Design and Ergonomics
This is an ultra-portable model with a screen diagonal of 8.9 inches. The design of the S300 is simple and elegant, yet functional. The color scheme is somewhat conservative: a lusterless light gray color on the outside and black inside; the letters “ASUS” adorn the lid. The overall elegance of form is only disturbed by the big bulge of the battery at the back panel, but this is the price of the good battery life time.
Opening an ASUS S300 for the first time is like solving a riddle. You are habitually trying to find a knob or a lock with a sliding lever, but can’t find any! As it turns out, the lid is held by an intricate double latch that you should pick up with your finger or nail. It is not so easy at first, but you soon get used to this way of opening the notebook and don’t find it inconvenient.
The notebook’s controls become visible as you open the lid. The main keyboard occupies the entire width of the case and its alphabetic keys are full size. A few keys in the right part of the keyboard have a smaller size and you have to adjust yourself to them for touch-typing. Note also the unusual position of the right Shift.
The notebook has a pointing stick between the G and H keys. Using this pointing device requires some skill. The buttons are placed in the center below the main keyboard, and they are large enough for finding and pressing them blindly.
There are two groups of additional buttons: audio/video playback controls (play/pause, stop, forward/backward) and auxiliary controls (keyboard blocking, brightness adjustment, power-on/off). The first group of controls is located on the front panel of the case closer to the left side and can be accessed them irrespective of the position of the lid, open or closed. The second group is placed under the screen.