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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