Asus Z80K: Athlon 64 DTR Notebook

Construction: Upgrading and Maintenance

Construction: Upgrading and Maintenance
A Look Inside...

Removing the bottom access panels reveals the hard drive and CPU heatsink. It should be noted that the Z80K uses a modular optical drive format, which explains how Asus can configure this notebook with other options.


The top side of the notebook is where most of the stuff is located in terms of upgrading and maintenance. Removing the top bezel, lifting the keyboard out of place, and removing the cover plates reveals the two SODIMM slots (populated by 2 x Apacer 512MB DDR333/PC2700 modules), and Asus 802.11b/g WiFi card, and most interestingly enough some sort of proprietary interface which includes the necessary AGP pathways.



We suspect it is proprietary since we haven't seen this design on other notebooks, and since the modular card also houses LEDs and the notebooks power controls (i.e. power). We have to wonder if this approach has to do with Asus's desire to allow either for quick configurations across different GPU choices or perhaps better yet, future upgrade-ability for end-users. Though, at the moment, Asus is only touting their Z80K with ATI's Mobility Radeon 9700.

There was one major design glitch that we should also mention here. The access bezel uses side flaps that also act as the button covers. The problem was that after only about a week, the flap edge of the button got weak to the point that pressing the power no longer worked. At first, we thought this was some sort of a system glitch where the backup battery needed to be replaced, but we discovered the problem while spending over an hour taking the Z80K apart. So for the better part of our review process, we just left the access panel off.  We passed this information on to Asus, and recommended they make this minor fix.

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