Asus focuses on green laptop design

Summary:Asus maintains that laptops are 'more about design than specs', and hopes to profit from its green credentials and love of leather

Laptop and motherboard manufacturer Asus claimed on Wednesday that for users, laptops are more about design than technical specifications.

"Everyone thinks that specs are what people look for, but for the end-user, feeling and appearance are more important," said Shawn Chang, product manager for Asus UK. "If you always think of a laptop as a computer, you won't feel it as a product."

Asus announced a range of laptops on Wednesday. This included its flagship product, the W2Jc, which combines multimedia and mobility capabilities and doesn't appear to be short of technical wizardry.

"The W2Jc has an aluminium chassis, a subwoofer built into the base, and a hybrid TV tuner that has a digital and analogue receiver. You can record TV onto a buffer on the hard disk, and Dolby home theatre technology is built in," said Chang.

"Of course we use the latest component technology, but we are more interested in design," Chang added.

Other laptops launched by Asus included a leather-bound notebook called the S6, and a computer with a carbon fibre chassis.

"We try to build laptops out of special materials," said Chang.

Asus is also hoping to trade in the future on green credentials, as well as complying with environmental legislation such as the WEEE directive.

"The IT industry is causing a lot of environmental problems," said Markus Wierzoch, design manager at Asus. "The WEEE directive will force manufacturers to take back products at the end of their lifecycle. We want to help create a more sustainable world, but we also want to lift our brand. We are hoping to profit by it," Wierzoch added.

Asus hopes to make its production process more efficient, use less packaging, and use more energy-efficient processors.

"We use metal instead of electro-plating, which creates toxic waste. It's a little more expensive, but better for the environment," said Wierzoch. "We also use modulisation — you can take our laptops apart, and upgrade components like the CPU, which makes them easy to repair, and more sustainable," Wierzoch added.

Topics: Hardware

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Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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