Like the X51R, the F5R is equipped with an 88-key black keyboard. The buttons move softly and do not rattle. The Enter button is shaped classically like the letter L. The movement keys are shifted below the keyboard’s baseline, so there’s a smaller risk of your pressing them accidentally. The left Fn button is located in the bottom left corner, which is not quite convenient for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. Numeric buttons and three Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key is placed to the left of the spacebar; the two Windows Logo keys are placed to both sides of the spacebar. The functional keys are smaller than others. Home, Page Up, Page Down and End make up a column on the right. Pause, Print Screen, Insert and Delete are placed in the same row with the functional keys (you should press them in combination with Fn to access their additional functions). The letters are painted white and the functional keys are painted blue.
On the left above the keyboard there is a thin row of other system indicators together with instant-launch buttons and a Power key (from left to right):
- Storage (it shows that the storage devices are being accessed)
- Num Lock
- Caps Lock
- Scroll Lock
- Instant Fan PLUS button to start up a multimedia player for watching DVD, VCD, video clips, viewing photos (in My Documents\My Pictures) and listening to audio CDs or music files
- Button to launch the power management program Power4 Gear+
- Internet button (it starts up your Web-browser)
- Button to block the touchpad (this may be useful when you are typing in text)
- Power On button
Power4 Gear+ utility offers several power modes that vary in such parameters as CPU frequency, screen brightness, Windows’ power management scheme, etc. Five Power4 Gear+ modes are available when the notebook is connected to the wall socket and seven when it works on its battery.
The touchpad is designed in ASUS’ traditional style. The black touch-sensitive panel with a scrolling zone on the right is sunken below the notebook’s surface so that your finger wouldn’t go astray. The touchpad is very responsive. It’s got a silvery bezel and two buttons without a separating line. There is no scrolling joystick here.
The touchpad can be blocked to avoid touching it accidentally while you are typing text, but the functionality of the appropriate button doesn’t end at that.
Besides turning the touchpad on and off, you can use it as a simple calculator. You put the included sticker with digits and math1ematical signs on it and these improvised keys begin to work together with Windows’s Calculator. The touchpad’s sensitivity doesn’t worsen from that.