While I personally still consider the Asus U1F to be the absolute pinnacle of Asus' notebook design, sharing, as I do, the universal TrustedReviews love of ultra portable machines, I do have to concede there are times when a bit more punch is needed and sacrifices need to be made. The 14.1in format, then, offers an arguably better compromise between portability and power and if the F8 is anything to go by, I may well yet be swayed towards the semi-portable camp.
Working from the unfortunately small press photo (which Asus has promised to rectify for us) the sleek, black, brushed metal casing should be easy on the eyes and uses what Asus calls "infusion technology" to enhance durability. As every new notebook now should be, the F8 is built upon Intel's Santa Rosa platform and 965 chipset, so Draft-N wireless, support for the T7xxx range of mobile processors and up to 2GB or DDR2 RAM is available.
Slightly more unusual is a hybrid analogue/digital TV tuner, although I doubt anyone will complain about its inclusion. A fingerprint reader is also on-board and with the possibility to include a Trusted Platform Module will please corporate types, or the very security concious. The chassis offers five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, an Express Card slot and with a six cell battery the F8 will weigh in at 2.59kg. Lastly graphics power is provided by either a 256MB nVidia 8600M GS or 512MB AMD HD2600 and there is even a DVI-D port on the notebook - a rare and welcome inclusion. No pricing or release date as yet, but we are waiting to hear back from Asus on this.