updated 01:15 pm EDT, Thu July 23, 2009
New ViewSonic netbooks
Normally known for its monitors in North America, ViewSonic has announced two new netbooks, initially slated for Asia and Europe. The VNB100 uses a 10.2-inch display, capable of resolutions up to 1024x600. Inside is an Atom N270 processor with 1GB of RAM, supplemented by a 160GB hard drive. Other features include Wi-Fi, a memory card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and three USB ports. Unusual is the presence of an ExpressCard 34 slot, typically reserved for full-sized notebooks.
The VNB101 upgrades to an Atom N280 processor, but strips out some features of the 100 in order to reduce size and weight. Webcam resolution is scaled down to 0.3 megapixels, and a mere two USB ports are located on opposite sides of the system. The memory card slot, similarly, has been moved to the rear, while the ExpressCard slot is gone entirely. Compensating somewhat may be the presence of Bluetooth 2.1 support.
The netbooks should launch in Asia at the end of the month, and Europe by the end of the year. British pricing is set at £256 for the 100 and £293 for the 101.
ViewSonic has also announced two new media players, the VDP400 and VDP500. The models have an intense focus on video, and as a result use 800x480 displays measuring 4.3 and 5 inches, respectively. Compatible video standards include AVI, FLV, MOV, DAT, MPEG, VOB, DivX and H.264; a component output allows display on a TV, with resolution as high as 720p.
Owners can also listen to MP3, WMA, WAV, APE and FLAC audio, or browse BMP, JPEG, GIF and PNG images. The 400 is equipped with 8GB of internal memory, whereas the 500 uses 16GB. In either case a microSDHC slot allows for up to 32GB of extra storage. The battery life of both players is rated at four hours for video, and 15 hours for music. Each should launch in Asia in August, and slowly migrate to Europe and the US.