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Terra Aura 1200

Design and Ergonomics

At the first glance over this notebook I was reminded of familiar features and outlines. Yes, this is the good old ASUS M5! The color scheme consists of the same stern and conservative combination of dark gray and black. The manufacturer’s logo has moved to the center. The smooth sloping sides of the case have been replaced with more abrupt cuts. The overall style of the prototype is preserved well, though.

Little has changed inside. The screen with an aspect ratio of 3:4 has a matte coating, but the logotype beneath it is missing. The quality of the screen is rather poor. The vertical viewing angle is narrow and the colors get distorted even on a slightest deflection from the normal. The low maximum brightness makes it impossible to work under strong external lighting indoors or outside. There are problems with the color reproduction, too. For example, the skin color is reproduced incorrectly. The matrix speed is sufficient for everyday work, but there is a noticeable “ghosting” effect even when you’re scrolling text.

The keyboard is made of black translucent plastic and spans the entire width of the case. Unlike with the ASUS M5, there no reduced-size buttons on the right. The Fn button has its copy on the right and this is convenient indeed. There are also two Windows buttons here. What I don’t like is that the Shift keys are small and that the left Fn is positioned in the bottom left corner where you usually expect to find a Ctrl. Curiously enough, they left the programmable button to turn the Wi-Fi interface on/off intact, although there is also a hardware switch.

The touchpad is designed as a depression in the top panel and is nice to work with. The touchpad’s sensitivity can be adjusted to your particular taste and the additional functions (the scrolling zones and the double click) are adjustable, too.

A group of LED indicators is on the left of the touchpad:

  • Power On
  • Battery recharging
  • HDD activity
  • Wireless interface activity

The indicators are made visible on the outside by means of light pipes.

The mechanical Wi-Fi On/Off switch is located in the left rear corner where the ASUS’ notebook had a button that switched through power-saving modes.

The Power button is in the right rear corner. It has been stripped of its stylish metal frame. The integrated microphone is located nearby.

 
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