Asus to launch the UX21 Ultrabook next month

Asus has finally offered a clue as to when we might be able to get our hands on the long-awaited UX21 Ultrabook it first unveiled at the Computex tradeshow in Taipei earlier this year.

In a teaser page on the new Asus UX-series sub-site, the company is running a countdown to an event in New York on the 11th of October which, it is believed, will mark the official launch of its UX series of Ultrabook products.

Unveiled by Asus even before Intel had announced its Ultrabook project, the UX21 is a seriously impressive beast: despite its use of a full-fat Intel Core i7 processor, the aluminium body is entirely passively cooled with no fan installed. Coupled with a solid-state storage device, that makes for a completely silent laptop.

If the date holds true, Asus will likely be the first to market with an Ultrabook - so named for Intel's project which aims to bring the low-power thin-and-light technology it has been providing to Apple for its MacBook Air series for quite some time to the rest of the computing world.

It's a big project for Intel, with Intel's venture capital arm throwing around $300 million at companies it hopes can push the technology forward for the future Ultrabook project phases.

While Asus looks set to be the first to market, it won't be alone: Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba all announced Ultrabooks of their own at IFA in Berlin earlier this year, while HP's will-they-split-or-won't-they Personal Systems Group is believed to be working on a design of its own.

There's a lot to like about the Ultrabook concept - in particular the joy of having something even slimmer than Apple's impressive MacBook Air, but with better performance at a lower price - but not everyone is happy.

Numerous manufacturers have complained that the prices charged by Intel for its Ultrabook-approved CPUs are too high, meaning they will struggle to hit the sub-$1,000 target and still make a reasonable profit.