ASUS has released another new addition to its impressive line of notebooks. This time they've gone green. Environmentally green.
The U5A notebook series is fully compliant with the RoHS
(Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulations directive 2002/95/EC. This limits the use of nasty stuff like Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Chromium VI, amongst others, though the mercury-filled CCFL LCD backlight is believed to be exempt.
The U5A series is an ultra portable design with a 12.1" XGA screen and weighs in at a nimble 1.4kg with dimensions of 27.4 x 23.2 x 2.75~3.35cm. It also comes with Bluetooth V2.0+EDR support, allowing for high speed connection to mobile phones and other Bluetooth devices. There are three USB ports, a card reader, one Firewire and one PCMCIA slot.
It's based around Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology with an Intel 915GM Express chipset. There are various configuration options, including Pentium M processors from 1.6GHz to 2.13GHz with a 533MHz FSB and 2MB L2 Cache. The hard drive choice ranges from 40-80GB, while the base model comes with 512MB of DDR2 memory. You can also choose either Windows XP Home or Professional.
The screen may be small and it's 1024x768 XGA resolution less than productive, the fact that this ASUS is half
the weight of Deputy Editor Geoff Richards' 15" 2.8KG HP notebook. He may love his 1600x1200 display, but considering he often struggles to come under the 7KG in-cabin bag airline weight limit, there is something said for him going on a diet. And also buying a smaller notebook like the U5A.
You can expect more manufacturers to release RoHS-compliant products in the future and while it will be some time before we see LED-backlit notebooks, ASUS should be applauded for otherwise reducing the environmental impact of this new notebook.