updated 07:40 am EDT, Fri August 29, 2008
ASUS Bamboo Notebooks
Using the start of the IFA show to its advantage, ASUS today started up its Bamboo Series of notebooks. Based loosely on the company's earlier EcoBook concept, the design is seen as the first truly green notebook in its use of actual bamboo for much of the outer shell; the unusually strong wood is not only more recyclable but also much more renewable than normal tree wood. It can also be treated to produce different colors or laser-engraved like metal notebooks.
The PC builder also claims better power efficiency. Beyond the use of better-behaved, current generation Core 2 Duo processors, the Bamboo notebooks make use of a custom-developed ASUS engine that the company believes can extend battery life by as much as 35 to 70 percent past normal notebooks, or else bolster performance by 23 percent when battery life isn't a concern. An LED backlight on the systems' displays also cuts back on their actual power use.
The initial lineup is focused on ultraportables and carries two models. An 11.1-inch Bamboo is the most efficient courtesy of a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo as well as either a 1.8-inch rotating hard drive up to 120GB or else a 32GB solid-state drive; space is tight enough to require integrated Intel graphics but still finds room for a DVD burner and a VGA webcam.
A 12.1-inch model runs on full-speed mobile chips and uses anything from the energy efficient 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo to the regular power 2.53GHz version. It also adds a GeForce 9300M GS for faster 3D, a 2.5-inch hard disk up to 320GB and 802.11n Wi-Fi with the option of longer-ranged WiMAX networking.
ASUS in its characteristic fashion doesn't mention launch dates or prices, which often vary from country to country and involve multiple different configurations depending on the region. Most ASUS notebooks are available in the US.