Bamboo-bodied Asus notebooks available for preorder

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If you have a thing for wood-garnished electronics, you'll be pleased to know that Asus finally plans to open shipments on its long-anticipated bamboo-encased notebooks. Two of the company's bamboo notebooks the U43F and U43JC are now readily available for preorder via Best Buy, with an ETA of late July, early August. The first is priced at $950, while the second is $1,000.

The least expensive model features a 14-inch LED-backlit display, a 2.26GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 640GB of storage, and a DVD burner. Rather than rough it with Intel's integrated graphics, the pricier U43JC has a 1GB Nvidia GeForce 310M with Optimus technology. Although some people can get by without discrete graphics, for an extra $50 it seems silly not to opt for the U43JC.

Both units weigh about five pounds and have gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, up to five hours of life, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

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