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Connectivity and expansion
A good display, keyboard, and touchpad are all things to be proud of, but connectivity and expansion also matter quite a bit. What if you need to plug in a mouse, an external hard drive, or an auxiliary display? The N82Jv pretty much has you covered there.

The left side of the notebook is where most of the magic happens. You've got the power connector, the exhaust vent, and VGA, HDMI, USB 3.0, and 3.5-mm audio ports. We should note that the USB 3.0 port is backward-compatible with USB 2.0 devices, as it should be, so you'll have no trouble plugging in an iPod or whatever else.

The right side has a little less magic: a DVD burner, an unlabeled hatch, and a Kensington lock slot. When open, the hatch reveals USB 2.0, Ethernet, and powered external Serial ATA ports, along with a nervous Scottish man entering numbers into an Apple II. That powered eSATA port doubles as a USB port, by the way, so don't go thinking Asus is robbing you of USB connectivity just to double up on fast external storage options.

If you ask me, that hatch really isn't necessary. I wouldn't mind if it opened completely, but even after you pull the door outward, the springy hinge keeps it in the way, as pictured above. To make matters worse, the ports are recessed pretty deep into the chassis. Because of that design, simple things like pressing the release tab of an Ethernet plug can be a pain.

With the N82Jv on its back like a helpless tortoise, we get a good look at its underbelly—which is surprisingly devoid of vents, I should add. Asus provides a couple of latches to free the battery, as well as two doors each held in place by a pair of screws. One of the doors conceals the SO-DIMM slots (both occupied), while the other leads to the hard drive (which Asus places in an easily removable cage). There are also a handful of screws to unfasten the optical drive. Nothing terribly exciting, although Asus deserves credit for making it relatively painless to throw a solid-state drive into this bad boy.

One thing to note about that battery: it's a six-cell, 48Wh model, which is a little bit on the light side for a 14" laptop with a 2.4GHz Core i5 and discrete GeForce graphics. Asus' bamboo-plated U33Jc, which costs about the same as the N82Jv and includes slower components, ships with an eight-cell, 84Wh battery... and its run time is by no means exceptional. Evidently, Asus didn't anticipate folks spending too long away from wall outlets when designing the N82Jv.