Asus ships the F70SL with a range of its own software utilities. The ludicrously named Splendid Utility lets you fiddle with display settings such as colour temperature and gamma control along with a range of presets to choose from. The Power4 Gear Hybrid tool provides a more attractive and user-friendly version of Vista's own power options.
Express Gate: use it once and, most likely, never again
Asus' Express Gate software is also included, allowing you to boot into a Linux-based OS featuring various tools including web access, Skype and a media player. It takes around ten seconds for Express Gate to load, and we suspect it's something you'll use once before completely forgetting it ever existed.
Asus shouts about the F70SL's 17.3in screen being a full HD display, but with a native resolution of 1600 x 900 that's not entirely true. Actually, it's not true at all, since full 1080p HD video requires no less than 1920 x 1080.
Indeed, it's something of a shame that Asus didn't furnish the F70SL with a screen of this resolution – something managed by HP's 16in HDX16-1000, with Apple's 17in MacBook Pro offering a 1920 x 1600 resolution, albeit, at a price.
Thanks to its 16:9 aspect ratio, though, your movie viewing pleasure won't be ruined by stretched images or black bars. And being an LED backlit screen, it is also bright, vibrant and benefits from decent horizontal viewing angles.
Storage capacity can be increased thanks to an additional drive bay
Given that this beast is ideal for watching gigabyte-hungry movies on, Asus has done well in providing it with a 320GB Seagate hard drive ticking along at 5400rpm. What's more, unscrew a plate on the underside and you'll find a spare drive bay awaiting an upgrade.
Where did you get the updated driver?
In the review you mention finding a driver that allowed for "n" speeds, where did you locate that driver?
...with at best 1/7th the 3D performance of my 17" Sager, it'd have to be hellishly cheap to justify.
And it seems to be mostly made of plastic. Have they stuffed half a brick in there or something?
Utterly pointless screen
There are two points to a 16:9 screen on a computer.
1) To match the aspect ratio of HDTV for video playback.
2) To save money, because a 16:9 screen has less area than a 16:10 screen with the same diagonal.
So what they've done here is charge a reasonably large amount of money for a machine with an inferior resolution to any 1680x1050 screen (let alone WUXGA), that has an inferior aspect ratio for document editing (try fitting two A4 pages on it - 16:10 is much better), and that can't display HD resolutions without scaling (blurring) them.
Personally, I've never found black bars (aka "somewhere off-screen to put the DVD player control) distracting - certainly no more than the screen boundaries. I'll be amused if someone starts doing ambilight-esque coloured borders. This is entirely a cynical attempt to fob off a cheaper panel than a "real" 17" screen would have been, and claim it's superior.
16:9 is not, and never has been, a good choice of aspect ratio. Now it's polluting our laptop screens. Eugh.
Pint glass, for looking at distorted images through.
Yep - This is the other laptop to complement your eeepc 901. When you need more memory/cpu/disk/workspace for real work.
Which is why it is disappointing to see it only has 1600x900 resolution. Using a similar dpi to the 901 you should be looking at 1920x1080 (which would also make it true HD). Given that Asus has dropped the dpi for its successor eeepc models - are they going blind (to the market). Come on Asus, recapture the market by being truly innovative.