The X51R 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.
Centered above the keyboard is a mixed block with two instant-access keys, a few indicators, and an On/Off button (highlighted in green at work):
- Num Lock indicator
- Caps Lock indicator
- On/Off button
- Power4 Gear+ button
- Wireless Switch
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 Wireless switch does nothing on the tested notebook since the latter lacks any wireless interfaces.
The touchpad is sunken a little below the notebook’s surface. The touch-sensitive panel is even lower, so there’s no chance your finger will ever get astray. The touchpad is wide enough for comfortable work and has a dedicated scrolling zone on the right. A joystick for scrolling text is missing. Well, however handy this touchpad may be, you’ll probably want to buy a mouse, which still remains the best pointing device available.
The option of disabling the touchpad is not available on this notebook.
The notebook’s left panel has an optical drive with an activity indicator, eject button and emergency ejection hole. The button is large and easy to find by touch.