ViewSonic VNB101 review

The monitor manufacturer steps up its game and enters the netbook race

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Our Verdict

This netbook fails to match the current competition on all the major points and unfortunately we cannot recommend it

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600

View full specification


  • Good build quality
  • Bluetooth


  • Power
  • Battery life
  • Screen

ViewSonic is best know for producing LCD screens and projectors, but has branched into the netbook market with the VNB101.

It's a usable and well-made portable, but one that ultimately proves unexceptional. The 10.1-inch chassis weighs 1.2kg and its slim design makes it easy to slip into hand luggage.

The 169-minute battery life is poor and restricts mobility, however. The use of glossy plastics adds style, but is a magnet for fingerprints and smudges. ViewSonic states that it has used in-mould lamination technology to protect the surface from such marks.

The 16:9 widescreen TFT panel is encased beneath a sheet of glossy plastic that runs edge to edge. It is impressively bright, but the plastic coating creates a hazy tone and is highly reflective, resulting in poor image quality.

The keyboard is 92 per cent-sized and comfortable to use. The large touchpad supports gesture control functionality, letting you use your fingers to zoom into images and scroll through pages.

Quick boot linux

As well as Windows XP, a Linux-based OS is also installed, letting you boot the netbook in eight seconds and have access to the internet for browsing web pages, instant messaging and Skype calls.

Two USB ports let you connect peripherals, but many rivals provide a third port for greater connectivity. The 5-in-1 card reader lets you share data with your digital camera, but its location on the rear of the chassis makes it awkward to use.

802.11g Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet and Bluetooth provide easy network connectivity, while the Intel Atom processor and 160GB hard drive provide basic performance for home use.

While the VNB101 is well made and usable, its only stand-out feature is its quick-boot feature, which you'll use all the time or not at all. Combined with the poor battery life and hazy screen, it is hard to recommend this netbook.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive Capacity160 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGraphics Media Accelerator 950
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time5 Hour
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
Operating SystemWindows XP Home, Windows XP Home with SP3
Brand NameViewsonic
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Screen Size25.4 cm (10")
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 128 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR2-667/PC2-5300
Height25 mm
Width266 mm
Depth182 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
ManufacturerViewsonic Corporation
Product ModelVNB101
Product NameVNB101 Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVNB101BAEU-E
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

From now on, you'll have a second thought about stylish NetBooks thanks to the ViewSonic VNB101. It's not a toyish laptop that barely computes, but a technology feat with stunning style and beauty. The 8-second startup time and handy Multi-touch image zooming, among many advanced features, would make you proud and many "professional" notebooks sweat. Forget about yesterday's laptops and think again about how VNB101 could change your everyday life.

Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • VNB101 Netbook
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Power Cords
  • Quick Start Guide