DDR2 800 MHz, HDD 320 GB 5400rpm.
Linux distro 1: ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, kernel version 2.6.28-17.
Linux distro 2: ubuntu 10.04 Lucid, kernel version 2.6.32-24.

This page is just for discussing using Linux on the Asus UL20A. For a general discussion about this laptop you can visit the Asus UL20A page on LapWik.

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Specifications

For full specifications see the Asus UL20A specifications page.

NameAsus UL20A
ProcessorIntel Core2 Duo Processor SU7300 : 1.3 GHz
Intel Core2 Solo Processor SU3500 : 1.4 GHz
Intel Celeron Processor SU2300/734 : 1.2 GHz
Screen12.1“ HD (1366×768) LED Color-Shine (Glare-type)
GraphicsIntel GMA 4500MHD
RAMUp to 4GB
HDD160GB to 320GB - 5400rpm
Optical DriveNo
Network10/100
WLAN Atheros AR9582

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorWorks
ScreenWorks1366×768 resolution auto-detected
External FullHD monitorWorks1920×1080 only with ubuntu Lucid Lynx
HDDWorksubuntu install with manual partitioning, windows7 partition compressed, swap, root, home
GraphicsWorksOpenArena runs nicely
SoundWorks
EthernetWorkssee below
WirelessWorkssee below
BluetoothWorkspaired with a Motorola V3i phone
USBWorksubuntu 9.04 installed from bootable USB stick, obviously
Card ReaderWorks
WebcamWorkstested with UCview

Notes

Neither ethernet, nor WLAN was detected upon installation. I compiled the compat-wireless kernel modules and tried to load the ath9k.ko module. It did not help initially, as they were for the wrong kernel version. But after a reboot all network cards worked miraculously. It was probably “make unload” that had helped…

Summary

ASUS UL20A seems to be quite Linux-friendly, after all, despite being a brand-new model. I'm ecstatic, honestly…

Lucid Lynx

I've reinstalled Ubuntu Lucid Lynx on the laptop. I'm even more ecstatic now, for 3 reasons:
- Reboot time 9s faster than Jaunty;
- Kernel command line “acpi_backlight=vendor” works wonders with the brightness buttons;
- My 32” fullHD TV is really fullHD (1920×1080) as an external monitor, unlike Jaunty.


Discussion

Gord, 2010/07/08 11:15

[ATTN: James]

Oops, sorry! I should clarify that… by saying add “apci_backlight=vendor” to your kernel boot parameters {in your grub config} - Sorry for any misunderstanding.

gord, 2010/07/08 11:01

ATTN: James

Try editing/adding “apci_backlight=vendor” to your grub configuration. It works for me on Ubuntu

James, 2010/05/30 23:22

i installed a fedora13 on my ul20a, but i found the brightness can not be changed, neither Fn+F5 nor power management…..cannot figure out why

teunis, 2010/05/11 13:39

This model doesn't have an Optical drive
With dd I made a bootable USB stick with openSUSE11.2.iso on it.
In the BIOS I changed the boot sequence to First boot from [removable device]
Unfortunately that did not work?
How can I get openSUSE on my ASUS UL20A laptop?
Any suggestions are appreciated

Teunis Middelkoop, 2010/05/20 20:15

I followed the instructions in http://en.opensuse.org/Installation_without_CD
to make a bootable USB stick
A computer in the network I made a NFS server with the OpenSUSE 11.2 CD as a an export
in /media/CDROM
As resource for the installation I named the NFS export
After that OpenSUSE 11.2 was easily installed on the the Asus UL20A computer.
Everything is working okay.
The Wifi radio can easily be configured with KNetworkManager.
The screen of the computer is to glossy. A minus that is seen in many laptops even from Apple.
Teunis

szg, 2010/09/28 19:24

I agree, the person who invented glossy displays should be shot.

andreww, 2010/01/21 08:24

ASUS UL20A - Core2 Duo ULV SU7300 1.3 GHz, RAM 3 GB DDR2 800 MHz, HDD 320 GB 5400rpm. Max battery version!!!, 1.5 kg with battery.

Linux distro: fedora 12, kernel version 2.6.31.6-166(x64)

Processor Works
Screen Works
Graphics Works
Sound Works antec lansing sound
Ethernet Works
Wireless Works
Bluetooth Works
USB Works
Card Reader Works
Webcam Works tested with skype, excellent works in dark places
Special keys & combination Works (like sleep mode, screen internal/external, sound +/-, lignt +/-, wifi on/off, etc)

buy with m$ win7 basic.
return win7 basic - about 30$
it tooks one day in service center.

battery life - 10+ hours documents editing, 6+ hours normal work (wi-fi + video)


pluses:
1) small, thin, 1.5 kg with max battery
2) core duo with hardware virtualization support - good perfomance
3) aluminium lid - looks very luxury
4) low heat & low noise
5) very long battery life

minuses
1) screen need calibration - color not natural
2) charger is extreme hot when work + charge battery.

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asus_ul20a.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/13 15:21 (external edit)
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