Asus takes aim at the MacBook Air with the UX

While the main focus of the Asus press event was its innovative Padfone device, the company had some other creations to unveil - including the amazingly thin UX series of laptops, featuring a custom-made Intel processor.

While its scale makes it feel like a netbook, the new UX series is in fact a fully-fledged laptop - and will be made available with custom ultra-low voltage Huron River chips from Intel, including a high-performance Core i7 option for those who need the extra speed.

Aimed firmly at high-end users - and with a certain Apple-esque design aesthetic - the UX series features an aluminium unibody design and a 'spun' aluminium lid, making it feel surprisingly robust - and giving the MacBook Air series a run for its money.

The comfortable island-style keyboard is a pleasure to work with, despite the machine's small size - and, as a full laptop, a Windows Home Premium install is a given. A thin, three-cell battery powers the unit - and we were told to expect around five hours of life per charge, depending on processor chosen and workload.

Interestingly, Asus has chosen to include USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports on the device - possibly in response to Apple's inclusion of the high-speed Thunderbolt port on the refreshed Mac laptop line-up. As with the MacBook Air, an SSD powers the device.

Asus has also included a technology it calls Instant-On, a hybrid of suspend and hibernate which allows the laptop to remain in a nearly-on mode for up to fifteen days and boot up in under five seconds when the lid is opened.

Sadly, the one thing Asus wouldn't share with us was the price - but a spokesperson confirmed that the device is aimed firmly at those with deep pockets and a desire for some seriously clever design.