Asus has launched the U3 notebook in Taiwan, describing its 13.3-inch proportions as the "golden ratio".

With a piano-painted cover, stainless contour and magnesium aluminum alloy housing and a genuine leather bound palm rest its certainly classy.

Asus describes the 13.3-inch offering as a compromise between the mobility of a 12-inch notebook and the visual comfort of a 14-inch screen.

A built-in biometric fingerprint scanner that reads from the live layer of skin takes care of security.

As well as the standard features (list below) U3 buyers can opt for one of three extra features: a turbo memory, 3G connectivity and GPS.

The U3 also boast an integrated high-res webcam and microphone, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 and extended battery life with optimal power consumption options that claims to save up to 50% of battery power.

No built-in CD/DVD drive (an external drive is included) is one compromise you'd have to make if you're interested in this 1.75kg notebook, but it's a sacrifice some will no doubt be prepared to make.

The Asus U3's specifications:

- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500/ T7300/ T7100/ T5450/ T5250/ CM540
- Mobile Intel GM965 Chipset, ICH8M
- Intel 4965 a/b/g/n, 3945 a/b/g Network Connection (option)
- A choice of Genuine Windows Vista packages
- nVIDIA GeForce G8400M G External 128MB VRAM
- Turbo Cach 384M with 1G system Memory (option); 896M with 2G system Memory
- 1.3M Pixels Video Camera (option)
- RAM DDR2 667MHz, up to 2560MB (1 slot); Support Intel Turbo Memory
- SATA HDD up to 160 GB
- Turbo Memory/GPS/3G/Bluetooth Option
- External USB ODD (Combo, Super Multi)
- 1x HDMI, 1x e-SATA, External GPS RF in connector, VGA port/Mini D-sub, 3x USB 2.0 ports, Audio jack, LAN RJ-45, Phone RJ-11 jack, 1394 Type jack, TV-Out (S-video)
-31.85 x 24.3 x 2.22~3.22cm; 1.75kg (with 3 cell battery)