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Netbook has 500GB drive, “eight hour” battery

Jun 8, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

BenQ is readying a netbook boasting an 11.6-inch display, optional HSPA, “eight hour” battery, and the largest (500GB) HDD (hard disk drive) we've heard of. In addition to offering the “Joybook Lite U121 Eco” for Linux and Windows XP, BenQ also announced an upcoming Android netbook.

(Click here for a larger view of BenQ's Joybook Lite U121)

With its new Joybook Lite U121 Eco, BenQ becomes one of the relatively few vendors to turn to Intel's original Z5xx-series Atoms, with their SCH US15W combination northbridge/southbridge, for a netbook. Though more costly than the typical Atom N270, the Z5xx Atoms are smaller, use less power, and include 720p video capability, according to Intel.

BenQ's U121 is offered either with a 1.33GHz Z520 CPU, or a 1.6GHz Z530, both with maximum power consumption of 2 Watts and idle power of 100mW, according to Intel ratings. According to BenQ, purchasers of the Joybook can select either a three-cell, 2600mAh battery, or a six-cell 5200mAh battery, gaining four- and eight-hour battery life, respectively. The device's “Q-Charge” circuitry can charge either battery to 80 percent of its maximum capacity in just an hour, the company claims.

As mentioned, the Joybook also sports a wide range of storage options, such as 5400rpm drives in 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, or 500GB capacities, or SSDs (solid-state disks) in 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB sizes. Random-access memory, meanwhile, is said to be expandable from its standard 1GB to 2GB, and there's an SD/MMC/Memory Stick card reader.

Benq's Joybook Lite U121 Eco apparently folds flat
(Click to enlarge)

The Joybook Lite U121 Eco features a “100 percent full-sized keyboard,” an 11.6-inch, LED-backlit display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, and stereo speakers said to deliver “360-degree blasting sound effects.” Like most other netbooks, the device also has a webcam; here, it offers 1.3 megapixels, according to BenQ.

Networking possibilities include 10/100 Ethernet with an RJ45 port, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2.1, and an optional 3.75G modem that delivers HSUPA on GSM cellular networks. (Such modems typically deliver download speeds up to 7.2Mbps, though BenQ didn't specify a speed rating.) The Joybook also has three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, microphone and line inputs, and a headphone output, the company says.

Features and specifications listed by BenQ for the Joybook Lite U121 Eco include the following:

  • Processor — 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520, or 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 2GB
  • Display — 11.6-inch LED-backlit screen with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
  • Camera — 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • Storage:
    • 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB SSD, or
    • 60GB, 250GB, 320GB, or 500GB hard disk drives (5400rpm)

  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.1

  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x VGA
    • Audio — mic in, line in, headphone out

  • Battery type/life:
    • 3-cell 2600mAh battery with approximately four hours duration
    • 6-cell 5200mAh battery with approximately eight hours duration

  • Dimensions — 8.22 x 3.54 x 1.24 inches (209 x 90 x 31.7mm)
  • Weight, with three-cell battery — 2.86 pounds (1.3kg)

Last week PC World reported that BenQ announced at the Computex show in Taiwan that it plans to ship both an Android-based netbook and smartphone sometime next year. There was no press release about the devices on the BenQ site, however, and it is unclear whether the netbook will be a variation of the Joybook, or whether it will be based on an Intel Atom or an ARM processor. The latter is more likely, although Acer demonstrated an Atom-based Android netbook last week at Computex.


According to BenQ, the Joybook Lite runs a “Linux Lite” (which may be the China-targeted Linpus Linux Lite) or Windows XP, and will be available this month in China, Malaysia, and Taiwan. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

The PC World story on BenQ's upcoming Android-based netbook may be found here.

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