Power4Gear Performance Manager
Can you tell that Asus wanted to put performance and usability at the forefront? While you had some control on the Asus Eee PC, the G51Vx comes with the Power4Gear Hybrid software package. This lets you manage the performance and battery modes of this laptop.
In the High Performance mode, you have the ability to tack on the Turbo Mode. This is a built-in overclocking utility that adds about 150MHz to your processor speed. That's not a quantum leap, but it's good to know that it's there. When you want to conserve battery, there is also the Battery Saving mode and the Quiet Office mode.
The Mini OS for Basic Needs
As you may have heard some time last year, Asus announced that it would be including an "instant-on" mini operating system with every motherboard and it seems that this continues into the notebook realm as well.
Splashtop is a Linux-based OS that boots up instantly when you need it. This gives you quick access to things like browsing the web, checking your email, and initiating a Skype call. This is more convenient and is more power-efficient than waiting for a full boot of Windows Vista.
Backlit Chiclet Keyboard with More
Just like what I experienced with the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, the Asus G51Vx gets a fantastic chiclet style keyboard. This is very comfortable to use and provides a Mac-like experience for typing. The keys are soft and have just the right amount of travel. Many of them also come with secondary functions when you hold the Fn button.
You'll also notice that there is a full numeric keypad along the right side, a feature that typically isn't included until you hit the 17-inch laptop range. This is handy not only for accountants (the secondary function of the far right "enter" key is to launch the calculator), but also gamers who want that secondary functionality.
Have you ever wanted to play some Far Cry or World of Warcraft from the serenity of your dimly-lit dorm room? With most cheaper laptops, you're left struggling to see what key is which, but the G51Vx offers a backlit keyboard. Better still, you can adjust the relative brightness of the illumination too. I also appreciate the media controls that have been mapped to the standard four-way directional arrows and I like the slightly rubberized palm rest area.
All in all, the user experience with the keyboard on the G51Vx is very good. I would have liked to see the same multitouch trackpad interface as the Eee PC on here, but this "regular" trackpad works well too. If you plan on doing any gaming, I do recommend that you use an external mouse, of course. Something like the Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000 is a good option or, if you want to save even more money, you can opt for something like the Choiix Accu-Mouse instead. However, no one says that you can't haul your favourite gaming mouse along too.