ASUS is still holding back some of the details on this one, but what it has revealed about its new U36 ultraportable is certainly enough to get us interested. Weighing in at just over three pounds, the laptop is said to pack your choice of a Core i3 or i5 processors, along with NVIDIA Optimus graphics, and a four-cell battery that promises ten hours of battery life -- all of which comes wrapped in a 0.75-inch magnesium shell that's apparently available in your choice of black or silver. Unfortunately, all other details, including the screen size (though 13.3-inch seems likely), remain a bit of a mystery, as does the pricing and launch details.

Update: We've come across a couple of Taiwanese listings for the U36 spilling the full specs: 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen, Intel Core i5-460M CPU, NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphics with 1GB of memory, 2GB of system RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard disk, HDMI output, one USB 3.0 port, a 1.66kg weight, and Windows 7 Home Premium as the OS. Pricing is less reliable, but we've seen a top MSRP of NT$41,900 ($1,375), which has invariably been discounted by local retailers to saner levels. Let's just wait and see how things turn out when the U36 makes its way westward.

Update 2: ASUS just informed us that the MSRP for this model in the US will be $999, and that it's expected to arrive in about three weeks. At least some retailers are already taking pre-orders, and an Amazon listing is said to be coming "shortly."

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ASUS announces ultraportable U36 laptop (updated with specs and price)