ViewSonic unveils ViewBook range of notebooks

At an event in Taipei, Taiwan, ViewSonic has unveiled a range of new Intel CULV based notebooks with LED-backlit displays, with two new product families introduced - the ViewBook and the ViewBook Pro - and we'll leave you guessing as to where the inspiration for the model names came from.

The ViewBook range is divided up into three models, the 120, the 130 and the 140. The model names correlate to the screen size of the models and starting from the bottom, the 120 is as such a 12.1-inch notebook.

The ViewBook 120 is only available in one configuration with a 1.3GHz Intel Core Duo SU2300 processor and comes with Intel's GS40 chipset with integrated graphics, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive.

There's no built in optical drive as to keep the weight down but it does get three USB ports, an ExpressCard slot, a memory card reader, Ethernet, a D-sub connector, a pair of audio jacks, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and a 6-cell battery. The retail price in Taiwan is expected to be a fairly affordable £408.

The ViewBook 130 takes things to another level with a much more sophisticated design - it measures just 2.29cm at its widest part and boasts a chiclet keyboard, a multi-touch trackpad and an extra long wrist rest. The screen resolution improves on the 120's 1280 x 800 pixels with 1366 x 768 pixels.

It will be available in three different configurations with the top of the range model offering Intel's Core 2 Duo 7300 processor. All three models come with a 13.1-inch display, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard drive, HDMI output, an ExpressCard slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a memory card reader, Ethernet, two audio jacks, three USB ports and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.

Price wise you're looking at a starting price of £462 for the basic model, with the mid-range model coming in at £518 and finally the high-end model will set you back £592.

The ViewBook 140 ups the screen size to 14.1-inches, but otherwise it shares its feature set with the ViewBook 130, although with some minor changes in terms of the overall design. ViewSonic has integrated the hard drive, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LEDs into the trackpad which is an unusual design. The ViewBook 140 should retail for about £611.

The ViewBook Pro is another 13.1-inch notebook, but just like a certain other company, the Pro model features an aluminium-alloy chassis but strangely, a low screen resolution of 1280 x 800.

Feature wise this is the most interesting model out of the four, although the base specs are the same as the high-end ViewBook 130 (minus one USB port), however, at 1.68cm thick at its thinnest point, it's no small feat that ViewSonic has managed to incorporate an optical drive into the 1.6kg ViewBook Pro.

ViewSonic is offering an optional battery which can be used instead of the optical drive. This adds 100 grams to the overall weight, but it also boosts the battery life from 8 hours to 12 hours.

The ViewBook Pro also comes with a finger print scanner that adds a range of security features. As well as secure log on, it can also be used to store your passwords and there's even an option to launch applications depending on which finger you swipe.

The ViewBook Pro will be available in silver or black with a starting price of £611 without the optical drive, while you'll have to pay £648 to get it with the optical drive. No pricing for the optional battery was announced.

All four models will be available as of early next month and all of them will ship with Windows 7 Home Premium. The ViewBook Pro also comes with Cyberlink's MediaShow 5 software.

 



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