Like A7 series models, the ASUS Z83Db is equipped with a 17.1” display with a max resolution of 1440x900 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10 (WXGA+). The vertical and horizontal viewing angles are good enough subjectively, but the “glassiness” of the display may prove to be a trouble under some kinds of lighting. This glassiness is due to ASUS Color Chine technology that is claimed to improve image quality and color saturation and to yield a vivid and colorful image.
Like with a lot of other ASUS notebooks, there are 16 levels of screen brightness here, but the lowest levels are hardly practical as the image looks too dark for anything.
I measured the brightness and contrast of the notebook’s display using a Pantone ColorVision Spyder with OptiCAL version 3.7.8 software. I selected the highest brightness setting before this test, but it was considerably lowered when the notebook switched to its battery, automatically enabling power-saving mode. The brightness parameter is good, and the contrast ratio is high irrespective of the power source:
AC power source:
- 123.3cd/sq.m brightness, 131:1 contrast ratio
DC power source:
- 107.1cd/sq.m brightness, 180:1 contrast ratio
Oddly enough, this multimedia notebook doesn’t have a block of multimedia buttons, so you have to use the remote control or keyboard instead. The ASUS Z83Db has an 88-key black keyboard. The Enter button is shaped classically like the letter L. The movement keys are below the keyboard’s baseline, so there’s a smaller risk of your pressing them accidentally. The Fn button is located in the bottom left corner, not quite conveniently for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V (Fn may be unintentionally pressed instead of Ctrl). Numeric buttons and three special Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key is located above the Left Arrow button; the two Windows key are in the bottom row on both sides 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 line with the functional keys (press them in combination with Fn to access their additional functions).
There is a second group of indicators right above the keyboard. There are also quick-launch buttons and a Power button with blue highlighting (from left to right):
- Bluetooth indicator (alight when the Bluetooth interface is enabled)
- Activity indicator (shows that the hard or optical drive is being accessed)
- Num Lock indicator
- Caps Lock indicator
- 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.
- A button to launch your e-mail client
- An Internet button (launches your Web-browser)
- Touchpad on/off (you may want to disable the touchpad to avoid accidental presses if you’re using a mouse)
There is no Scroll Lock indicator here, yet it is not a serious drawback as this function is hardly ever used.
The first pair of stereo speakers are placed symmetrically on both sides of the keyboard. You will find the second pair if you turn the notebook upside down. The notebook indeed sounds better than many other models, thus confirming its positioning as of a portable multimedia station.