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ASUS M6000N Digital Entertainment Gateway
By Justin Ong
Category : Notebooks/Laptops
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 28th April, 2004
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

The M6000N

Like a child boasting his excellent exam results to his parent, ASUS made every bit of effort to ensure their award winning M6000N Digital Entertainment Gateway is made known to whoever is toying with the notebook at a retail outlet. This was clearly evident with its bold and eye-catching sticker pointing out clearly the numerous design awards the product received. To the awarders' credit, we too found ourselves captivated by the slickness and contemporary design of the notebook. After all, it's not everyday we found ourselves with a desktop replacement that not only looks good, but is actually slim and portable enough for the occasional use on the move. In any case, the word 'slim' isn't a word usually associated with desktop replacement notebooks. As such, ASUS has done a commendable job in delivering and maximizing the Intel Centrino Mobile Technology that drives this multimedia machine.

2 years global warranty and the various design awards are made known to prospective buyer

Digital Entertainment Gateway is what ASUS preferred their M6000N to be termed

Front view

Left Flank

Right Flank

Rear View

The usual Battery, Hard Disk and Memory module port are easily accessible

The battery pack used in the M6000N is in the form of an elongated bar and the dugout for battery insertion is strangely located at the forward portion of the notebook. Most notebooks have their battery dugout either at the rear or by the side of the chassis for cartridge shaped battery pack. Perhaps this was how ASUS conserved its space and it does demonstrate how they managed to keep the profile of the M6000N slim.

Toshiba SD-R6112 DVD-RW drive

The storage capacity and multimedia experience were extended further by the hot-swappable DVD-RW drive. Being hot-swappable meant that you can insert/remove the drive at your will without the need to restart the notebook for drive detection. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of the 2x DVD-RW drive is Toshiba. It can write DVD-R media at 2x, DVD-RW at 1x, CD-R at 16x, and CD-RW at 8x. Reading speed for DVD-ROM and CD-ROM are 8x and 24x respectively. With a DVD-Writer, you can now backup important data or create your own DVD titles all on this versatile notebook.

CD Switch

To further extend the Digital Entertainment Gateway's feature list, the M6000N features the ability for you to play your Audio CD without the need to boot into the operating system. At the flick of the CD Switch (circled in red above), the audio circuitry and the DVD-Drive will be initialized. From here, all you need to do is to insert your music CD, close the drive and your digital album will come to life through the onboard speakers or your headphones should you so desirably choose. Track controls are made via the 'AudioDJ' controls beside the earphone jack, a nice touch but would have been better if they were larger. The real pity here to the otherwise well implemented 'AudioDJ' is the lack of a straightforward volume control dial. Instead, you're given two methods to control the volume. The first is to press and hold the Forward Track key (increase volume) and Back Track key (decrease volume). The second method requires you to flip up the LCD panel to perform volume adjustment. This is done through a key combination of 'FN' key with F10 (mute), F11 (decrease volume) and F12 (increase volume). Unfortunately, the result of the unusual implementation of the first volume control method would translate to an absence of the fast-forwarding/back-tracking controls. Without these common and much needed feature, listening to Audio CDs would be inconvenient especially if you're into classical music (that normally contain unusually lengthy tracks).

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