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BenQ Joybook R53 Centrino Notebook
By Justin Ong
Category : Notebooks/Laptops
Published by Vijay Anand on Thursday, 22nd December, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

It's Hefty For A Good Reason

Until collapsible displays come our way, the footprint of any given notebook will still be governed by the size of its onboard display unit. In the case of the Joybook R53, the very mention of its 15.4-inch LCD panel should provide an unmistakable gauge to its size and weight. At 2.78kg, portability is certainly not a major virtue of the Joybook R53, but where visual experience is concerned, the 15.4-inch widescreen LCD it has is clearly superior to most smaller, more portable notebooks. Factor in the impressive 16ms pixel response time and the Joybook R53 is all the more unrivalled in the general notebook spectrum.

As expected from notebooks of such bulk, physical connections are aplenty to give owners a sense of assurance that the Joybook R53 can be taken anywhere and be ready under most situations. The de facto USB connection is made available in the count of four and evenly distributed on either flanks of the notebook. FireWire, another high-speed, high bandwidth connection is, as usual, a solitary presence in the form of a mini-FireWire jack, providing not only another useful peripheral connection but also allows easy data transfer with video camcorders and the likes. If these are still insufficient for you, further expansion can always be had via the Type II PCMCIA slot located on the left profile of the Joybook R53.

Regrettably, the review model sent to us had neither Bluetooth nor Infrared wireless connections. The good news however is that Bluetooth is an optional item that can be added at point of purchase, but not so for Infrared, which can only be had via separate purchase of a third party USB Infrared dongle. LAN and WAN connections are standard and handled by the Realtek RTL8139/810x Ethernet network interface card and Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG network connection respectively.

The Joybook R53 is comprehensively decked with high-speed, high bandwidth connections, but falls a little short on PAN connections by lacking Infrared and Bluetooth (optional).

Our Joybook R53 review unit came with a Dual format Dual-layer internal DVD writer.

Although optical disc drives in notebooks are available in a number of versions, spending a little extra cash to equip your new investment with a DVD writer is strongly advised. Granted the popularity of DVD '-' and DVD '+' formats is much stronger than it is for DVD-RAM format, getting a Dual format Dual-layer DVD writer such as the version in the Joybook R53 should be more than sufficient to handle most optical storage usage needs such as data archiving, home movies, personalized music compilations and content sharing.

BenQ uses 80GB, 8MB buffer, 5,400RPM PATA hard disk drives from Fujitsu for their Joybook R53 notebooks.

System memory on the other hand is sourced from Infineon.

WiFi switch is always welcomed for fast activation and deactivation of WiFi for security reasons.

Major components of the Joybook R53 as listed under Windows Device Manager.

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