Asus U3 Series Notebook with GPS Revealed

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Asus, always looking to push the envelope on notebook features, will later this year be offering the U3 series 13.3" ultraportable notebook that has integrated GPS, dedicated graphics that can be turned on or off via a switch, HDMI port, eSata port, piano black outer finish and a leather finish on the palm rests.

Asus U3 13.3" notebook (view large image)

The U3 will come equipped with a low voltage Intel Santa Rosa processor, likely the Intel 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.

Asus U3 leather finish palmrests (view large image)

The big news with the U3 is it will offer integrated GPS, you can see the antenna port here on the right side of the notebook, you will be able to plug in an antenna extension here or just rely on the integrated antenna. According to the Asus reps I met with, they feel that the internal antenna will be strong enough to pick up satellite signals and having a bulky antenna to carry around shouldn’t be necessary.

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The U3 will also have dedicated graphics in the form of an Nvidia 8400m graphics card. The extra bonus Asus throws in is that you can turn the dedicated graphics on and of via a hardware switch, just like you can with the Sony VAIO SZ. This means if you want to save on power and don’t need 3D performance, you can simply flip to integrated graphics and have a lower power cooler running notebook.

Left side view: S-Video, USB, FireWire, Wireless on/off, SD card slot, headphones, microphone (view large image)

Right side: ExpressCard 54, dedicated graphics on/off swich, two USB ports, GPS antenna port, HDMI, eSata port (view large image)

Speed via dedicated graphics or power savings via integrated graphics? Your Choice! (view large image)

Another unique feature of the U3 is that it has an eSata port and HDMI port. Pretty amazing given this is a 13.3" notebook. If you need to output high quality video via HDMI or transfer data fast over eSata you’re set. FireWire is also still offered on the left side.

eSata and HDMI port sit next to each other on the right side (view large image)

The piano black finish and amazingly thin profile of the Asus U3 make for a very appealing look from the outside. The screen is a super thin LED backlit variety, aiding in the slim profile and providing for a bright evenly lit display.

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Meanwhile on the inside the silver colored keys and black leather finish palmrests are equally attractive.

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There isn’t a set date for the release of the U3 that we know of yet, but you can assume in the September time frame with a price of around $2,000.



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