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