BenQ U101, Because the U.S. Needs Another Netbook

benq-joybook-lite-u101-netbook-4I haven’t found the BenQ U101 here at the show, but you’ll be able to get your own here in the U.S. Yesterday, the company changed their minds and decided to market the device here in the U.S. But don’t hold your breath for this 10.1-inch unit: BenQ says it won’t be here until the second or third quarter. Not sure what the hold up is and there are so many similar choices available in this market, so I wonder about the business model.

Those thoughts aside, here’s a high level run-down of the specs:

  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom
  • 90% keyboard
  • 5400 RPM HD or optional SSD
  • Optional 3G integration
  • Linux or Windows XP
  • 3-cell battery, but 6-cell to be available

In other words, if you’ve waited for the BenQ U101, most any netbook you can get now might do. 😉

LAS VEGAS, NV January 8, 2009 – BenQ announced today the official launch of their new Joybook Lite Series with the introduction of the very first model, the Lite U101. Targeting those who mainly use the Internet for social networking and personal communication, the U101 is engineered for optimum multimedia sight, sound, and play all in an ultra-portable form factor. At around 1 kg^, it packs heavyweight Internet entertainment with a brilliant 10.1” 16:9 WSVGA LED backlit screen, 8ms response time, and smart conveniences for unbridled web browsing, video chatting, and every imaginable Internet activity. A generously sized keyboard (90% of full-size qwerty), optional 3.75G HSUPA*, plus notable features and cool styling place this netbook ahead of the competition.

“The way consumers use the Internet has evolved tremendously to where it has become a personal extension of themselves via blogging, networking, video sharing and shopping. The Internet is now a personal pastime and the U101 perfectly fits the budget, style, and interests of those enthusiasts,” said Peter Chen, GM of BenQ Technology Product Center. “It delivers everything they need to enjoy the Internet at an affordable value with take-anywhere portability.”

Positioned as a second notebook for avid Internet users whose main web activities focus on personal style and individuality, the U101 places equal value on aesthetics and technology. The lid is covered in an Emoticon design (available in sapphire blue, shimmery black, pearly white, or rosy pink**) which appears as an orderly grid of small patterns. Upon close look, one is intrigued by various lively emoticons (a combination of symbols and letters that have become an international language in the Internet world), all derived from the phrase: “I ? Joybook Lite.” The emoticon motif captures the very essence of today’s Internet user, enabling self-expression through the product’s trendy cool style as well as with its net-centric functionality.

At around one kilogram^, the U101 is smaller than most netbooks, yet it offers more benefits: a dual-drive supported memory capacity to give you the massive storage capacity of HDD and the stability of SSD, a more comfortably- sized keyboard (90% of the full-size qwerty), longer battery life, and a bigger 10.1” LED WSVGA 16:9 screen that displays HD movies in their native format without annoying black bars. Plus, the U101 enables full enjoyment of the World Wide Web with wider coverage at faster speed via WiFi and optional 3.75G HSUPA and Bluetooth®*. Sharing videos and photos is effortless, spontaneous, and crystal-clear with a high-resolution 1.3MP webcam (with WebCam® Companion® and Magic-i®), built-in 1.5-watt speakers, VoIP, and integrated microphone. A highly intuitive and customizable GUI (available on the Linux® OS) adds fun and personality to operation.

As Intel’s tiniest and least power-consuming processor, the all new hafnium-infused Intel® Atom™ Processor powers the U101 with higher energy efficiency and extended battery life, all while still supporting full Internet capabilities. When it is SSD-driven, the included three-cell battery, engineered with the latest power-conserving technology, lasts an unsurpassed four hours. A six-cell battery will be available for purchase at a later date.

The Joybook Lite U101, available with either Linux® or Windows® operating system, is expected to be available in the U.S. during the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2009.

For more information, please visit

*Available as optional purchase. **Colors of actual items may differ in appearance.

Weight may vary depending on particular hardware configuration.