Asus A7J 17-inch Core Duo Notebook Review
Addendum: How to Upgrade the RAM
Originally when we published this review, I stated (here) that the primary SODIMM slot is inaccessible and therefore not upgradable, which contradicted what Asus states on their website.
After some questions to Asus, we were given some critical pages from the Service Manual which describes how to upgrade the parts to the A7J. In total there are six upgradable components:
- Primary RAM
- Secondary RAM
- CD Rom
- Hard Drive
- WiFi card
Of those components, the primary RAM and the Hard Drive are the most difficult because 1) the RAM is inaccessible, and 2) the hard drive appears locked in place.
How to Upgrade the RAM
Before we show you have to upgrade the RAM, you may void your warranty by doing so. So only attempt this upgrade if you're confident this is what you want to do.
To upgrade the primary SODIMM on the Asus A7J you will need the following tools:
- A precise flat-head screwdriver
- A credit card or thin piece of plastic (a plastic knife may be okay)
- A Philips screwdriver (I used a #PH1)
- The RAM you want to upgrade
The primary RAM is located underneath the keyboard, so you will need to remove that first. There are three latches holding down the keyboard to the body and they are located above the ESC, F8, and Del keys like the one shown below.
Close-up of the latch above the ESC key.
Using a flat-head screwdriver press each of the latches, and if you're lucky your keyboard may actually spring free in the first try. If not, press the latches again and maybe it will come out. If the keyboard is still not removable then you may need to put some upward pressure on the keyboard so that it can come free.
Here is where the plastic card comes in.
While pressing the latch above the ESC key, slide the card in along side the ESC, ~, and TAB keys and gently lift. If the corner of the keyboard doesn't come out, you may need to press/release the latch above the F8 key. You may need to try different apprpoaches before the keyboard comes off, but the general idea is the same: release latch, give upward pressure.
Once you have a finger under the corner, you can easily release the latches above F8 and DEL. Eventually the keyboard comes free and lay it off to the side. Be careful not to damage the ribbon connector.
There is a metal plate secured with a screw -- the RAM is underneath that!
Now install your RAM and close it up. Remember to put the RAM cover plate back on, otherwise you will have to go through that entire procedure again.
The factory installed Nanya 512MB SODIMM.
I don't know why Asus made it so hard to uupgrade the RAM, but at least it's possible to do it yourself. Just be patient and be gentle - you don't want to be breaking any of your keys during this operation.
How to Upgrade the Hard Drive
Coming soon! An update will be posted once this is done.