updated 04:00 pm EST, Mon December 1, 2008
BenQ intros 10.1" Joybook
BenQ has released its Joybook Lite U101 netbook in its home market of Taiwan. The netbook sports a 10.1-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen with an LED backlight unit that provides a resolution of 1280x800 pixels and a response time of 8ms. It uses an Intel Atom CPU rated at 1.6GHz and can be ordered with either 120GB or 160GB hard disks or 4GB or 16GB solid state drives preloaded with either Linux or Windows XP Home. Graphics processing is handled by the onboard Intel 945GSE chipiset while built-in memory is rated at 512MB, upgradeable to 1GB.
The Joybook U101 is also already shipping to China, and BenQ will also sell it through wireless network providers to sell it bundled with data plans. The Lifebook U101 has HSUPA wireless data module in addition to built-in Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 2.0 support will be built into later versions of the netbook, the company says. To take advantage of its connectivity options, the netbook also sports a 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats.
The company says the keyboard is 90 percent the size of a regular PC's, improving the comfort of typing for long periods, and that the whole system weighs just 2.4lbs. No optical drives are included, but buyers do get a pair of 1.5W speakers built in as well as a 4-in-1 memory card reader. For expansion, there are three USB ports and a VGA port for adding an external monitor.
While it is known BenQ is expecting to ship more than 3,000 U101 netbooks to Taiwan before 2009 and 20,000 units to China. In Taiwan, the Joybook Lite U101 starts at the equivalent of about $500. It is not known whether or not the Joybook Lite U101 is expected to come to North America. The Lifebook Lite U101 is available in blue, white or black. [via DigiTimes]