The display and the controls
Right now, whether you're looking at an 11.6" notebook display or a 16" one, you're almost always forced to make do with a 1366x768 resolution. Asus' N82Jv is no exception, plastering 1366 by 768 pixels across its 14 inches of panel area.
Color reproduction seems average for a TN panel like this one, while luminosity is appropriately high considering the glossy finish. Oddly, this panel seems to have the same "weaved" look as that of the Toshiba T235D we reviewed a few weeks ago. From what I can tell, the dot pitch is just enough to cause visibly dark lines to run down the length of the display. The effect is a little weird and somewhat bothersome, though you'll probably stop noticing after a few minutes of use. Ah, if only Asus had included a higher-resolution display...
Looking down, we have rather typical chiclet keyboard, with its paging block squished across the top right corner in a single line of keys. Here's how that keyboard's dimensions compare to those of our reference (which, we should mention, is an old-fashioned design from the pre-chiclet era):
|Total keyboard area||Alpha keys|
|Size||296 mm||105 mm||31,080 mm²||168 mm||53 mm||8,904 mm²|
|Versus full size||103%||95%||98%||98%||93%||91%|
In this age of cramped, often ill-designed keyboards, it's nice to see a chiclet model with big keys, large gaps between those keys, and a respectable overall surface area. Asus doesn't get full marks for tactile feedback, though. The N82Jv's keyboard feels decent enough to use, but the keys could stand to be springier, and the middle part of the keyboard flexes a fair bit.
Finally, we have the touchpad. I'm normally not a huge fan of textured touchpads, but this one won me over. Sort of. It has a large surface area, and although the textured surface feels a little rough under one's fingertips, the coefficient of friction seems to be about right.
Asus has selected an ElanTech touchpad design with multi-touch functionality, and for the most part, the multi-touch input works just great. Right out of the box, I could scroll with two fingers, tap with two fingers to middle-click, and tap with three fingers to right-click. Scrolling was neither too slow nor too fast (over-eager scrolling seems to be a problem with some touchpad designs). My only problem was with dragging-and-dropping, which felt a little temperamental in tap-to-click mode. More often than not, tapping twice, holding the second tap, and moving the cursor had no effect on the item I was expecting to move.
Those uncomfortable with tap-to-click can always fall back on the N82Jv's rocker button. Too bad this one isn't a particularly, er, shining example of how a good touchpad button should look. Not only is it recessed from the front edge of the notebook, but it also doesn't protrude much verticallyand it has a glossy finish. Clicking involves an excessive downward thumb motion, and it immediately leaves a smudge on the button surface. I know I keep complaining about this, but come on. Glossy touchpad buttons? Really? I can only hope that, one day, laptop makers will see reason and stop making things shiny when they're supposed to accommodate users' greasy palms and fingers.
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