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The display has a rather large bezel and the top and bottom but there is the 1.3 megapixel, 640 x 480 webcam that's located at the top. This is a feature that I always like to see, as it enables you to stay in touch without having to worry about any external cameras and trailing wires. A microphone is located next to this and a small yellow light illuminates when the camera is active.
While the screen itself is only ok, I like the keyboard immediately. Having a larger laptop might mean more weight but the added size makes for less cramped keys. They're well spaced out but the individual keys themselves could be larger and there are gaps between them and it is possible to catch the edge of a key as you type.
At the front of the machine, you'll find a sliding switch to activate the wireless and next to this are microphone and headphone sockets. On the right hand side is a card reader handling SD, xD, MMC and Memory Stick. On the left hand side you'll find a Super-Multi DVD Writer. This will read and burn almost every type of disc around right now, though not HD DVD or Blu-ray discs. It is Lightscribe compatible so you can burn your own images onto your discs. The only other thing also on that side is a Kensington lock.
On the left hand side you'll find an Express card slot. This gives you some future proofing but doesn't actually provide you with 'present-proofing' - you won't be able to make use of any of the current 3G data cards. The connectivity continues with two USB ports and a mini-FireWire port. There are no less than three video outs next to each other, S-Video, DVI and VGA, which is great to see. DVI on a notebook is all too uncommon and means that you don't have to compromise on quality when you hook up to an external monitor or display. In the back right corner you'll find the modem and Gigabit Ethernet port.
Round the back, you'll find the power socket at the rear right and another two USB ports. The battery pack is next to this and Asus has supplied a 9-cell 7,200mAh pack that sticks out at the back.
The Asus is equipped with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and these can be managed from a cute little application that sits in the start tray mimics Mac OS by bounding up and down as you make your selections. The later meets the 2.0 EDR standard, increasing bandwidth and range.
The F3J is available in a number of configurations and the one I have here for review has a P suffix. This is the fastest version and my review sample has an Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 inside it. However, I couldn't find this offered anywhere - only a 2.0GHz T7200. Equally, the hard disc inside this is a 100GB, while one I found had the slower CPU but a larger hard disk. There was also 2GB of RAM fitted to this system, whereas only 1GB is supplied as standard - though you can up it to 2GB for around £100. The graphics chip internally is the ATI Radeon X1700. Thanks to Hyper Memory it can have up to 512MB of RAM, by intelligently stealing from system RAM.
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