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BenQ Joybook 7000 Notebook Review
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BenQ is not really a new player in the computer hardware industry. In fact, they used to be Acer's Communications & Multimedia division until they adopted their current name in December 2001. According to BenQ, their name reflects their motto "Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to Life."

BenQ is the world's third-largest manufacturer of LCD displays and is ranked among the "Top 100 IT" companies in the world by Business Week magazine. BenQ's product lines are managed by four business groups :

      • Imaging Network - scanners, optical drives, digital cameras, color laser printers
      • Digital Media - Digital Hub, projectors, LCD TV's, MP3 players/USB flash drives, plasma displays, multi-functional DVD
      • Network Display - LCD monitors, CRT monitors, smart displays
      • Networking & Communications - GSM/GPRS/CDMA/CDMA2000 mobile phones, wireless LAN, home networking, SOHO routers, smart phones, wireless PDAs, wireless modules

However, BenQ is still considered a fairly new player when compared to established notebook builders like IBM, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and even Acer. Also, unlike other notebook companies, BenQ only has a single line of notebooks, namely the Joybook.

Today, we will take a look at one of BenQ's latest offering - the Joybook 7000.


The Joybook 7000

The Joybook 7000 was launched on July 16, 2004 in Taiwan. BenQ claimed in their press release that the Joybook 7000 was the "world's first 14-inch wide-screen laptop PC". It is also a slim and lightweight notebook, weighing only 1.95kg.

Another interesting fact about the Joybook 7000 is that it was recently awarded the Good Design Award 2004. According to BenQ's press release, this award, originating from Japan, evaluates industrial design in a number of categories including architecture design, communications design and product design. Each entrant is judged on a wide-range of rigorous standards that include criteria such as safety, functionality, originality, ecological soundness and leadership in the humanization of technology.

Being among the few notebooks built with a magnesium-alloy chassis, the Joybook 7000 is powered by an Intel Pentium M 725 processor (1.6GHz Dothan) and comes woth a wide-screen 14" XGA display and an ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 graphics chip.

Of course, the Joybook 7000's specifications will vary from country to country. Here in Malaysia, the Joybook 7000 comes with a 40GB hard disk, 256MB of PC2700 DDR RAM and an Intel PRO/Wireless 2100B 802.11 b module.

Please note that although the local BenQ dealer's specifications may show that the Joybook 7000 comes with the newer and faster Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 802.11g module, BenQ ships the notebook with only a 802.11b module. This is at least true in Malaysia. Please confirm with your country's BenQ representative before buying. For more details, please read our Notebook Purchase Fiasco article.

Adrian and I both recently purchased a Joybook 7000 each during the recent Computer Fair. So, this will be a review by the both of us. Let's take a closer look at it now!


The Joybook 7000 in Malaysia

As I mentioned earlier, the specifications of the Joybook 7000 will vary quite a bit from country to country. Thus, the specifications and performance you see in this review are only true for the Malaysian model.

Joybook 7000

We will explore each and every facet of this notebook in the following pages. But first, let's check out its specifications!



1.6GHz Intel Pentium M (Dothan)
Intel i855PM
Graphics Processor
Graphics Memory
Graphics Bus
14" wide-screen XGA LCD display
200nits brightness
Display Resolution
Hard Disk
40GB Fujitsu MHT2040AT
4200 rpm hard disk
DVD/CD Drive

Philips SDVD8311 DVD+RW combo drive
        - 16X CD-R
        - 10X CD-RW
        - 24X CD-ROM
        - 4X DVD+R
        - 2.4X DVD+RW
        - 8X DVD-ROM

Audio Capability
Analog Devices SoundMAX Digital Audio
Built-in stereo speakers
Input Devices
Full sized 88-keys keyboard
Synaptics touch pad
Two SO-DIMM slots (one occupied)
One Type II PC Card slot
One 3-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC/Memory Stick)
56K modem
Realtek RTL8139 Fast Ethernet Adapter
Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 (802.11b)
Four USB 2.0 ports
VGA-out port
S-Video Out port
FIR Infrared port
RJ-45 LAN port
RJ-11 modem port
i.LINK (IEEE 1394) port
Microphone port
Headphone port
6-cell Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Capacity
4400 mAh
Rated Battery Life
4 hours 30 minutes
34.1 cm x 24.3 cm x 2.45~3.3 cm
2.05 kg

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