"The layout leaves something to be desired as two of the USB 2.0 ports are inconveniently located on the rear of the chassis along with the power connector"
Personally I hate the current trend for putting all the connections on the side of the laptop. which then means you've got wires all over the place rather than neatly out the back.
As a laptop user who's laptop sits on a desk most of the day, a couple of ports at the back is handy for those things which remain plugged in all day, e.g. mouse, mobile internet dongle, external hard drive.
The extra USB ports on the side you can then keep free for things like usb memory stick which you want instant access to.