ASUS has unveiled an Eco Book which features a case made of laminated bamboo strips.
Harvesting bamboo, an abundant, flexible, durable and fast-growing grass, is unlikely to harm the environment as processing wood from trees might, Asustek said, although glues and laminates for shaping and fortifying the material sometimes contain toxins.
The product is still in the prototype stage and engineers are checking to see if bamboo is suitable for laptops, which have to endure extreme conditions while allowing heat from microprocessors and monitors to escape.
The Eco book is a new tack for a company that caters to executives and other high-end users with its calf leather-bound notebooks and faux alligator-skin models.
"Originally we came out with a leather model style-book," said Cher Chronis, director of marketing communication for Asus Computer International, the Taipei-based company's U.S. unit.
"It was very popular," she said. "After that, it was kind of natural for us to experiment with other types of materials, so we decided to go green."
Asustek says its leather notebooks have not been criticized by animal-rights activists and that the Eco book is not meant to assuage critics.