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ViewSonic ViewBook Pro VNB131S 13.3-inch Notebook

By Shane McGlaun from Mar 8, 2010 @ 8:38 CST
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: ViewSonic

Hands On


The thing that impresses me most about the ViewSonic ViewBook Pro is that the machine is very well priced considering the options you get. At about $950 you get the optical drive and the secondary battery. The machine is dead sexy to look at with the silver finish and thin profile. The entire package is very impressive considering ViewSonic is not what we think of as a computer company.


The 13.3-inch screen is glossy and has its share of glare. It performs well, though, and after working on smaller machines for a while, the 13.3-inch screen seems gargantuan. The little notebook works well for watching online video and DVDs thanks to the optical drive with good color and smooth playback.


The keyboard is a strange looking job that ViewSonic calls "floating island". What that means is that it's the standard chicklet keyboard with keys that are wider on the bottom than the top. It looks a bit odd, but the keys are still well sized and typing feedback is just what you expect. The keyboard is of normal size for a notebook.


Under the keyboard is the track pad, which is also well sized and has a scroll area on the right side. Between the two track pad buttons is a fingerprint reader for security. The machine has software that will let you log into Windows and other apps using a swipe rather than typing passwords. The ViewSonic ViewBook Pro has a lot of features that you might not expect to find on an ultraportable machine.


The most obvious is the optical drive. The machine also has dual video outputs, an ExpressCard/34 slot and the AC outlet on the computer glows when plugged in to make it easier to find in the dark. Changing the devices in the module bay out is very easy to do. You turn the silver screw on the bottom and the device in the bay pops out enough for you to grab it easily.


The machine ships with the extra battery, the optical drive and a blank that you can put in the bay if you don't need the battery or the optical drive. Honestly, just picking the machine up with any of the three options in the modular bay, I can't tell any real world weight difference in the notebook.


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