BIOS and Security
The BIOS on the Asus A7J is simple and offers all the basic controls you need to get the laptop configured to just the way you want. There are five main sections to the BIOS: Main, Advanced, Security, Power, and Boot.
The Main screen summarizes your BIOS information so you can see at a glance what BIOS versions you are running, the CPU model, memory quantity, and set the date. Nothing too exciting here.
Under the Advanced menu you can flash the BIOS, enable or disable the pointing device, mute the POST sound, and enable/disable the IR port.
In the Security screen, you can disable any form of I/O device on the laptop to protect you from users who may want to compromise security through an attached device (i.e. a portable drive). However, it’s a good idea to password protect the BIOS using the Supervisor password so that no one can disable any security options you implemented. The Asus A7J also supports Trusted Computing Management which is touted to be a big feature of Windows Vista. You can also specify a User password and restrict the user to simple BIOS activities like changing the date or just view BIOS options.
The Power menu allows you to enable LCD power savings when unplugged, and to calibrate / condition the battery. Calibrating the battery is an important since it will make the battery level more accurate to your particular unit.
Finally, the Boot screen you can configure the order in which your devices will boot your system.
In addition to the BIOS password and device security mentioned above, the Asus A7J also has a Kensington laptop lock port on the back so you can physically secure it to an object.
Asus also includes a unique feature called Asus Video Security which uses the integrated camera like a motion sensor. When the software detects motion or a change in scenery (like when someone tries to grab it from the desk) the software can email you, sound an alarm, or update a webpage. However, this isn’t foolproof because having Power Saving enabled will shut off the camera and will leave your laptop vulnerable. The alarm sound is annoying, but theives may not be deterred by it. Best to use the Kensington lock in my opinion.
Not to be forgotten is the bundled Norton Internet Security suite to protect your network traffic. Some laptops have biometrics or special hardware keys to activate — the Asus A7J does not have these features.