ASUS Bamboo Collection laptops: now with Taiwanese pricing, more bamboo (update)

ASUS has been attaching bamboo to its laptops for some time now, but it was only ever really for show -- though the wood itself was certainly biodegradable, adding veneer isn't exactly the greenest statement in the world. This year, however, the company's Bamboo Collection will be completely slightly more recyclable. With Core i5-450M processors, they should be reasonably good performers as well, and NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics technology gives them a factory-estimated (read: unlikely) 11 hours of battery life. The panda fodder cases will be found in Taiwan for around $40,000 NTD (approximately $1,300) next month, though US availability is yet to be announced. Check out the gigantic ASUS PDF for additional specs while you wait, and feel free to blow Ma Earth kisses all the while.

Update: Our friends at Engadget Chinese inform us the new U series laptops aren't 100 percent recyclable after all; they still have a sizable plastic substrate underneath those thicker bamboo panels. It seems ASUS still hasn't managed to shake its wooden façade. Get specs and first-hand pics from the event at our more coverage link.