Exterior Design and Ergonomics
The X80L is in many respects a clone of the A8 series. It differs from that popular series with the jet black coloring of the case and the rough texture of the plastic of the lid and below the keyboard. A restrained color scheme is quite a good thing for a notebook, but the meshed texture is just a good dust collector. A smooth surface, like in the A8 series, would be more practical.
Being an entry-level solution, the X80L does not have any special design features. It lacks any pomp, so to say.
The lid lock is a black button. You press on it and then lift the lid up with the other hand. The screen hinges are stiff, preventing the notebook from unfolding spontaneously when the button is pressed accidentally.
The two hinges protrude out of the notebook’s body, allowing to unfold it by over 180 degrees.
Status indicators are placed on the left of the notebook’s front panel and are visible irrespective of the position of the lid (from right to left):
- 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)
- Bluetooth indicator (alight when the Bluetooth adapter is turned on)
- Wi-Fi indicator (it indicates the activity of the integrated Wi-Fi adapter)
The labels of the indicators are pressed out in the plastic of the top panel, so the purpose of each is clear even when the lid is closed. The only problem with the black icons is that they are barely legible on the rough surface of the case.
To the right and below the indicators there is one of the notebook’s stereo speakers. The other is placed symmetrically on the right of the front panel. The speakers are thus very close to the user. You can control the sound volume by pressing Fn together with F10, F11 and F12.
The notebook’s interior features the same jet-black color scheme. There are rubber pads on the screen bezel for softer contact with the notebook’s body when closed. The oval in the top of the bezel is meant for an optional 0.35-megapixel web-camera with turning capability.
The X80L is equipped with a widescreen 14.1-inch LCD matrix that has an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA). Its native resolution is 1280x800 pixels. The matrix’s viewing angles seem to be wide enough for a notebook’s display. LCD matrix has a glossy coating that increases contrast and saturation but also acts as a mirror, reflecting every bright object behind your back. ASUS calls this coating Color Shine technology.
The notebook also features Splendid Video Enhancement technology (a number of factory-set image modes differing in color saturation and color temperature). You can choose a Splendid mode with the Fn+C shortcut.
Besides the factory-set modes (Normal, Gamma, Vivid, Theater and Soft), you can create your own one. Just choose the My Profile option and achieve the image you want using the available settings.
The X80L offers 16 grades of screen brightness but the screen is too dark at the lowest grades. The brightness level is adjusted by pressing Fn together with F5 and F6.