Asus officially launched its long-promised Bamboo laptops today, with an 11.1in and a 12.1in model the first to go onsale.The Asus Bamboo U6 was originally shown as a prototype model at Computex Taiwan as the Asus EcoBook.

While it had widely been imagined that Asus was keen to catch eye of the environmentally responsible consumer with its sustainable wood-clad laptops that promise long-lasting batteries, it seems it also wants to pull at the heartstrings of nostalgia fans.

The press release accompanying today's UK launch talks of "artisan-grade Moso bamboo panelling crafted with the precision and care typically associated with bamboo instruments and arts and crafts.

"The organic tactility, refreshing scent and minimalist aesthetics of bamboo lend themselves to the ASUS Bamboo Series notebook in the form of warmth and an old world charm that traditional synthetic materials and cold metals will struggle to replicate."

While we're all for getting back to nature, we think the core specifications and computing capabilities are far more important. These include a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, an LED-backlit screen, Windows Vista as the operating system and nVidia graphics. The 11.1in model weighs 1.23kg while the 12.1in screen version weighs 1.57kg.

Both sizes of Asus Bamboo U6 will be battery-efficient. Asus promises a between-charges battery life of between 35 and 70 percent more than standard thanks to its development of a Super Hybrid Engine that boosts performance by up to 23 percent. Its comparisons are based on identically specified laptops that don2t use the Super Hybrid Engine technology.

Asus Bamboo U6 laptop