Technology as an industry has unfortunately got to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the depredation on this atmosphere of ours, so sometimes, just sometimes, it is refreshing to see a top brand making a difference however big or small the effects may be.
Recently we’ve looked at some of the eco-friendly low power desktop pc options out there, but this time around, it’s Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS’ turn as they launch their new U33/U53 laptops.
How are some more electronics going to help the environment? I hear you ask. Well, no it’s not going to spend its spare time cleaning up carbon emissions, but the fact that each model is manufactured from a fully recyclable Bamboo material, which not only makes it an environmentally-healthy material, it provides a smooth and stylish finish to the range.
However, once you get to the core of the machine you find it is no cuddly Panda, with a Core i5 and NVidia Optimus auto-switching graphics, on the face of it this is a range of powerful PC’s and the price backs that up to, starting at a inflated, but reasonable, £849 – much cheaper and better looking (in my opinion) than the ASUS NX90Jq ‘Bang & Olufsen’ designed laptop!
So let’s dig a little deeper and differentiate the two models. Well, the entry level model is the U33JC, with a 13.3” LED backlit display at 1366×768 , which is really one of the only real differences between the models. Both it and the U53Jc have 4Gb of DDR3 1066MHz RAM, NVidia GeForce 310M DDR3 1GB graphics chips, which automatically switch with the Intel GMA 4500HD in a bid to preserve battery life, much like the latest addition to the Macbook Pro range.
But anyway, that’s enough about their similarities, because we know that want you want is an excuse to spend the extra £50 to get the U53Jc. Well, what more reason do you need than the bigger display? Whilst maintaining the same scanty resolution, you get an extra 2.3 inches, though the added size does add an extra 1kg on top of the U33Jc’s lightweight 1.7Kg.
Both are capable of full HD output through the build in HDMI port as well as the old-fashioned VGA port. No Blu-Ray drives here though, which is a little disappointing but it keeps the price down I suppose, but overall a good set of laptops which are pleasing to look at and powerful under the hood. I am already a great fan of these machines simply because of the novelty factor and ultimately modest price level.
There are a few irritating omissions from the spec-list, but overall it’s hard to find a fault with the £849-899 offering from a leading manufacturer and whilst in terms of spec, these two hardly differ, really it’s all about the size, and let’s be honest for most of us size DOES matter.