Feeds

Asus preps carbon-fibre cased laptop

EMI shielded - but what about Wi-Fi?

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Asus has rejected standard plastics, impact-resistant materials like polycarbonate, and even metals like aluminium and titanium to kit out its latest notebook computer opting instead for carbon fibre.

The Taiwanese manufacturer last week introduced the W1 Carbon family, a line of Centrino laptops based on a range of Pentium M processors clocked from 1.6GHz to 2.13GHz.

Curiously, Asus touts the way the machines' carbon fibre casing acts as an "effective EMI [electro-magnetic interference] protective shield". The snag here, of course, is that it also threatens to shield against desirable electro-magnetic radiation, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals. Wi-FI is a key component of Intel's Centrino platform, but Asus' press release doesn't mention it at all.

To be fair, it does mention Bluetooth 2.0 support, and presumably if Asus has made windows in the casing to allow these wireless signals to pass back and forth between connected devices then it has done the same for wireless networking. And, indeed, a search reveals the machine has 802.11b/g. The cost, however, is that the W1 Carbon isn't as EMI-resistant as it might at first seem.

Still, carbon fibre has other benefits. According to Asus, it's 60 per cent lighter and twice as tough as aluminium-magnesium casings, such as those used to protect Apple's PowerBook range.

The W1 Carbon is pitched at media centre roles, thanks to a built-in analogue and digital TV tuner, and accompanying remote control which can be stowed in the laptop's PC Card slot. The TV tuner, DVD player and a photo viewer can all be activated without booting the machine up.

The notebook is offered with up to 1GB of 533MHz DDR 2 SDRAM (user-expandable to 2GB), a 15.4in WXGA display driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 with 128MB of video memory, 60-100GB of HDD capacity, three USB ports, a TV-out port, a SD/Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro/MMC memory card reader, a FireWire port, 10/100Mbps Ethernet and a 56Kbps modem.

Asus did not provide pricing or availability information. ®

Asus W1 Carbon notebook

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.