There are numerous criteria a potential user may come up with when shopping for a notebook. Besides price, a notebook is wanted to be fast, light, ergonomic and functional, with a sufficient set of connectors and ports, and with a nice-looking exterior
Unfortunately, the best qualities are usually met in expensive models only. But if you are rather limited in money, do you have to choose among ugly-looking and low-performance boxes? No! This review is about an inexpensive, but cute-looking computer from ASUS – the A3500L model.
Design and Ergonomics
The ASUS A3500L is a stylish machine. Having a screen diagonal of 15”, the notebook doesn’t look big or cumbersome. On the contrary, the slightly slanted corners and the difference in the heights of the rear and front panels create an impression of smallness and thinness. The case color is dark silver, and this color scheme goes on to the top panel – only the screen bezel is black. So, the ASUS A3500L looks good – I have no complaints whatsoever.
On the top panel, above the keyboard, there is a power-on button and a group of instant-launch buttons):
- A button to block the touchpad to avoid accidental touches when you’re typing text;
- A button to launch the default Internet browser;
- A button to launch the default e-mail client;
- A button to choose a Power4 Gear+ power-saving mode. Three modes are available when the notebook is powered from the wall outlet (AC), seven – when it is working on the accumulator (DC):
- Super Performance: AC;
- High Performance: AC/DC;
- Game: AC/DC;
- DVD movie: DC;
- E-mail/Office applications: DC;
- Presentations in PowerPoint: DC;
- CD-Audio: DC;
- Battery saving: DC.
The system status indicators of the ASUS A3500L are divided into two groups, one of which is placed under the instant-launch buttons and the other on the notebook’s front panel (by the way, these indicators are visible irrespective of the lid position). The first group of LED indicators includes: a hard disk drive activity LED, Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock indicators. The second group consists of a power indicator (alight when power is attached), a battery charge indicator, an incoming mail indicator (alight when you’ve received new e-mail messages), and a WLAN connection indicator (it lights up when the integrated adapter is sending or receiving data packets). The A3500L model comes without an integrated WLAN adapter, but you can have it installed at an authorized service center.
On the front panel there’s also a block of buttons for playing Audio CDs (you can do that without even booting the OS up):
- CD player on/off button;
- Previous track/volume down;
- Next track/volume up;
- Stop playback;
- Play/Pause CD.