Video: ASUS Ultrabook Combines MacBook Air Slimness, Core i7 Muscle

Last night we got a sneak peek at an upcoming notebook from ASUS that's due to give major competition to the Apple MacBook Air and the Samsung Series 9. The Ultrabook (UX21) is an all-metal, super thin and light notebook. There's not much information on this to go around -- no final pricing and availability hasn't been set in stone -- but we'll tell you what we know.

The model we saw last night was an 11.6-inch machine, but there will likely be a 13.3-inch version as well. The body is made of aluminum, polished is a subtle circular pattern. It's not unibody like the MacBook Air (we spied screws on the bottom) but does feel very solid and sturdy. We were very impressed to see that it's only 17mm on the thicker end. Internal specs include a second-generation Core i7 processor (a Core i5 version also might become available) and SSDs starting at 64GB and possibly going up to 128GB or even 160GB.  Though we didn't get to see it running software, ASUS tells us that the UX21 will have an instant-on feature.

Essentially, this notebook is aimed right at the Series 9 and the MacBook Air. Will it trounce both of them? Obviously, we can't say for sure right now. Much of it will be in pricing (we hear that $999 is a likely starting price) but we can't discount performance. However, with second-generation Core i CPUs under the hood this isn't likely to be an issue. One thing is for sure: now Windows lovers have yet another choice in the premium ultraportable category. We can't wait to see how this all shakes out.

Check out our hands-on video below to drool some more.