ASUS Notebook/Tablet FAQ

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  1. coriolis

    coriolis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The ASUS Notebook Frequently Asked Questions Thread

    Last updated February 21th 2007

    Welcome to the ASUS FAQ! Here the common questions for ASUS notebooks and ASUS in general will listed and answered to as accurate as possible!

    Remember this FAQ is still being updated as frequently as possible, and without the helpful suggestions and additions by forum members, this wouldn't have been possible. That being said, feel free to Private Message me here(or over at if you want to add anything!

    Table of Contents

    <dl><dt>1. ASUS General
    <dd>a Who is ASUS?
    <dd>b. What is an ODM?
    <dd>c. Why buy an ASUS?
    <dd>d. Interesting Information about ASUS
    <dd>e. How to contact ASUS
    <dd>f. Built On? ENSEMBLE?
    <dd>g. ASUS resellers?
    <dd>h. What about the warranty?
    <dd>i. How do I buy (insert ASUS notebook here)?
    <dd>j. Dead Pixels?!??!

    <dt>2.General ASUS notebook inquiries

    <dd>a. Can my (insert ASUS notebook here) be upgraded?
    <dd>b. Can the video card on my (insert ASUS notebook here) be upgraded?
    <dd>c. But it is removable/PCI-Express!
    <dd>d. Omega? ATi modded? Stock drivers? Huh?
    <dd>e. Matte Screens vs Glossy Screens
    <dd>f. Undervolting?
    <dd>g. Battery Calibration?
    <de>h. What's in a name?
    <de>i. How do I upgrade BIOS?
    <de>j. Ok, I have a barebone, how do I build it?
    <de>k. How do I upgrade my RAM?
    <de>l. ASUS Benchmarks

    <dt><A NAME="whoisasus">1a. Who is ASUS?

    <dd>If you check your desktop computers, most of the time, it is an ASUS motherboard. From January 2004 to January 2005, ASUS shipped 40 million motherboards, which means one out of every 4 desktop PCs sold last year is based on ASUS motherboards. For the last 4 years, the elusive Technology site, Tom's Hardware guide has listed ASUS as the top maker of Motherboards 4 years in a row, and tops in Graphic cards for the last two years. Not only that, they make various sorts of devices from Pocket PC's, to wireless cards, to, of course, notebooks.

    <dt><A NAME="odm">1b. What is an ODM?

    <dd>When you think of Apple's iBook line, or of Dell's Inspiron line or IBM/Lenovo's legendary ThinkPad line, you think that it's by them, meaning they made it but that is not necessarily true. They are actually rebranding(In Apple's case, pure manufacturing), in renaming a notebook as their own and selling it. It's not stealing; they have contracts with ODM's to do such a thing. So those big named companies just take a model by a company, and sell it as their own, as the research, the design, the construction and testing is done by the ODM. They just sell their name and service to consumers like you and I, along with the notebook.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that ODM, is the abbreviated version of Original Design Manufacturer. So these ODM's sell their notebook barebones(Chassis, LCD screen, keyboard, motherboard, sound/video card) to different larger companies, who then install a Processor, Memory, Hard Drive and other accessories such as a wireless card, Bluetooth, etc., then label it as their own and sell it, which then gets sold into our hands.

    Some examples of ODM's include Quanta, ASUS, Winstron, Clevo, Arima, Twinhead and Compal.

    <dt><A NAME="whybuyasus">1c. Why buy an ASUS?
    <dd> Well why not? Not only is ASUS ranked in the top 5 ODM companies in the world, their reputation in quality is second to none. They have small and slim 12.1" laptops, to sexy, portable and light 14.1" laptops, Affordable yet slick gaming 15.4" laptops, to full media center 17" laptops. With unbeatable quality, customization and unheard of customer service(From various dealers for barebones, and ASUS for ENSEMBLE units aren't shabby neither)

    <dt><A NAME="interestinginfo">1d. Interesting Information about ASUS

    <dp>Thanks to Danny from MileStone PC for compiling these facts!

    <dt><A NAME="#contact">1e. How to contact ASUS
    <dd> For support, go here:

    <A NAME="00<A NAME="#0000">">However, for Canadians, there doesn't seem to be one, but I believe that there is a Service Depot that opened here recently and well, ASUS needs to update!

    Also, for all the phone numbers and emails here is the list:

    Headquarters Address:
    44370 Nobel Drive, Fremont, CA 94538, U.S.A.


    Notebook Sales Hotline
    Tel: 888-678-3688

    Technical Support

    Motherboard and General Product Support:
    Monday - Friday: 5:30AM - 9PM PST
    Saturday and Sunday: 6AM - 3PM PST
    Tel: 502-995-0883 (select option 3)
    Fax: 502-933-8713

    Notebook Support:
    Monday - Friday: 9AM - 6PM PST
    Notebook ONLY Hotline: 510-739-3777 ext. 5110

    PDA Support:
    Monday - Friday: 5:3AM - 9PM PST
    PDA ONLY Hotline: 1-866-732-7108

    Server Support:
    Monday - Friday: 9AM - 6PM PST
    Tel: 510-791-3700
    Fax: 510-797-2102

    RMA Support:
    Monday - Friday: 9AM - 5:30PM PST

    Tel: 510-739-3777 (select option 3)
    Fax: 510-608-4511

    <dt><A NAME="BuiltOnEnsemble">1f. Built On? ENSEMBLE?
    <dd> ASUS has two main lines of notebooks, Built On and ENSEMBLE. Built On units come from Taiwan as barebones. The Chassis, LCD Screen, Motherboard and GPU. It then is sent to resellers where they are sold to consumers after we customize it to our needs. We can pick out own processor, Wireless card, Optical drive, RAM and Hard Drive. This type of notebook sales are one of the main reasons ASUS is so popular and is rising rapidly, as it gives us a freedom to choosing a notebook, from 12", to 15.4" and soon 17" to match our needs, whether we are a student, a traveler, or a photographer. However, the warranty is from the dealer and not from ASUS, but at times, resellers have a better customer service!

    ENSEMBLE is ASUS's premiere line, where everything is included and is not customizable. This line is usually more expensive as it is the top of the line high quality machines made by ASUS and engineered and designed to be the best. From the slim v6 to the Media Center known as the W2, everything is included, The Windows OS(In a recovery style disc), a case, a mouse, 2 years of international warranty and a great notebook. Note this is usually for Europe and Asia, in North America, it is a standard 1 year, and may or may not include freebies. However, as of Q4 of 2006, All the Merom(Core 2 Duo) ENSEMBLE units will include a 30 day Zero Dead Pixel policy, a Mouse and a Bag, as well as a full 2 year international warranty.

    <dt><A NAME="resellers">1g. ASUS resellers?
    <dd> Barebones are sold by resellers. Why? Because barebones let us customize it to what we want, how we want. And ASUS would of had alot of work in its hands if it wanted to build them themselves, but instead they opted to sell barebones to smaller dealers/resellers and let them sell the full units. This not only made the barebones cheaper, they are FULLY customizable. Smaller stores also tend to have greater customer service, and they are real people living in that city, who knows what they are talking about.

    <dt><A NAME="warranty">1h. What about the warranty?
    <dd> The warranty for Built On units are different for most resellers but the constant is that 1 year of warranty on labour and parts are included on the base price. There is more but of course, costs more. For barebone units, the warranty for the barebone is from ASUS, the HD, RAM, etc. is from the manufacturers of the parts and your reseller acts as the middle person who RMA's, and helps you out instead of doing it yourself - which is a chore for some places!

    The new warranty(As of Q4 2006) for ENSEMBLE units in North America is an 2 year International warranty on parts and labour. There is an option to add 1 more year of North American warranty for a fee, and is valid in N.A. only, with the first year being global. Check out ASUS support site for more info and locations of their service depot, at

    The warranty for ENSEMBLE units worldwide, sans N.A. is 2 years International warranty on partys and labour, with an option to increase it to 3 years for a fee as well.

    <dt><A NAME="buying">1i. How do I buy (insert ASUS notebook here)?
    <dd>There are lots of resellers that are official resellers but also others who are not. Here is a list of all the resellers generously compiled and created by djembe over at NotebookForums! Thank him :)

    <dt><A NAME="deadpixels">1j. Dead Pixels?!?!
    <dd> Dead pixels are pixels on the LCD that are stuck and do not change colours and are often a major annoyance. For barebone, or Built on ASUS laptops, resellers often check your screen on request(sometimes without!) for dead pixels before shipping it to you! But they do form over time, due to wear, accidents, etc. There are not many ways to stop or remove it but to get used to it or get it replaced which could be costly. For ENSEMBLE units, from Q4 2006 and afterwards, all ENSEMBLE notebooks have a 30 day Zero Bright Dot policy from ASUS, so if anything arises on the screen, they will send you a new notebook.

    <dt>2a. <A NAME="upgrade1">Can my (insert ASUS notebook here) be upgraded?
    <dd> Like most notebooks in the market, the RAM, Hard Drive, wireless card and the Optical Drive is the easiest to upgrade, just unscrew them out and put something new in. The processor is also possible as long as it is in the same family and same socket, but is a bit more advanced. The GPU, or video card, is the hardest of the bunch with perhaps alot of physical modifying of the GPU unit. The Optical drive is tricky, since it needs a Bezel to merge itself within the OD tray, as if a 3rd party OD is inside, the 'plate' is abnormal looking. Normally, ASUS makes two kinds of Optical Drive for most of their laptops - one a regular Combo DVD/CDRW and a DVD+-Dual drive. The 'warranty void' issue is a big one, as there is no written rule for what is tolerated, but in the end it would be safe to assume that replacing the HD/Ram if a repair was needed when shipped back is the safest way.

    <dt>2b. <A NAME="upgrade2">Can the video card on my (insert ASUS notebook here) be upgraded?
    <dd> The 8 ball points to no. And unfortunately, even if the GPU is removable physically, it does need to be replaced by something else. Not only must it fit, it has to emit less heat to prevent overheating and must be modified to take in the right amount of power. Overall, its not recommended unless your warranty is over and you are skilled enough to solder and such.

    <dt>2c. <A NAME="upgrade3">But it is removable/PCI-Express!
    <dd> Indeed you can take it out. But as mentioned above, you must find something to fit inside the notebook chassis, and it has to work - without overheating or burning the notebook.

    <dt>d. <A NAME="drivers">Omega? ATi modded? Stock drivers? Huh?
    <dd> The drivers for dedicated video cards such as the 6600 Go on the z71v and the x700 on the z70v have stock drivers, meaning their drivers are stock, they are by and been installed , and they are made by nVidia/ATi. However, there has been alot of people"modifying" the drivers so that the GPU will perform better and is better then the stock drivers in various ways. However, being open source and publically released, it is a bit risky, but at times, Omega drivers(A pretty awesome mod driver), and modded drivers give extra performance, compatibility and overall is better.

    <dt>2e. <A NAME="#screens">Matte Screens vs Glossy Screens
    <dd> Matte screens are the traditional LCD screens, while Glossy screens are the ones with a reflective mirroring which boosts the vivid colours and light. ASUS has three types of screens, Matte which is the regular screens and are often not mentioned, ColourShine which is their Glossy reflective screens with enchanced and vibrant colours and lastly, Crystal Shine which is a screen, could be either Matte or ColourShine(For example the W2v is a ColourShine with CrystalShine and the v6v is matte but with CrystalShine) and adds higher brightness and rich color contrast to the screen.

    Definition of ColourShine/CrystalShine from ASUS themselves:
    <dt>2f. <A NAME="undervolt">Undervolting?
    <dt><A NAME="batterycali">2g. Battery Calibration?
    <dd> What's battery calibration? It's meant for a battery that is charging to 100% and the charging light turns off as if it has finished.... then when you pull the plug it goes from 100% down to 90/85% in a minute or two....... this is something very common to every type of battery over the years. What the calibration tool does is it drains and fills the battery and tells the computer ok.... it'll fill 9/10 of the way....... so that is now 100% instead of 90%.... so your life still keeps going down, but the system will just tell you this is what the battery is capable of now and this is 100%. Thanks to Justin from PROPortable for the info!

    <dt><A NAME="naming">2f. What's in a name?
    <dd> Yes, ASUS has quite a confusing naming system for their laptops, but here's a general breakdown.


    As shown above, it is an example of the 'Z' series.

    Here's a quite long and intensive breakdown of all ASUS laptops, the info is compiled by Androo and hiomin.

    <dt><A NAME="bios">2i. How to upgrade BIOS?
    <dd> To upgrade it easily, check ASUS's support site:

    Thanks to gusto5 for the info :)

    In addition, a few ASUS notebooks have screen graininess issues, all of which could be fixed using a BIOs update. Thanks to Ken Lee from Original thread can be found here:


    <dt><A NAME="boa">2j. Ok, I have a barebone, how do I build it?
    <dd> There are plenty of Assembly guides, but for a basic outline on a few units, check this out:

    Thanks to sCuBaDoC for finding the link! </dd>

    <dt><A NAME="ramup">2k. Ram Upgrading!
    <dd> There are two slots for RAM on the units, one at the bottom of the notebook, really easy to find, unscrew the cover and it will be there. The other piece is harder, heres an easily step by step guide(Note this applies to most but not all models):

    It's under the keyboard.

    Just do this:

    1. Turn off notebook, flip it over
    2. Unscrew the screws marked 'K', should be two
    3. Flip it over, open the lid
    4. Take a credit card(or a hard plastic card of some sort) and press down on the 4 tabs that are located at the top of the keyboard(Usually above Esc-F1-F2, F5-F6, F10-F11 and Prt-Sc-Ins)
    5. Keyboard should pop up at an angle
    6. Place KB face down on wristpad and look for the RAM(Should be right there).

    To take off the RAM, unlock it by pressing the metal(aluminum?) tabs, it should pop halfway at a 45 degree angle.

    To put back the RAM, place the contacts in first at a 45 degree angle, then press down and lock it back into place. </dd>

    </dt><A NAME="benchmarks">2l. ASUS Benchmarks
    <dd> Original thread and further discussion can be found here:

    Thanks to Danny from MileStonePC for creating the table! </dd>
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. coriolis

    coriolis Pen Pal - Newbie

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  3. Bogie

    Bogie Pen Pal - Newbie

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    very useful , thanks much
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