The drive itself reads Blu-Rays up to 4.8X, burns DVD-R and CD-R at 8X. Asus say the drive has a "Turbo Engine for enhanced USB Connectivity". This allows the drive to output the HD content fast enough to the computer monitor without having extra cables.
It also packs TrueTheater High Definition which upscales SD content into HD quality images onto hi-res displays. It also comes bundled with a vertical stand, Cyberlink software and disc encryption. There’s no price or release information, but those of us without Blu-Ray on our laptops might be keeping an eye out for this.