Asus kicks off CES 2010 with a quartet of new notebooks


Although CES 2010 does not officially start until the 7th there were some great previews that early arrivers were able take a look at.

First up was a presentation by Asus. This was delivered by Johnny Shih where we were treated to a few new products from Asus? mobile computing division. But we were subjected to some very boring PR videos before the interesting parts started [The event actually started almost a half hour late]. The first new product up gets its design from the aerodynamic features of the Stealth Fighter, according to Shih [although this is interesting as it is only with advanced avionics that they F-117 stealth flies well at all]. The product is another in the line of ROG laptops and will sell as the G73.

The G73 will have all the latest and greatest hardware under the hood. Starting with an Intel Core i7 Quad [Lynnfield based] and wrapping up with an AMD DX11 5870 mobile GPU, the G73 has the power to give you an excellent gaming experience. But it was not just the hardware that put the G73 in a new class. It is the design. Asus has given it a 20 degree slope that is supposed to help alleviate wrist and hand strain from extended use. According to Shih it features an improved cooling system as well.

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Next up was an interesting upgrade to an existing product. While most are familiar with the EEEPC what has been missing from that very successful line has been a sense of style. Well Asus has looked to renowned designer Karim Rashid to help to help with this. Rashid has taken the outer shell and changed the surface. In place of the old smooth glossy [and boring] surface we now find a textured surface that gives the illusion of movement when looking at it and an striking 3D effect with varying lit and shadowed areas. The inside has been changed to a clean and sleek black look with a lit keyboard work area. As Shih put it; you are free to concentrate on the task at hand.

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Next up on the altar was an interesting product and one that I found both humorous and intriguing. This is the next generation U Series bamboo laptop. Although the product is not new Shih use it to focus on the ?green? aspect of Asus. However, as he brought up recycling as one of the features of the U Series, he soon had to back track when he was asked how the plastic injected bamboo material was being recycled. Instead he admitted that it was not recycling that was the feature but more the use of a renewable material that was important [although I am not sure if I buy that one]. Still it is a nice looking product.

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The last notebook unveiled was also the one that I am the most disappointed in [for reasons that I will explain later], this is the NX90 and it is a stunning product. The NX90 is a collaborative effort from Asus and Bang & Olufsen?s David Lewis. According to Asus it is a home theater quality notebook with full 1080p viewing and ?stereo? surround sound. This book is also the first to feature dual touch pads. Between these two pads is a full sized keyboard. The NX90 is also one of the first laptops that I have seen that uses polished aluminum for its construction. However, at $2499 this is a little out of most people?s price range. It is true that B&O makes some great products, but the price tag usually puts them out of the hands of most gamers and enthusiasts. I have a feeling this one will go the same way that HP?s 20-inch Dragon notebook went.

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