Connectivity, another potential Achilles heel for this and all other ultra-portable laptops, was surprisingly good on the S6F. It lacks a FireWire port, but there are three USB ports to choose from, each of which is adequately spaced, so you should have no difficulty connecting bulky USB peripherals.
An integrated ultra-slim DVD rewriter means there's no need to lug a separate optical drive, and Asus hasn't skimped on format support -- the drive can write and rewrite CDs at 24x and 16x respectively, and can write to 'plus' and 'minus' formats at up to 4x. This is a tad slow to use as your main backup solution, but it's good to have the option nonetheless.
Multimedia lovers will be pleased with the screen, as mentioned above, but they'll also be glad to find a 100GB hard drive inside the S6F. This is a massive amount of space for such a small laptop considering most of its rivals now settle for 40GB or 60GB disks. This allows you to store around 90 hours of high-quality video on the laptop, but we'd recommend you use a set of external speakers or headphones if you use the laptop to play movies or music.
Graphics performance isn't the S6F's forte. It uses the integrated display adaptor as found in the Intel 945GM chipset, so although it runs games, most modern titles will run in low frame-rate jerk-o-vision. We'll forgive it this black mark though, because that's not what the laptop is designed for.
As predicted, graphics performance was fairly pathetic. It scored a 3DMark 2006 score of 108, and although that's more than double the score of the similarly sexy Sony VAIO TX2, it's nothing to brag about. It ran Doom 3 at just 6.1 frames per second at a resolution of 1,024x768 pixels, but was far more impressive when running common productivity applications. It never once felt sluggish during everyday use and notched up a PCMark 2005 score of 2,834.
This tally is the highest we've seen from any ultra-portable laptop, and is better than we'd have expected from an average tower desktop PC before the advent of dual-core processing. More impressively, it ran virtually silently throughout our tests and was very cool during use, so if you like to use laptops as their name describes -- on your lap -- there's little risk of burning your legs.
We were unable to obtain a battery-life score from our pre-production S6F sample, but we'll update this review with a score in the near future.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide