Design and Ergonomics
The notebook looks an exact copy of the ASUS A6Q00K model except for the color scheme. The color of the case is somewhat darker now, and some connectors have been replaced with newer ones. So, we’ve got a dark-silver case with a black band on the lid near the hinges (by the way, the screen bezel and the area between the screen and the keyboard is painted black, too). The appearance of the notebook is overall classic and reserved; the angles are slightly rounded as is characteristic of products from this manufacturer; the notebook’s top half is shorter than the bottom one. There is a light-silver insert on the notebook’s bottom half on which Audio DJ buttons and system indicators are placed. They remain visible irrespective of the position of the notebook’s lid.
The Audio DJ feature allows playing music from discs without booting the OS up. It is controlled with these buttons:
- Turn Audio DJ on/off
- Previous track / volume down (one press begins to reproduce the current track; two presses reproduce the previous track; holding this button down for a while reduces the sound volume)
- Next track / volume up (one press begins to reproduce the next track; holding this button down increases the sound volume)
- Play / Pause
There is an indicator between the Turn-On and Previous Track buttons that shows the status of the Audio DJ feature.
The system indicators next to the Audio DJ buttons include (from left to right):
- Power indicator (green when the computer is turned on and blinking in standby mode)
- Battery indicator (alight when the battery is being recharged; off when the battery is charged or fully discharged; blinking when the charge level is low)
- E-mail (blinking when you’ve got new e-mail letters in your inbox; this function requires software setup and is compatible with Microsoft’s e-mail clients)
- WLAN indicator (blinking when the WLAN adapter is receiving or sending out data packets)
There are two latches on the right and left of the front edge of the lid. They hold the lid firmly in place, but it’s not easy to open the notebook up (at least you can’t do that with one hand as you can with single-latch notebooks).
I opened the lid up to find that the same color scheme continues inside. The hinges protrude from the bottom of the case, allowing to unfold the notebook by 180 degrees, and are painted black. The area between them and the keyboard is black, too, and it’s here that the instant-launch keys and a second group of system indicators are located.
Right above the display there is an oval window with an integrated microphone and an (optional) 1.3-megapixel web-camera. The camera is missing in our sample of the notebook.