July 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm
The BenQ Joybook Lite U121 Eco is an 11.6-inch netbook that lives up to its ‘Eco’ name. Around 25 percent of the netbook uses recycled materials and this even extends to the packaging materials used. Despite this, the U121 is still a fully featured model and even comes with the option of hybrid (HDD/SDD) storage. Microsoft is ‘banning’ netbooks with hybrid storage that use Windows XP Home, so I imagine the U121 Eco is using a different operating system.
NetbookNews managed to get hands-on with the netbook and we are treated to a video tour of the device. Unfortunately it wasn’t switched on, so we couldn’t see what OS it was running. It comes with a non-glossy lid, but the 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) resolution is very glossy indeed. You’ll find the usual array of ports on the device, although it does seem to be missing the HDMI-out that was listed from the original announcement.
The U121 comes with a full-sized keyboard and some extra keys along the right hand side, the first I’ve seen in a netbook. You get four dedicated keys in a vertical strip for Home, End and Page Up/Down. However, the touchpad did look a tad small, especially considering the size of the netbook. Upgradability is well catered for with access to both storage drives and also the RAM. The 6-cell battery should last for around 9.5 hours when using the SSD. It also has built-in 3G. It is currently available in China, Thailand and Taiwan. As things stand, there are no details on a Western release right now.