The V1J is part of Asus' security-oriented laptop series. A fairly up-to-date specification, integrated fingerprint reader and inoffensive design is intended to appeal to a cross-section of users who work with sensitive data.
The V1J doesn't stand out from the crowd. Aesthetically, it's somewhere between Asus' garish but attractive Lamborghini VX1 laptop and the company's understated -- read: bland -- A7Tc. The V1J weighs 2.7kg and uses a 15.4-inch display, so it's portable enough to carry on a daily basis while large enough to use without squinting at the display.
The laptop is mostly finished in black, with silver trim running around its edge. Opening the screen is straightforward enough -- the V1J uses a push-button latch-release, which is easier to operate than some sliding latches. At the top of the screen there's a 1.3-megapixel webcam, which in this case swivels 180 degrees so you can record yourself or others in a meeting or lecture.
For the most part the keyboard feels good to type on, but some of the keys aren't quite to our taste. The return key, for example, isn't full size and is therefore slightly harder to hit with your right pinky finger than the large, squarish keys found on desktop keyboards. We also didn't like the fact that the 'Fn' function key is to the left of the leftmost 'Ctrl' key. Anyone who likes to use keyboard shortcuts (typically a combination of the Ctrl key plus another key) will automatically reach for the Ctrl button at the bottom leftmost corner. Happily, the V1J's keyboard is spill-proof, so it should be untroubled by accidental liquid incursions.
The mouse touchpad is responsive enough, and below this, between the left and right mouse selector buttons, is a biometric fingerprint reader. The reader lets you log into Windows by simply swiping a finger of your choice across the copper-coloured pad -- the unique impression patterns at the ends of your digits are registered so that you don't have to remember a password.
Above the keyboard there's a set of hotkeys for one-touch access to common applications. There are buttons for starting a media player, switching the laptop's performance mode (to enhance battery life or overall speed), altering display profiles to suit different tasks, activating Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and finally, for activating or deactivating the mouse touchpad.
To the left of the laptop is a LAN port, S-Video, VGA, two USB ports and an mini DVI port that you can turn into a full DVI output via the supplied adaptor cable. On the right of the laptop are modem and FireWire ports, a single USB port, two audio ports and an infrared receiver. Here you'll also find a four-in-one memory card reader, which supports SD, MMC, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro formats. There is also an Expresscard slot for future upgrades.