Latest Asus ultraportable has Core i3 and Optimus

Intel's dual-core Nehalem processors are making headway into the consumer ultraportable market. Earlier this morning, Asus announced the U30Jc, a 13.3" laptop with a Core i3 processor, discrete Nvidia graphics, and a rated 9.5 hours of battery life.

Asus' announcement is a tad light on details, but it does say the U30Jc has a Core i3 350M CPU, which runs at 2.26GHz and features Hyper-Threading but no Turbo Boost. There's also a GeForce GT 310M discrete graphics processor with HDMI out and Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics technology. The system can dynamically transition from the Core i3 CPU's built-in GPU to the Nvidia silicon when the user attempts to run a 3D application. (The first system we tested with that functionality was actually another Asus laptop, the 15.6" UL50Vf.)

Asus' new U30Jc laptop also features 4GB of DDR3 memory, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, some Altec Lansing "HD" speakers, a "Chiclet Wide Spaced" keyboard, and a sleek-looking brushed aluminum enclosure.

According to Asus, the U30Jc is available today "at an introductory MSRP of $899.99." The Core i3 processor and Optimus-enabled GPU apparently don't command that big a premium, then; the cheapest 13.3" Asus ultraportable in Newegg's catalog right now will set you back $799.99, and that's with a Core 2 Duo processor and Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics.

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