Although high-end laptops usually guzzle battery life, Asus recently showed performance-oriented notebook with 12 hours of run time. Like Dell's Alienware M11x, Asus' UL80JT is outfitted with two graphics chips, an Nvidia GeForce 310 and an Intel GMA, and it can switch between them on the fly. The UL80JT also adjusts the speed of its Core i7 processor based on load.

Similar dual-GPU features have been around for a while, such as the MacBook Pro's ability to switch between the GeForce 9400M and 9600M, but that requires users to log out. The beauty of Asus' implementation is that it's virtually user-transparent, switching on its own.

The GPU swapping, dynamic clocking, and other power management features allow the UL80JT to consume less than half as much power as the unibody MacBook while browsing. Despite that, the system can instantly kick into high gear, with performance matching similarly-specced laptops.

Asus plans to launch the UL80JT this year for just over a grand.