BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)

An inexpensive laptop with thief-catching ability!

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)
  • BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)
  • BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)
  • BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Attractive design, good usability, HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, price

Cons

  • Palm rests heat up quickly and don’t feel solid, screen has small viewing angle, poor speakers

Bottom Line

The BenQ Joybook R45 balances attractive design and lots of features against weak speakers and palm rests with heat issues. What tips the scales in favour of this notebook is its low price.

Would you buy this?

Although the BenQ Joybook R45's price of $1199 puts it squarely in the 'entry-level' notebook category, its good performance, chic style and wide range of expansion options means it's a laptop that shouldn't be underestimated.

BenQ's sense of style has been fairly impressive of late. From the Joybook S32B (BV14) to this unit's predecessor, the Joybook R43-PV03 (9H.0ESAP.V03), the modern styling has very much appealed to us. The Joybook R45 continues this trend.

Although the faux leather cover doesn't look like the genuine article, BenQ has managed to avoid the worst of pleather's usual sins, producing a rubberised surface that feels and looks pleasant.

Despite weighing just 2.5kg without the power supply and 3kg with it included, the notebook has an impressive array of ports and slots, especially considering it is only 34cm in length, 24cm in width and 4cm in depth. On the left, an ExpressCard/54 slot allows a wide range of devices, such as eSATA port enablers, to be connected and an HDMI port allows for an easy connection to be made to the latest home entertainment devices. On the right sits a FireWire connection. Four USB 2.0 ports allow for further connectivity. On the rear is a D-Sub port, which means you can easily connect to a projector or external monitor.

Instead of the typical button panel, only buttons for power and toggling the wireless adapter are present.

The full-sized keyboard is easy to use, and the keys are responsive, which should help cut down on spelling errors and aid touch-typing. After a few hours of use, however, the keyboard and palm rests are prone to heating up and this may cause some discomfort.

Instead of having speakers built into the main body of the unit, BenQ has installed them directly below the screen. They produce tepid sound and lack clarity and bass.

The screen itself has a very limited viewing angle and is fairly reflective, but it produces great colour contrast; DVDs are displayed without ghosting or dithering issues.

Above the screen is a two-megapixel webcam that works with the built-in microphone to provide easy Web conferencing — and security monitoring. With the bundled ArcSoft software, you can set the notebook to 'camera monitoring mode' so that the webcam will detect movement. If your laptop is stolen, the software will e-mail you a photo of the person using it once it is connect to the Internet.

Inside the laptop is a 1.83GHz T5550 Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Graphics processing is supplied by an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M G graphics card, while storage comes from a 120GB, 5400rpm hard drive. That's plenty of space for Windows Vista, stacks of programs and personal files.

In our iTunes test, which strains the CPU by converting 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3 files, the T5550's middling strength shows itself with a score of 1min 35sec. This is a little slower (by about 20sec) than we expected. The WorldBench 6 score of 70, however, is reassurance for users who wish to use the notebook for Web browsing, office programs and watching movies.

The weakness of the Joybook R45's graphics processing is made clear by the 3DMark06 score of 1105, which translates into an inability to play most modern games. In this unit, the independent graphics card is mainly there to facilitate content playback via the HDMI port. The NVIDIA card's advanced settings allow for the screen size to be adjusted when the laptop is connected to an HD-capable television. This is a useful feature, and many notebooks we've seen in the past haven't been able to do this.

In our worst case scenario battery test, the Joybook lasted 1hr 30min. Although it isn't a spectacular time, you'll still be able to watch many DVDs straight through. It's also a decent time considering the low price of the unit.

For connectivity, the R45 offers Gigabit Ethernet, which is a welcome surprise for an entry-level notebook; 802.11b/g wireless and a 56Kbps modem are also present.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?