Flipping open the .dot doesn’t require any lever to be pulled, the hinge is sufficient stiff for the screen to remain in any position you like to set it. The maximum setting is almost 180° but due to the larger 6-cell battery the screen opens up slightly less extreme. Anywhere between 60°-110° is most comfortable to use:
First thing to notice is that this is a reflective bright LCD screen, so in darker ambient rooms the colors will be more vibrant with rich dark areas. The downside is that in more lit places the screen will have some noticeable reflections from the surroundings. The diminutive size of the screen does minimize this effect noticeably and after using the .dot in several differently lit locations I can’t say it was bothering me; the viewing angle from the sides is ok, but make sure you have it aligned correctly vertically as the colors and contrast will change quickly otherwise.
With the screen open you can now see the first series of access/status LEDs in the bottom right corner:
The second series of access/status LEDs are located right above the F1->F5 function keys and are only visible when the machine is powered on, they blend in nicely with the black finish.
The touchpad mouse control is quite rectangular and takes some time to get used to if you have only used larger laptop touch pads before. The left/right mouse click are placed respectively at the sides of the pad; for prolonged use an external mouse is recommended, but this is of course personal taste and preference.
Above the screen you can find a build-in microphone:
The webcam offers good enough quality for video chats, its intended purpose:
The power button is hidden at the top right corner of the .dot. It lights up blue when pressed:
Here in Belgium we use a keyboard layout a little bit different from the civilized world; it’s a mix of US, FR, NL, DE layouts thrown together to allow special French characters like ç, é, à. It’s a small tweak of the azerty layout used by the French.
Pressing the Blue “FN” key in combination with F7 is one of the first things I do when preparing to type on any laptop/netbook which features a touch pad located in the area where you wrist rests. The FN key also allows you to quickly change speaker volume, screen brightness, switch between internal/external display, but the PC to “sleep” and other quick shortcuts which will come in handy in daily usage. The location of the FuNction key is placed at the right side of the control, excellent choice! The enter key is large enough, the space bar too, the backspace could have been a smidgen larger for me, but still manageable. Overall with the available space Packard Bell did a stand up job delivering a full size keyboard, you won’t be writing any novels on it, but for the occasional chat, forum post and email it’s more than sufficient.