ASUS U2E 11" Ultra-mobile Notebook Review - In a class of its own
Exterior Design and Features (cont'd)
Looking closer at the keyboard and surrounding area, we can see there is a button the left side near the hinge that allows the user to dynamically change the scheme that Windows is using to manage performance and power.
The power button can be customized for one press sleep or hibernate and you can of course change what happens when you close the lid of the U2E. The buttons long the top are also a nice satin-finish metal and complement the overall feel of quality on the system.
The indicator lights are located on the front right wrist area and show power, battery, WiFi, disk and caps lock status.
The fingerprint scanner is on the far right, away from the touch pad which does help with accidental swipes. The black leather wrist rest area is actually of high quality and over my few days with the notebook I grew to like the way it felt when slightly warmed by the systems heat. As I mentioned in the U6S review from last week, there is a slight chance that over a long period the leather will begin to wear.
The webcam is pretty basic with a 0.3 megapixel resolution though it for use as a communications device it is more than capable. You can also use the webcam for face recognition login as well.
The ASUS branding on the U2E is very elegant and not all loud or obnoxious as some might expect from the lesser known notebook manufacturer. The chrome-like accents along the U2E continue to impress me aesthetically.
The U2E will come with two batteries - one 3-cell and the other 9-cell. The three cell, pictured above, sits flush with the back of the U2E but obviously will offer much less battery life.
The 9-cell pictured here is definitely a much more prominent battery option but extends battery life to highs I haven't seen before.
Here are just the batteries side by side; the 9-cell weighs about 12-13 oz more than the 3-cell battery so your choice will depend on your dependence on battery life.
Putting the ASUS U2E into the proper perspective requires you to size it up with the competition; after all seeing the photos of just the U2E for so long and it just starts to look like any other notebook. The above shot puts it above the ASUS U6S 12.1" screen notebook and then has my HP nc6400 14" notebook on the bottom.
Here is a comparison of the two ASUS notebooks while open; the U2E is still shorter and less deep than the U6S when resting directly on top of it.
Finally, a shot from my CES 2008 coverage shows the ASUS Eee PC sitting on top of the U2E - quite a paradox.