Construction: Field Tested (cont.)
Keyboard – All IBM, Dell, and HP laptops are known for having a great keyboard layout. However, the Asus V6V uses a nonstandard keyboard layout, which includes having the home/pgup/pgdown/end keys placed on the right side instead of the top corner like a desktop keyboard. Likewise, the Ctrl key is smaller and less accessible as the Function key is placed to the left of it. During regular usage, it also became clear that placing the Insert key right above the Backspace key was a poor choice.
LEDs– The V6V has 3 LED strips, one at the bottom left of the laptop, one at the top right, and one on the top middle of the cover when closed. The strip on top of the cover includes (from left to right) LEDs for power (blue when on, blinking when on standby), battery charging (orange when charging), Bluetooth (blue when on), and wireless LAN (blue when on).
The strip to the left of the touchpad on the inside of the laptop is the exact same as the one on the cover, with the addition of the left-most indicator, the pad-lock LED.
On the top right, above the keyboard, are indicators for drive activity (blinking blue when active), num lock (blue when on), caps lock (blue when on), and scroll lock (blue when on). Although the cover LEDs are well placed, easily viewable and useful, the interior LED strips are difficult to see unless you are staring directly down on them. Due to their placement, the LEDs are indented into the laptop which make them impossible to see from a low angle.
TouchPad & Buttons– The touchpad location is fine and intuitive, allowing for quick switching between the keyboard and the pad. One immediate drawback that was noticed were the buttons, which were a bit smaller than desired and also lacked much tactile feedback (i.e. an audible click). This could be good thing or a bad thing depending on the user, sometimes its nice not to make a lot of noise with button-clicking, but on the same token, it does not feel as comfortable or as reactionary. Also, the touchpad has a horizontal scroll toggle placed on its right side, which did not interfere with normal usage of the touchpad, nor decrease surface space on a noticeable level.
Launch Keys– One added feature to the V6V is a set of launch keys located at the top left of the laptop, right above the keyboard. From left to right, there is a pad lock key (which has a corresponding LED at the bottom left if on), a Power4 Gear key, a Bluetooth key, a Internet Launch key, and a wireless LAN key.
The Bluetooth, wireless LAN, and pad lock keys just enable/disable those features. The Power4 Gear button, however, switches between power saving modes. This enables you to squeeze the life out of your battery before it dies. Under AC power, settings can be switched between "Super Performance" (AC only setting), "High Performance", and Game Performance". When on battery power, there are seven settings including the latter two above: Game, DVD Movie, Email/Office, Presentation, Audio Listening, and Battery-Saving Performance.
Speakers & Microphone– There is an integrated microphone placed on the top right of the laptop, which provides a satisfactory recording rate, though it is still suggested to buy a separate microphone for optimal quality. The speakers are placed as a strip on the bottom edge of the laptop, pointing straight upwards. This placement was immediately problematic, because the speakers were placed exactly where one's wrists would go when typing. This muffled the sound drastically and significantly reduced quality.