Asustek prepares the launch of the innovative Asus U3 series ultraportable notebook, featuring both integrated and dedicated graphics simultaneously, a built-in a GPS receiver, a 13.3-inch widescreen LED backlight display, and Intel “Santa Rosa” mobile platform, NotebookReview reports.
A hardware selector, located on the right side of this 13.3-inch notebook, allows you to switch between “Power Saving” and “Speed” graphics mode. In the “Power Saving” mode, the Asus U3 uses the integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, while switching to “Speed” turns on the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 8400M video card. This graphics solution is already implemented in select Sony VAIO SZ notebooks. We assume that switching between integrated and discrete graphics requires a system reboot, as same as in VAIO SZ.
The unique feature in the Asus U3 is its integrated GPS. For better reception of satellite signals, there is a a port for an external antenna. Austek’s representatives say the internal antenna will be strong enough to pick up satellite signals.
Regarding notebook’s basics, Asus U3 will come with a low voltage Intel “Santa Rosa” processor, likely the Core 2 Duo L7500 1.6GHz or possibly a slightly faster low voltage processor if Intel has released it by the time the U3 is ready for showtime reportedly. According to published images of U3, this ultraportable doesn’t have a built-in optical drive. There is no information on system memory, data storage solution and networking features.
In addtion, Asus U3 incorporates a S-Video output, a HDMI and eSATA connectors, which are rarely used in notebooks, an ExpressCard slot, at least three USB ports, a Firewire, and Secure Digital slot.
The U3 has piano black finish with black leather finish palmrests and “amazingly thin profile”.
It is expected to be released in the September time frame with a price of around $2,000.