An indicator of the audio player goes alight when you insert a CD without booting the OS.
The ASUS A3500L’s full-size keyboard (but the functional keys are smaller than usual) is quite comfortable to use. The block of arrow keys are separate from the main keyboard; the Page Up, Page Down, Home and End keys are placed in a vertical column on the right; there is a numeric pad as well as two Windows keys here. The keys of the mainland keyboard are labeled white; the functional keys are labeled blue – their commands are available as you press and hold [Fn]. The touchpad is accompanied with two rather stiff buttons that replace the mouse’s left and right buttons, but regrettably it doesn’t have an additional scroll button.
The 15” screen of the A3500L has a maximum resolution of 1024x768; it displays saturated colors and provides enough of brightness which is controlled with special functional keys (an onscreen 15-step scale shows the current setting during the setup process). At the minimal brightness it is possible to see something on the screen, but you’d better turn on external light or use a higher brightness setting for comfortable work. A quite sensitive microphone is built into the top of the screen bezel – it looks like a small oval-shaped window under a grid (like on a speaker) rather than a small hole as with many notebooks.
On the front panel of the notebook there are a display latch, two stereo speakers (on the sides, closer to the bottom), and system status indicators (when the lid is closed, you can only see the LEDs without their respective icons).
On the left panel there is only an optical DVD/CD-RW drive.
The following is found on the right side of the ASUS A3500L:
- Card reader (supports MS, MMC, SD, MS Select and MS Pro – the latter two formats are supported via adapters);
- PC card slot (for one card of type I or II);
- IrDA port;
- FireWire port;
- Headphones output;
- Microphone input;
- Audio input;
- RJ-45 network connector;
- RJ-11 modem connector.
That’s what you can see at the notebook’s rear panel:
- Four USB ports;
- 25-pin parallel port;
- D-Sub connector for an external monitor;
- Network connector;
- Kensington lock and vent holes.
It’s not very handy to have all USB ports on the rear panel – they should have placed one on a side panel, I think.