MacBook, ShmackBook. This is the 13.3in laptop you want.
Asus has become a bit of a dripping tap for nVidia products this past week, as if leaking the upcoming mid-range GeForce 9500M wasn’t enough, it has now also uncovered the Geforce 9300M (via Notebook Italia) in an upcoming refresh to the Asus U3. This is its not-quite-ultra-portable notebook, the current version of which we sneaked a hands-on preview of last year.
Of course the rest of the system is being brought equally up-to-date along side the graphics card, offering a range of Penryn processors, from the 2.6GHz T9500 down to the 2.1GHz T8100, as well as the current T7000-series. Other than that the same 13.3in LED-backlit screen is still in place as well as Draft-N wireless, GPS and HSDPA and the Sony SZ-esque switch between internal and dedicated graphics.
The addition of the latter is a slight puzzlement given the recently touted on-the-fly power adjusting (and saving) features of nVidia’s 9-series. Of course these are only early leaks so it may be the switch isn’t actually present on the retail model. Certainly if what nVidia has led us to believe holds true there should be no need for such an option as the 8400M isn’t exactly a power-hungry device as it is. Considering the new 9-series chips all offer considerable power reductions over their predecessors, one can only assume that the power drain of the new chip should be pretty low. No expected release date is specified, but with nVidia expected to go official in February, an educated guess would predict a similar date for Asus’ official release.