Design and Ergonomics
ASUS’s designers have done a good job on this notebook, so it sports rich functionality as well as an impressive exterior. Every detail is a real treat to the eye. Following the recent trends, the notebook’s lid carries a chaotic pattern which helps conceal dust and greasy stains from the fingers on the glossy surface. The M50Sv still requires some care from the user to stay clean and beautiful, though.
The case is rounded off, which makes it more elegant. The back of the lid is separated from the hinges with a shiny narrow metallic insert. The integrated web-camera has a shiny chrome surface, too. All of this looks impressive and expensive.
Notwithstanding the rather large form-factor, the notebook doesn’t have a lid lock. The lid is held shut by the stiff hinges that stick out of the notebook’s body. Thus, you can unfold the notebook by somewhat less than 180 degrees. It is easy to open the notebook by using the slightly protruding web-camera block which serves as a kind of a handle.
On the left of the notebook’s front panel there is an IrDA port and a slider switch for the wireless interfaces.
The notebook’s interior matches its exterior design harmoniously. The black full-size keyboard fits into the case perfectly. The rest of the interior is glossy, just like the lid, but the color is patterned gray instead of black. The touchpad is shifted to the left, thus being centered below the main keyboard.
There are rubber pads on the screen bezel for softer contact with the notebook’s body when the lid is closed.
As we said above, there is a turnable 1.3-megapixel web-camera above the LCD panel. Its status is reported by a tiny indicator located to the left of the camera’s eye and barely visible when off. The rubber rings on the camera, like the rubber pads around the LCD panel, are meant for softer contact with the notebook’s body. A microphone hole can be seen to the right of the web-camera block.
The ASUS M50Sv is equipped with a widescreen 15.4-inch LCD matrix that has an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA+). Its native resolution is 1440x900 pixels. The matrix’s viewing angles seem to be wide enough for a notebook’s display. That’s good since the M50Sv is positioned as a multimedia solution. The LCD matrix has a “glassy” coating that makes the image brighter and more saturated but also acts as a mirror, reflecting every bright object behind your back.
This glassiness is the result of the use of a special polymer coating that is referred to as ASUS Color Shine technology. Besides it, the notebook features ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement. This feature allows you to adjust the onscreen image by means of preset modes which are selectable with the Fn+C key combination; the currently selected mode is indicated in the onscreen menu.
The M50Sv offers 16 grades of screen brightness just like every other notebook from ASUS, but it is virtually impossible to see anything in the screen at the lowest grades: the image gets too dark. The brightness level is adjusted by pressing Fn together with F5 and F6.