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The Asus Lamborghini VX3 continues to impresses with its connectivity. Starting at the back we find the battery slot flanked by a VGA output on the right and a Gigabit Ethernet and modem port to the left. Running down the left hand side we see the power connector, the VX3's one and only air vent, an impressive three USB ports, an HDMI output, an ExpressCard slot and, finally, a hardware WiFi switch.
On the right a fourth and final USB port is housed, alongside a microphone input and an S/PDIF out. Further along this edge is the VX3's DVD-RW drive just above which sits card reader slot. This will read SD, miniSD (with an adapter), MMC, MS, MS-Pro, MS-Duo and MS-Pro Duo (again, via an adapter). In other words, save for CompactFlash and xD, if your camera uses it, your memory card can be read by the VX3.
Speaking of formats, the DVD drive is, unlike the VX2, not a Litescribe model, but otherwise it is still fully able to take near enough every DVD disc, be it single- or dual-layer, under the sun, up to and including DVD-RAM.
Internally Draft-N wireless and Bluetooth are also featured. It's worth noting that the hardware switch kills both of these, so if you wish to use a Bluetooth device but disable WiFi you'll want to use the wireless Fn hotkey instead. The real piece de la resistance of the VX3 when it comes to connections, though, is the built-in HSDPA module. Removing the battery reveals a SIM card slot, which will accept a SIM from any network. Connecting is then just a matter of launching the pre-installed 3G Watcher software and typing in the right connection details.
Reception was surprisingly good. Even in the TR office, which is notoriously bad for celular coverage (or is that just because Riyad and I have iPhones?) I managed to get a perfectly acceptable 1,314Kb/s down and 328Kb/s up using an Orange SIM. Obviously depending on where and with which network the VX3 is used signal strength is going to vary, but unless you're living in a lead-lined fallout shelter, you'll probably be fine.
The speakers on the VX3 are one area where I can't be so complimentary. In fact, speakers, plural, is an overstatement because the VX3 features but a single tiny speaker at its front. In kindness I suppose it does look slightly like an air intake grille, which fits with the overall theme of the system, but by no means does the VX3 sound like a Lamborghini. The one exception to that rule being when you first power the system on, whereupon a ‘revving' sound is blasted out for all nearby to hear - which gets old pretty quickly. You can disable this in the BIOS, but that's not exactly a novice option. It's worth turning this off as soon as possible though, unless you really want to look like a plonker in public.
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