This notebook is equipped with an 87-key black keyboard. The Enter button is shaped like the letter L. 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 Fn button is located in the bottom left corner next to 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 over one key to the right of the spacebar; the Windows Logo key is over two keys on the left of the spacebar. The functional keys are smaller than others. Home, PgUp, PgDn and End make up a vertical 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.
The notebook’s touchpad merges with its surroundings. The touch-sensitive panel is sunken a little below the notebook’s surface. It is accompanied with two buttons that serve instead of the mouse’s ones and are highlighted in blue. There is no dedicated scrolling zone or scrolling joystick, but you can browse pages using the right part of the sensitive panel.
To block the touchpad, press Fn together with F9. This will be indicated by the icon shown in the next picture and the blue highlighting between the buttons will go out. You may want to block the touchpad to avoid pressing it accidentally when you’re using an external mouse or typing in text.
On a slanted edge to the left of the touchpad there is a large group of system status indicators highlighted in blue (except for the battery charge indicator which is orange). This group includes (from left to right):
- Power indicator (alight when the notebook is on; blinking when in standby mode; not shining when the notebook is off or in sleep mode)
- Battery charge 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 (it shows that a storage device, i.e. the hard or optical drive, is being accessed)
- Wireless (blinking when the integrated WLAN adapter is sending out or receiving data packets)
- Caps Lock indicator
- Bluetooth (alight when the Bluetooth interface is active)
There are no Num Lock and Scroll Lock indicators on this notebook, so you can only find out the status of these features by trying.
Under the right display hinge there is the Power button highlighted with a bright blue LED.
Under the left hinge, just like on W5 and W6 series notebooks, there is a WLAN slider switch and a button to launch ASUS’ exclusive Power4 Gear+ utility which offers several power modes that vary in such parameters as CPU frequency, screen brightness, Windows power management scheme, etc.
Three Power4 Gear+ modes are available when the notebook is connected to the wall socket and seven when it works on its battery (but the user manual claims there are five AC modes available).
In the right front corner of the notebook’s body there is a rather sensitive microphone. It is thus very close to the user, but cannot be obstructed with the user’s hand at work.