ASUS W3J Laptop Review

So my much-anticipated Asus W3J laptop arrived a few days ago. To recap, my requirements for a laptop were:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

You can disable the vert scroll area. Control Panel Mouse Function.

Well, I don’t want to disable vertical scrolling ENTIRELY. I just want the dedicated vertical scroll area to go away (because it’s nearly impossible to “feel” when you’ve moved your finger into this no-man’s-scrolling-only-land), and treat the panel like a single large touchpad. I don’t think this is possible. Here’s the relevant page from the Synaptics driver

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I have version 8.2.0 of the Synaptics driver installed; the latest download version on their website is 8.1.2, so the driver hasn’t been updated much in the last year, from what I can tell…

You’ve possibly persuaded me to get one of my own. I won’t be buying for another half a year probably though, so something better will probably come out before then.

Sounds like a good laptop. It does occur to me that you could fix the scrolling and led niggles with 2 small peices of masking tape - although this wouldn’t look so great, it might be a simple solution?

Love teh blog, btw - Thanks!

If it’s synaptics you should be able to set the scroll area or disable it entirely in its tab on the mouse pane of the control panel. I’d hope other brands would offer the same functionality. The manual vaguely hints at such (mostly by spotting the icon on a photo of the mouse panel) but I can’t find the brand mentioned in any spec sheet or review. Sigh.

If you ever feel the need to mod, you could replace the bright blue leds with, say, violet or forest green. :wink:

Thanks for the comments on the screen. I’ve always had the same (glare) reservations, maybe I’ll give it a try. I’d also be interested on any comments on the dual core. What I’ve heard so far is that it is an under performer.


I’ve heard of people using a color wheel and the fingernail polish counter at the local drug store to change the color of the LEDs to a nice purple color, but don’t try this at home.

Our HP has the highway wake-up bumps in the vertical scroll area of our trackpad. I’m still not a big fan of trackpads. But replacing the nubs every so often was a pain.

I’m also going to suggest tape, but not for the LEDs, use it for the trackpad! Just put a very small sliver of tape across that boundary to make your own “highway bumps”. Make that tape match with the tape you’re going to use for the blue LEDs, stylin’!

I’ve never actually tried this, so YMMV.

I have to disagree on the glossy screens. I personally hate them. You can’t use them outside at all… they look totally black. I work at home and love to go out on my back porch to program. But not anymore. :frowning: The glossy screen on my new Dell laptop is completely unusable even in the shade. My old matte finish laptop was harder to see but at least I could use it.

You can disable the vert scroll area. Control Panel Mouse Function.

Also, don’t use the usual screen cleaners on that display. You’ll destroy it. Use distilled water and a shammy cloth.

You can buy these at Staples, under the brand “Clean Doctor”. It looks like a hairbrush, but it cleans these new anti-glare screens where traditional cleaners won’t (they streak).

I also recently upgraded my laptop - from a very small Sony Vaio PCG-TR3p to a new Macbook. I wanted an Intel Duo laptop and after pricing between the Macbook and the Lenovo Thinkpad X60, the Macbook was notably cheaper.

I have to say that although I am mostly a Windows guy, the transition has been fairly easy and I’m very happy with my new machine. The stories about excessive heat, etc, are a bit overblown (its no worse than any other laptop I’ve had).

I bought it thinking I’d use Bootcamp to let me use Windows when I really needed to, but instead I bought Parallels (VM) and setup XP in that and it worked really well. And it also turns out I haven’t really needed to run Windows much - I can get my Exchange mail on Entourage, I can VPN into work with the standard Internect Connect app in OS X and I downloaded the Windows Remote Desktop Client for the Mac when I need to get into work and do something.

For those of you on the edge - and a little curious about the Mac - you should give some real thought to a Macbook.

I just had to share: I have a laptop, a BenQ notebook that I got as a warranty replacement for a very flakey earlier model. All the computers in my house are named for animals, and since this replacement machine was supposedly going to be flawless and error-free, it clearly needed a mythical animal name. So I called it Bonacon - a heraldic beast like a large cow, with some unusual features (look it up!). This then suggested the ideal name for the surprisingly sturdy soft zip-up case that came with it: the Bonacondom!

Just thought you’d like to know.

How is the fan noise and the heat? Especially after the Macbook incident, this would be interesting.

Like a few others, I say tape the dedicated vertical scroll area. Duct tape comes in lots of colors now…

I’ve been searching for months, trying to find the most suitable laptop for work. I believe the search ends here.

Where’d you purchase your asus?

Very interesting review. I’ve been looking for a laptop for a while and after stumbling across your earlier post, I’ve been watching the W3J very closely. Glad to see you are happy with it.

I’m very close to pulling the trigger on it. Just need final budget approval from the boss (aka the wife).

I was very close to going for the A8JM, but the refresh specs on the W3J seem too good to be true.

Hows the heat on it while holding it in your lap? Is it truly a “lap” top or does it feel like a scorching hot dinner plate within 5 minutes?

Where’d you purchase your asus?

I got mine from ; they called me to verify the order and handled everything perfectly. I’ve never done business with them before, but I had no problems at all with the W3J order.

the refresh specs on the W3J

Yeah, the free upgrade to the 2.0 GHz Core Duo is a nice perk, and the single internal 1GB SO-DIMM makes upgrading a breeze. Just snap in another $90 1GB SO-DIMM via the panel on the back and you’re done. Mine should arrive today.

How is the fan noise?

You can hear it, but it’s never obnoxiously loud or buzzy. It’s very smooth. I spent a lot of time building quiet PCs, so I’d tell you if it was noisy. For example, my work provided Thinkpad T43 had a MUCH noiser and far more obnoxious cooling fan.

Hows the heat on it while holding it in your lap?

The vent on the right expels some extremely warm air, particularly if you’re gaming (loading both the CPU and video card). But the bottom doesn’t get particularly hot. There’s also an extra, passive vent on the bottom.

WRT to ATI drivers, you may want to look in to the third-party Omega drivers – I’m generally an nVidia fanboy and try and avoid ATI purely because their drivers suck ass, but on the one ATI card I do have I’ve found the Omega drivers to be faster, more stable, and with a much bigger feature set than the stock ones.

I have an Asus A8Ja after a disaster with two Macbooks. Very impressive and at 100% CPU it never gets hotter than 58 degrees C. When idle it runs at around 33 degrees so runs very cool. Unlike the Macbook Pro it stays completely cold up top and just gets warm underneath (granted its a 1.6 GHz not 1.8GHz).

Unfortunately after about a month the fan started whining when at low speed, very annoying and can be heard over videos etc. I tried to get their support to send me another fan but they insist I send the laptop back - unfortunately I can’t because I use it every day !

Anyone have any idea on how to quiet a fan - oil perhaps ?

Based on your comments and review, I have decided to purchase an Asus - the order went in today and I will be getting it by Thursday or Friday of this week (in Canada).

Q. Did you purchase their extended warranty? Is it worth it? Thanking your for your reply in advance.

Stu in Ottawa, Canada