Connectivity and Accessories
Marketing of 17-inch laptops have traditionally been used to target consumers looking to rid themselves of a desktop, so its no surprise that vendors take particular care to include good amounts of connectivity to make the laptop transition easier. The Asus A7J comes loaded with lots of options, so let’s break it all down.
There are a total of 5 USB 2.0 ports (one of the left side, and four on the back), and a single IEEE1394a mini port. For video you get three different flavours: DVI, VGA/D-Sub, and S-Video. The inclusion of DVI is a nice bonus and not many laptops feature this connection. You won’t find any old legacy ports on this configuration though you can have the DVI connection replaced with a parallel port (requires a different configuration).
For networking, Asus wisely uses a Gigabit LAN adapter for uncompromising speed and low latency. You will also find a Intel ProWireless 802.11a/b/g adapter and a standard modem. We will examine networking performance more later in this article.
Wireless device connectivity comes in two forms: Blue Tooth, and infra-red. The Blue Tooth is integrated with the ProWireless adapter. One infrared port is located on the left side and the other on the front. The front IR can be used with an optional remote control that can be purchased from Asus.
Audio comes with standard headphone and microphone jacks, and a dedicated SPDIF mini jack. Audio will also be examined in more detail shortly.
To round things out, there is a SD/Memory Stick reader.
The Asus A7J comes packaged in a large corrugated cardboard carton with an easy carry handle on top. Inside the laptop is wrapped in a foam bag with cardboard braces at each end to protect it during shipping. There is also a protective sheet over the LCD display and the keyboard to give even more protection to the large 17″ display. The accessories are bundled together in an insert carton.
The contents inside the box are:
- telephone cable for the modem
- S-Video/Composite video adapter
- System Software: Driver and factory recovery CDs
- Extra Software: InterVideo Medi@ Show, Power Director, MS Works 8, Nero
The documentation that comes with the A7J is concise and has instructions on how to operate the hardware, but does not cover how to use Asus software like Splendid Video.
There aren’t any extra goodies like wireless mice or laptop pouches – the A7J sticks to the basics.