By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Asus yesterday released its new U Series of notebooks. Unlike Samsung, which is currently promoting the technical specifications of its latest release, the focus at Asus is clearly on style and appearance.

Asus product manager for notebooks, Albert Liang, said this release was intended to “take the focus off use and onto style”. What’s more, Liang was not worried about the consumer response to this approach, as his research had shown this is exactly what potential customer are after. “You buy a notebook to show off yourself,” he said.

Supposedly inspired by a butterfly, the U Series aspires to be “light, free and beautiful”. There are four models in the series, though three of the models are at the same price point, RRP $1,999. The major differences between models are the screen sizes, with smaller LED backlit panels being offset through a lighter weight. One model, the UX50, breaks from this matrix, with a 15.6-inch HD LCD screen.

All models have 320/500-gigabyte hard disc drives, Intel WiFi, Core 2 processors and 800 megahertz of memory up to 4-gigabytes.

In his presentation to media, Asus product manager – consumer market, Gordon Kerr, backed up Liang’s comments about style, saying these models had an aesthetic focus, and that you “show them off to other people”. In terms of actual substance, Kerr noted Asus’ 2-year global warranty, which he claims is the best in the industry and Asus’ recent record of doubling its growth while the overall market stagnated.

If this launch could be summarised neatly, Kerr did his best when noting that the heart of Asus design, the ranking on criteria is “One, style; two, features”.

Asus U20 (12.1-inch LED backlit screen) RRP $1,999
Asus U80 (14-inch LED backlit screen) RRP $1,999
Asus U50 (15.6-inch LED backlit screen) RRP $1,499
Asus UX50 (15.6-inch HD LCD screen) RRP $1,999