Field Testing Features Continued
High marks are warranted for both the W2V's keyboard and touchpad. Although it did lack the almost standard side number pad for 17" notebooks, the layout for the keyboard was very comfortable to use even for long durations. Though initially feared as a aesthetic compromise, the unique etched-like buttons were easy to use and functioned without error. The only issue we encountered was a slight lag when using the vertical scroll feature on the touchpad. Here, there was an annoying delay which often resulted in scrolling past the desired point on the screen. Aside from this minor gripe, the interface on the W2V was exceptional.
As we referenced earlier, the speakers of the W2V are anything but typical. Here, the notebook features a surprisingly effective 4-channel speaker orientation combining speakers on the front of the LCD and on the bottom of the system. Without question, the most interesting aspect of the ASUS notebook's audio system is the integrated subwoofer. The competent sound of the stereo speakers is paired quite nicely by some effective bass from the subwoofer. These speakers make the W2V one of the very few notebooks you won't be forced to use discrete speakers with when listening to music, playing games, or watching DVD's. Overall, we had a very positive audio experience when using the W2V's integrated speakers.
When talking about the W2V's software, the first point of interest is primarily the OS. The system comes loaded with Microsoft's Media Center 2005 and is packaged with the appropriate connectivity hardware and remote. The features of this OS play heavily upon the system's feature-rich hardware and makes the W2V an extremely versatile system. There is a bit of humor packaged with the system in the way of an NVIDIA component video adaptor. Surely, there is an amusing pairing with an NVIDIA adaptor hooked to an ATI graphics card. Regardless, if there ever were to be a Swiss-Army branded notebook the ASUS W2V would likely be the ideal choice.
The remainder of the W2V's software suite is equally impressive as the OS, as ASUS has provided an excellent assortment to choose from. From a full retail copy of NERO, a 6 month trial of Norton Internet Security 2005, AsusDVD, Power Director DE, and Medi@show SE the system seems to have all bases covered.
The Power4 Gear power management utility allows the user to tailor the power settings for the system to the applications being used. Please reference the image below which outlines the various settings and appropriate details.