Asustek has officially unveiled its ASUS U3 13.3-inch widescreen notebook, featuring Intel “Santa Rosa” platform with Turbo Memory, a hybrid graphics solution, a 3G connectivity, a global positioning system (GPS), and a magnesium aluminum alloy housing with genuine leather bound palm rest.
Hardware selector, located on the right side of the notebook, allows you to switch between â€œPower Savingâ€ and â€œSpeedâ€ graphics mode. In the â€œPower Savingâ€ mode, the Asus U3 uses the integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, while switching to â€œSpeedâ€ turns on the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 8400M 128MB video card. The hybrid graphics solution is already implemented in Sony VAIO SZ series.
Note: we have reported previously that users can switch between internal integrated graphics and an external video card separated from notebook, but apparently both integrated and dedicated GPUs are incorporated into the U3.
There is no detailed information on the laptop’s display, but previous report says it has a LED backlight-powered WXGA screen.
Regarding other system components, Asustek says Intel GM965 chipset-based Asus U3 comes with Core 2 Duo T7500/ T7300/ T7100/ T5450/ T5250 processor, or Celeron M 540 CPU. The system has one DDR2 memory slot for up to 2560MB of RAM, and comes with up to 160GB SATA hard drive. In addition, there is Intel Turbo Memory module aimed to boost system responsiveness. This notebook PC does not have a built-in optical drive. Instead, it will be offered with an external USB DVD burner or Combo drive.
Asus U3’s 3G module enables users to stay connected to the Internet “via high-speed mobile networks anywhere”, while a built-in global positioning system (GPS) guides the way “with precision and ease”, Asustek’s press release says. The standard connectivity features include Intel 4965 wireless module supporting 802.11a/b/g/n networks, a wired LAN port, and a 56K modem. There is also an optional Bluetooth and an optional 1.3 megapixel camera for video conferencing.
The U3 laptop has HDMI, VGA, and S-Video outputs, as well as three USB ports, e-SATA connector, Firewire and most likely an ExpressCard slot.
Asus U3 weighs around 3.85lbs with a default 3-cell battery, and comes with Windows Vista OS preinstalled.
According to unofficial info published last month, this notebook is expected to be released in the September time frame with a price of around $2,000.
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