with so many Windows 8 portables flying off the production line or the design board, it is hard to keep up with announcements for both the manufacturers and ourselves. as such, there are bound to have a few that slips through the press release domain and appears silently in the market – or at least on the maker’s website. the ASUS Zenbook Touch U500VZ Laptop is one such laptop that quietly surfaced on ASUS’ website last week without any fanfare or whatsoever. as you might have expected, this baby runs on Windows 8 (or Windows 7 family) and hence, it has a display with multi-touch technology. specifications include an Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, a LED backlit 15-inch IPS panel that offers 1,366 by 768 resolution, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics with 2GB VRAM, up to 128GB SSD, 2-in-1 card reader, HD webcam, built-in speakers that boast Bang & Olufsen ICEpower plus additional subwoofer, backlit keyboard, multi-touch touchpad, a 8-cell battery for up to 7 hours of usage and the usual connectivity and I/Os including WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 technology, audio jack, three USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet port, HDMI out, as well as mini VGA connector. though listed online, price and availability are not immediately available but all that would probably change when the 2013 International CES throw its door open this Tuesday. in the mean time, you can learn more about optical-drive-less, Windows 8 machine HERE.