Construction - Build, Appearance, Size
ASUS has been making a name for itself in the notebook industry recently. Known throughout the computer world for their high quality motherboards and video cards, the company's transition into the notebook market was only natural since the company has and continues to OEM for tier 1 companies. The current notebook lineup is 6 players deep, with the T9 series we look at today targeted at "the successful mobile professional."
The shell of the T9 is magnesium-aluminum alloy in nature, providing strength, low weight, and good looks. The migration from plastic shells to metallic ones has been taking place for some time now and is especially prevalent in notebooks with relatively low profiles. The silver color of the case with blue trim gives the T9 an aggressive look that reminds us of the Sony line of notebooks.
Opening the screen reveals a dark gray 19mm, 85-key keyboard that falls four inches from the front of the laptop, giving ample room for wrist support while typing. We were especially happy to find dedicated end, page up, page down, and home keys as well as arrow keys.
Located slightly to the left of the center of the wrist support area one finds the touchpad pointing device. The offset nature of the touchpad allows it to fall perfectly between the left and right hand while in the natural typing position, as the user's hands sit slightly left as a result of the function keys located on the right side of the keyboard. A function key lies at the bottom left of the keyboard and provides access to the peach settings on the keyboard including volume and brightness. Our only gripe about the keyboard was, as a matter of fact, the location of the function key which is placed where we would expect the control key at the bottom left of the keyboard.
On the front of the laptop one can fine a total of seven status LED indicators. The first in the set is the power LED which glows green when the system is on. One step over is the battery status LED which is orange when charging and green when charged. The final large LED is the "e-mail incoming" LED which can be set via software to light up when an e-mail is received. The first of the small LEDs is a hard drive access light, with the next three devoted to the num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock keys.
Also located on the front of the notebook on the left and right side are the system's speakers. When typing, ones hands naturally sit directly over the speaker ports, resulting in a somewhat muffled sound.
Above the keyboard lies the power button as well as 4 software customizable buttons. The bottom left of the LCD also houses the T9's built in microphone. The LCD is hinged in 2 different areas: once on the left and once on the right. It closes with relative ease and should prove to be rather difficult to break.