The notebook is equipped with a 99-key black keyboard. The buttons are soft and responsive and do not rattle. The movement keys are shifted below the keyboard’s baseline, which lowers the chance of your pressing them accidentally. The bottom left corner is occupied by a Ctrl button. This should be inconvenient for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. The numpad is designed as a separate block adjacent to the right of the main keyboard. The functional keys are somewhat smaller than others. 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 are red arrows on the gaming buttons W, A, S and D as well as on the buttons 8, 4, 6 and 2 of the numpad.
Although it is good to have a dedicated numpad, there are some problems about it. This block is pressed tight to the main keyboard and has a nonstandard layout. The 0 button is half its normal size while the Dot button has moved up to the top – you are likely to press Enter instead of it until you get used to this layout. Moreover, the notebook’s Home, Page Up, Page Down and End button are combined with the numpad and you can’t use both these buttons and the numpad simultaneously.
To the right above the keyboard there more indicators, instant launch buttons, and a Power button. The instant-launch buttons are touch-sensitive. They are highlighted in bright blue when the notebook is turned on, getting even brighter when you press them. This block of indicators and buttons includes (from left to right):
- Storage (it shows that the hard disk or optical drive are being accessed)
- Num Lock
- Caps Lock
- Direct Console (launches the appropriate tool)
- Button to launch the power-management tool Power4Gear eXtreme
- Button to lock the touchpad (you may want to do this if you are using an external mouse; you can do the same by pressing Fn+F9)
- Button to launch the Splendid tool
- Power button
The auxiliary OLED screen is placed to the left of the keyboard indicators.
As we noted above, the front pair of speakers is built into the notebook’s front panel. The second pair is located below the screen hinges and the keyboard like on many other notebooks. To the left of the keyboard there are five translucent instant-launch buttons and one four-position joystick with blue highlighting. You can program these buttons with the Direct Console tool.
The notebook’s touchpad has been borrowed from ASUS’s previous top-end models and updated to match the overall style. Its wide sensitive panel reacts eagerly to every touch of your finger. It is not sunken into the case at all. The bottom part of the touchpad bezel is divided into two buttons that are stiff and have a distinct click. A blue indicator is shining at the top of the bezel when the touchpad is active.
As opposed to the M50Sv, the G70S doesn’t have a permanent marking denoting the second duty of the touchpad.
But when you press the tiny Mode button in the touchpad’s top right, blue highlighting of the available virtual multimedia buttons appears. These buttons allow to perform such simple operations as stepping up/down the sound volume and screen brightness, starting or stopping playback. There are two user-defined buttons available, too. Alas, you can often press the Mode button accidentally while using the touchpad in the ordinary way. If you find this to be a problem, you may want to disable the touchpad’s multimedia function in the software.