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TheStreet Open House

ASUS Brandishes Bamboo Notebooks: CES

Shih compared the design of the G73jh to that of a stealth bomber during the press event, and explained that the notebook's keyboard is set at a slight five-degree incline to enable long hours of gaming.

"Who wouldn't want happier hands and wrists?" he asked, during a presentation that also touched on the company's plans for wearable smartphones that are controlled by muscle movement. ASUS is also working on a form of flexible tablet screen as part of its "Waveface" strategy, although Shih said that this is at least five years away.

ASUS is hardly the first computer maker to turn its notebooks into objets d'art. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), for example, has already teamed up with celebrated fashion designer Vivienne Tam and Dell (DELL) has used designs by artist Mike Ming on its notebooks.

Apple, of course, has a fearsome reputation for edgy design, and the company is expected to launch its eagerly-anticipated tablet device sometime this year.

Apple's plans have cast a spotlight on tablet technology, and there have even been rumblings of an imminent Dell offering in this space. Not to be outdone, though, Chinese PC giant Lenovo announced its own take on the tablet Wednesday, launching its IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook.

Described as two PCs in one, the IdeaPad can function as either a clamshell notebook or a touchscreen tablet. Running Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 7 operating system, the IdeaPad's screen can detach from the device and become a tablet.

"The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets users switch their PC experience within a single device to match their dynamic lifestyle," said Liu Jun, senior vice president of Lenovo's Idea Product Group, in a statement. "By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet's rich multitouch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity."

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