The top right of the flush hot keys switches power profiles – Game, High Performance, Super Performance, Quiet Office and Presentation are available and these automatically adjust the power profiles. Below this, the button turns Bluetooth and off. Next is one that adjusts screen modes, Theater, Vivid Soft, Gamma Correction. The next two are for Wi-Fi and Touch Pad Enable/Disable.
Moving to the left hand side we find controls for the DVD player – Stop, Start, Pause. While these flush controls are cool I did find that I pressed them inadvertently when I went to pick up the notebook.
Looking to the right hand side of the machine, you find the power supply connector and next to this is the CPU heatsink output and it certainly puts out a fair amount of hot air.
Along from this is one of the three USB 2.0 ports and next to this is the S-Video out. After this you’ll find the FireWire port – though it’s only a 4-pin variety, which could be inconvenient if you don’t have a 4-pin to 6-pin cable to hand. After this you’ll find an Express Card slot, a new type of slot that replaces PC Card, and a memory card slot that can accept SD card and Memory stick. There’s also an infra-red port tucked in there, though I can’t think why you’d need it if you have Bluetooth. The Bluetooth chipset supports the latest 2.0 standard giving greater bandwidth and range. Bearing the Centrino branding, Wi-Fi is also built-in, pretty much standard these days.
On the left you’ll find the other two USB 2.0 ports, a D-Sub cable and Ethernet and modem ports. The sum total of three USB ports is actually slightly disappointing and I would have liked to have seen four. One of the reasons there is only three might be that Asus is squeezed for space as there are no ports at the rear. This is because of the battery forms part of the hinge. It’s a cool effect but it does mean that only the sides can be used for connectivity.
The screen quality is good when viewed direct on, and looks good but it does suffer from poor viewing angles, especially vertically. If you’re not sitting directly in front of the screen, you won’t get a great experience. If you are though, you’ll be alright and things are bright, clear and colourful.