Bamboo laptop nears debut

Asustek Computer is to show off the ultimate biodegradable chassis for a laptop when it debuts a machine with a casing made of bamboo, at Taiwan's IT Month exhibition this weekend.

The laptop, first announced last year, and detailed earlier this month, is part of Asus's efforts to use renewable materials in products. The shell of the laptop is made of real bamboo, which grows fast and is used widely throughout Asia in furniture, as well as construction scaffolding, and of course food for pandas.

The company displayed the first bamboo laptop that's ready for the market. The device is part of Asus's U6V series of notebook PCs and sports a 12.1-inch screen, Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessor, and Microsoft's Vista operating system.

Asus plans to sell them at the Taipei IT show for $1,802 (£1,163) each.

The company will launch the bamboo laptops in the US and Europe at a later date, but has not decided exactly when, an Asustek representative said.

IT Month in Taiwan is a time for companies to display products and normally ends up with bargains on IT gear for consumers.

Last year, Fujitsu announced it would a laptop with a biodegradable chassis made out of plastic derived from cornstarch.

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