Here’s a nice notebook at a nice price: the Asus U43Jc, a 14” laptop that can be purchased from Amazon until September 5 for $999 – with a $150 Amazon gift card thrown in, effectively bringing the price down to $849. That’s quite good for a notebook with these specs!

The notebook features a cover and palm rest made out of bamboo, making the case look very sleek in a furniture sort of way. (It also lets Asus tout how environmentally swell it is.) It’s got great parts inside: an Intel Core i5 processor; 4Gb of RAM; 500Gb hard drive (unfortunately one of the relatively slow 5400RPM drives but that’s not uncommon in notebooks); and a nice Nvidia GeForce G310M video card. Reportedly the battery life is good. It weighs just under five pounds, which is standard for this size.

It inspired a Microsoft employee to write a note singing its praises on one of the official Windows blogs:

In the limited time I’ve had to play with the U Bamboo, I’ve been impressed by its beauty and brawn.  Mostly by its beauty, though; this is a PC that looks less like a computer and more like a work of art.

As with any new computer, you have to keep the cost of Microsoft Office in mind. It’s not included, so you’ll wind up spending another $130 for Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 (without Outlook), or $225 for Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 (with Outlook).

I’m not going to give up my ultralight, ultraslim Dell Vostro V13 any time soon, but the Asus Bamboo is worth considering if you’re in the market for a notebook now. At the least let it serve as a reminder that prices are down on notebooks and the selection is dizzying.


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