Asus has launched the "luxury high-end" ASUS U2 series that it says sets a new industry benchmark in the fusion of landmark design and powerful computing.

With design-led features, the U2 has a hand-polished stainless steel frame, with a copper etch and premium leather finish.

The notebook's screen and keyboard joining "seamlessly" at the polished plated hinge (inspired by luxury cufflinks, apparently) while the touch pad and palm rest are positioned so users can type and navigate the cursor "in one fluid motion".

The notebook has a back-lit 11-inch LED screen and one version features a 32GB solid state drive, which means improved shock resistance.

The embedded high-res web cam has Asus' "SmartLogon" face recognition technology that intelligently recognises the rightful owner and only grants access following a positive facial scan while data is further protected thanks to a built-in fingerprint scanner.

The U2E-1P014E in black and the U2E-1P018E in "mocha" brown are on sale now for £1199 and £1499 respectively, sample spec highlights below:

- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor ULV U7500 (1.06GHz)
- Intel Wireless Wi-Fi Link 4965AGN Network Connection
- Intel 965GM Chipset
- Genuine Windows Vista Business
- 11.1-inch (WXGA, Colour-Shine LED backlight)
- 32GB SSD+TPM (Mocha Brown)
- 1.8-inch 120GB HDD+TPM (Black)
- 4096MB (2048MB x 2) DDRII (Mocha Brown)
- 2048MB (1024MB x 2) DDRII 667 RAM (Black)
- DVD Super Multi DL
- Webcam built-in
- Bluetooth
- 802.11a/b/g/n
- Finger print security
- Bag/mouse included
- 3+6 cell battery
- 2 years global warranty