The F9E is equipped with an 86-key black keyboard. Despite the small width of the notebook’s body, the developer squeezed a full set of buttons into it, even though some of the keys are smaller than usual. The buttons move softly and do not rattle. The movement keys are on the same level with the keyboard’s baseline, so there’s a higher risk of your pressing them accidentally. The bottom left corner is occupied by a Control, which is convenient for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. Numeric buttons and two Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key is placed to the right of the spacebar; the Windows Logo key are placed to the left 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.
There is a metallic plate above the keyboard that carries an oval Power button and a small button that starts up the Power4 Gear+ eXtreme utility which offers several power modes that vary in such parameters as CPU frequency, screen brightness, Windows power management scheme, etc.
The notebook’s status indicators are placed on the notebook’s front panel together with a Wireless On/Off slider (from left to right):
- Wi-Fi indicator (it indicates the activity of the integrated WLAN adapter)
- Bluetooth indicator (alight when the Bluetooth interface is turned on)
- Power indicator (alight when the notebook is turned on; blinking in power-saving mode; off when the notebook is turned off or in sleep mode)
- Battery indicator (alight when the battery is being recharged; off when the battery is charged or fully discharged; blinking when the battery charge is below 10% and the notebook is not connected to the mains)
- Storage indicator (indicates that the hard disk or optical drive is being accessed)
- Num Lock
- Caps Lock
The optional fingerprint scanner is placed far from the touchpad, contrary to the current design fashion. This device is missing in our configuration but the seat for the scanner can be easily seen below the right part of the keyboard. Here is a photo of the F9E equipped with a fingerprint scanner:
The touchpad is the same color and texture as the notebook’s surface. Highly responsive, it is stretched out below the spacebar. Its buttons are cut in the metallic frame around the touchpad. The buttons move softly and do not click loud. There is no scrolling zone or a dedicated scrolling joystick.
To avoid touching the touchpad while using an external mouse, you can block it by pressing Fn+F9.
The notebook’s left panel contains the following components (from left to right):
- 15-pin D-Sub for an external monitor
- HDMI connector with HDCP support for external monitors and TV-sets
- USB 2.0 port
- 5-in-1 card-reader that supports Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMedia Card, Secure Digital and xD-Picture Card
- 26-pin ExpressCard/34 slot