Originally Posted by andhraangel
This ultraportable seems like one of the best out there (for the price for sure. I was just wondering, are there any colors other than the all white (I prefer the all-black myself) and I've heard the battery life is kinda sad (around 1:40 w/out extended batt and 3:30 w/ extended batt). Anyone know any details? I figure this isn't a gaming laptop but just something I can carry around and use remote desktop to access my real machine.
The S5N is made in black (well actually a charcoal color), but not available in the US.
The S5N with the standard config should get you 2.5hrs on the 3cell battery and 7hrs+ on the 9cell battery. The 9cell does add a little hump on the back and a little bit of weight, but both are pretty much negligable. You also have the option of just going with a couple of 3cell batteries (or as many as you want).
With the S5N, keep in mind that the optical drive is external so you will not have it with you everywhere you go (not a big deal, just something to consider). The S5N weighs 2.8lbs and is .8" thick
The M5N, on the other hand, comes in the black (charcoal color) and is basically the same as the S5N in design. Here are the differences:
M5N is fully configurable (RAM, Processor, HDD) whereas the S5N is not (though you can upgrade all of this stuff still it just costs more $ as you still have to keep the old HDD and Proc).
M5N has a built in optical drive. It weighs 3.4lbs, so not substantially more. It is 1.17" thick.
They both use the same batteries (just for the S5N they are silver and the M5N they are black). I have one of each (my extra battery for my S5N is an M5N battery).
I have an upgraded HDD and take a bit of hit on battery life (2hrs on 3 cell, probably about 6 on 9cell).
If you get an M5N with a faster processor and a fast HDD it will cut down on your battery life. The battery times you mentioned, at least the 3:30 for the 9cell, is what you'd get on a maxed out M5N or S5N (2.0Ghz, 7200rpm HDD) - you'd get 45 mins to 1hr on the 3cell.
If you stick with the 1.5Ghz PM you will get either the times I mentioned before, depending on your HDD and how intense your "normal" usage is.
The ASUS power management program is really good, so that helps.
EDIT: One other difference. The S5N comes with the ASUS 2 year Global Warranty (parts and labor), the M5N will come with the standard 1 year Asus warranty and then whatever else your reseller offers.
If you're going to get either one, I recommend ProPortable.com.