While making a fortune of Scrooge McDuck proportions from its Eee PC range, Asus is desperate not to be seen as a low-end computer maker -- hence efforts like the designer Seashell we got our hands on at CES yesterday, and this Bang & Olufsen-designed premium media laptop.
The NX90 is a whole bunch of aluminium-framed sleekness, with enough design innovation to make an entire street of Joneses jealous. The most unusual is the dual-touchpad control system, with one either side of the keyboard. These are compatible with Windows 7's multi-touch features, and Asus promises "intuitive DJ-like control".
Now, we haven't used it ourselves (stay tuned for more CES coverage, laptop fans!) but we're stroking Sceptical Cat here. We think the fact Asus has had to include software called Rotation Desktop Control to justify the dual touchpads puts the lie to it -- this is more about form than function. Let's face it, you'll just end up using the one on the right. Hey -- at least southpaws get their own.
More impressive is the speaker setup. B&O has plopped a panel either side of the 18.4-inch display -- so the sound comes straight at you instead of up in the air. In a neat touch, they have their own separate power supply. We'll be keen to hear how they handle some melodic death metal.
Specs-wise, it's a powerful beast, with an Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GT 335M graphics card to make the most of the 1080p display, plus dual hard drives and a
The NX90 should be available some time this summer, with US prices starting around the $2,000 (£1,250) mark. Click 'Continue' for more arty press shots.
And a closer look at that side-mounted trackpad. Forgetting the dual-pad gimmick for a moment, we imagine it would be easier to use one of these than a standard laptop trackpad -- more like a desktop mouse arrangement. It also has the undeniable benefit of being out of the way of your wrists, so you don't accidentally move the cursor around while you're typing.