Asus launches new bamboo notebook range

With Core i processors and GeForce 310M graphics

asus  logoASUS LAUNCHED A range of new bamboo notebooks late last week in Taipei, Taiwan and we were on location and snapped a few shots of these so called environmentally friendly models. Although the lid and wrist rest on all three models are made from bamboo which can be considered quite environmentally friendly, the rest of the notebooks are using more common notebook materials..

Even so, Asus is still the only notebook manufacturer to have ever offered such notebooks and despite this not being Asus’ first attempt at such products; these are without a doubt the best effort so far. The use of bamboo in the lid and wrist rest reduces the plastic usage in these models by about 20 percent which is not an insignificant figure. To help boost the environmental cred on these new models, Asus also ship them in packaging which is 100 percent recyclable.

The new line-up consists of the U33Jc, the U43Jc and U53Jc. Common features among all three models include dark lacquered bamboo lids and wrist rests, USB 3.0 connectivity, Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics with Optimus support, a selection of Intel Core i mobile processors paired with the HM55 chipset, an HDMI port and a new webcam with a small manual shutter in front of it.

The U33Jc is the smallest and lightest out of the three new models and maybe the most interesting. It will come with a Core i3-350M or a Core i5-450M processor, it has a 13.3-inch LED backlit display and a SATA hard drive ranging from 250 to 500GB in size. It also comes with various Wi-Fi options, Gigabit Ethernet and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. It has an 8-cell battery and weighs in at a fairly light 1.8kg with the battery.

The U43Jc is the slightly larger 14-inch sibling which gets a much wider choice of CPU’s ranging from the Core i3-350M to the Core i7-620M. It also gains a built in optical drive at the cost of a smaller 6-cell battery and an increased weight of 2.06kg. Finally the U53Jc is the largest of the three with a 15.6-inch display and a weight of 2.76kg with its 6-cell battery. It’s otherwise more or less identical to the U43Jc except a numerical keypad on the right of the keyboard.

Cost wise the U33Jc retails in Taiwan for NT$39,900 ($1,250) with the Core i5-450M, a 500GB hard drive and 2GB of DDR3 memory. The U43Jc with the same configuration is slightly more expensive at NT$42,900 ($1,345), while U53Jc comes in at the same price. Overall this looks like a nice addition to Asus’ line of Core i notebooks and the models on display felt well built. Hopefully Asus will launch these models outside of Taiwan shortly, but we should know more about that in a couple of weeks time at Computex.S|A

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