Package & Accessories

ASUS isn’t one to skimp on the packaging, as most people would know. The S6Fm comes in a nice looking, textured surface black box.

box ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

Inside another box we finally find the S6Fm in the included soft casing. Below that are the accessories.

case ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

ASUS has thrown in Ahead Nero for CD/DVD burning needs and another disc with some ASUS software on it, apparently for media playback. Also included is a Bluetooth mouse and accompanying charging cable and pouch. ASUS even went to the trouble of creating an ASUS-branded cable tie for keeping the AC adapter’s cables neat.

accessories ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

The charger is nothing special though, it’s just a typical power brick + cable.

charger ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

The inclusion of a mouse, and a Bluetooth one to boot, is quite a neat idea. The cable tie is an unusual but otherwise cheap addition. Missing however is a user manual which non-power users may need, hopefully ASUS will include one with the retail package.

Design

Looks like ASUS worked hard to make the S6Fm look good – The design is clean and gives quite a nice impression overall. The embossed leather covers the whole of the top panel save for the ASUS nameplate and the strip at the back which connects to the hinge.

overview closed top ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

The front is completely devoid of ports. ASUS has put most of the ports on the sides of the S6Fm where they are more easily accessible.

ports right ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

The right side houses the DVD writer and one USB port. The built-in card reader accepts Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick formats and their variants. The PCMCIA slot has been abandoned in favour of a ExpressCard slot, and this one supports both the smaller ExpressCard/34 and the larger ExpressCard/54. The Firewire port, less likely to be used, has been relegated to the rear, just next to the battery pack.

odd ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

The optical drive installed in our set was a DVD writer supporting major formats, another manufacturing option is a CD writer but we doubt that will find its way into retail for such a high-end product.

dummy ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

ASUS has included dummy cards so that one can prevent foreign objects from entering when the slot is not in use. While one is less likely to change the ExpressCard often (or even install one), if one uses the memory card reader frequently it might be less bothersome to simply leave the dummy at home, not to mention that, like an actual memory card, the card reader dummy is easy to lose due to its small size.

ports left ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

Residing on the left side are the VGA out, wireless hardware switch, and what looks like a little drawer. The wireless switch is a hardware one, meaning that the Bluetooth and Wifi might appear enabled in software but not actually work because this switch is in the off position. Below the switch is the air exhaust vent.

Presumably to preserve style, ASUS has also left out the two screw holes which are used to secure the VGA cable to the port. That shouldn’t be a major problem though. At the far end, closest to the user, is the front panel audio output. The power adapter plug is on the rear right edge, next to the battery pack, on the opposite end from the Firewire port mentioned earlier.

ports door ASUS S6Fm Special White Leather Preview

Opening the little ‘drawer’ reveals the remainder of the ports – 2 USB, Ethernet and modem, and the microphone jack. ASUS has cleverly placed the two USB ports on opposite sides of the recess to prevent thicker USB devices from colliding with one another. The microphone jack, presumably less frequently used, is also placed here. The cover is kept shut by a simple magnetic lock.

So far, I would say that ASUS has done a good job with the design and the layout of the various ports – the idea of hiding the less frequently used ports underneath the cover has been well thought out and implemented; It turns out to be a good balance between style and functionality.