Upgradability and Connectivity

Upgradability

On the bottom side of the W5F, the RAM, CPU, and hard drive are all accessible underneath covers that are held in by screws and removing these covers reveals your upgrade options.

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There is only one SODIMM expansion slot, so upgrade wisely.

RAM is only upgradable by one module. This means that your options for upgrading RAM is limited to a maximum of 1 GB for a total of 1.5 GB including the 512MB onboard. Getting dual channel to work optimally will be a challenge since it will be hard to perfectly match the onboard RAM.

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100GB 5400 RPM Fujitsu HDD.

The hard drive uses a 2.5″ HDD which can be swapped for any standard laptop drive. The one that came with this particular configuration is 100GB, but you can configure it with 60GB, 80GB, and 120GB as well.

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The CPU and blower assembly.


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The T2300 Core Duo CPU.

It is conceivable to upgrade the CPU as it is accessible from the bottom, however there is a sticker over the retention screws that states warranty is voided if the sticker is removed. So if you’re looking to upgrade the W5F’s CPU, you will have to decide whether or not voiding warranty is worth it.

Though there are a few initiatives to bring a standard graphics interface to laptops (like NVIDIA’s MXM format), the Asus W5F does not support any of them. Hence no other parts of the laptop are upgradable aside from CPU, RAM, and HDD.

Connectivity

The Asus W5F comes with all the essential connections to ensure it is versatile in most situations.

There are three high speed USB 2.0 (480 Mb/s) ports located on each side and on the rear, and a single 4-pin Firewire port on the left.

For networking and communication you have a few options. There is your “old” wired variety of networking through modem and 10/100MB LAN. For wireless you have 802.11g and Bluetooth, and can be activated and deactivated using the switch located above the ESC key. You can also use Fn+F2 to select if you want one or both wireless devices enabled.

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Video connections can be done through standard VGA/D-sub for projectors and computer monitors, or S-Video for televisions. If you’re looking for DVI support, you will have to buy an adapter and connect it to your VGA cable.

The Intel Extreme Graphics adapter is capable of dual output display via S-Video or VGA, in addition to the laptop’s screen. When changing these settings you will often have to manually change your resolutions as the display adapter on the W5F doesn’t detect the settings of the devices attached.

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These camera buttons offer some convenient control for the
integrated webcam.

Like most laptops audio is handled by a stereo-out jack for headphones or speakers, and a line-in jack for a microphone. There is also a microphone built into the lid of the W5F so you don’t have to carry a microphone whenever you need to do a video conference or a Skype call. Volume can be controlled using the function keys (Fn F10-F12) or the volume jogger dial on the side.

Since the Asus W5F uses Azalia HD Audio, it is capable of digital audio output by using the microphone jack. More about this in the Audio section of this review.

There is an integrated SD/MMC/Memory Stick reader (no Smart Media or Compact Flash support) and a single cardbus slot.

While a lot of laptop manufacturers make dock stations for their laptops, the Asus W5F does not have one. So if you’re looking to drop this onto a desktop, you’re going to have to wire it up.

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