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Asus has been busy as the proverbial bee making netbooks, but the company is really stepping up its laptop game too. We've just ripped open the box of its gorgeous new UX50, and honestly, it feels like Christmas has arrived six months early early at Crave.

Okay, so there are no fat men stumbling out of our office chimney peddling gifts to frantic children, but excitement is near fever pitch. The UX50 is arguably the most attractive laptop we've seen in recent memory. The glossy black lid is pretty understated, but the keyboard section -- which is two-thirds matte black, one-third mirrored glass -- is so delicious we actually considered licking it. We didn't, though. We were too busy dry-humping the edge-to-edge glass on its 15.6-inch screen.

Inside, it uses the new 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo U3500 CPU, which is geared more towards long battery life than stunning performance. Still, you do get 4GB of RAM, a not-entirely-useless Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics adaptor, a 320GB hard drive and a slot-loading DVD drive.

This relative mediocrity doesn't come cheap, unfortunately. The UX50 retails for a whopping £999, which is a shame considering you can buy faster (though infinitely less pretty) laptops for half that price.

We're busy taking the lid off the UX50 (metaphorically speaking), so go have a look at the pics in our gallery, then come back in a few days for a full review.

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The UX50 really is one of the most spectacularly beautiful laptops we've come across in recent times.
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This flap conceals a memory card reader and USB port.
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The lid is uber glossy, and uber prone to picking up fingerprints. Still, it makes a half-decent mirror.
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The rear of the laptop isn't a great place to put a headphone port, but you also get two more USBs, HDMI, D-Sub VGA and Ethernet ports to keep you occupied.
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Look closely and you can see the backlight on the keyboard in most of its glory.
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