BenQ's latest release, the S61 v30, is the only 12.1in notebook we've seen to come with a built-in digital TV tuner. It weighs just 1.65kgs, has a 12.1in screen with a 1200x800 resolution and a slim optical drive bay, yet it's remarkably portable.
Relying on an Intel T2300 CPU, which runs at 1.66GHz with 512MB RAM, this JoyBook scored a competitive 81 in PC WorldBench 5 and 4861 in 3DMark 2001 SE. Running F.E.A.R. at anything above the game's optimised settings for the Joybook's Intel GMA 950 graphics processor is a futile task as this notebook is not designed for gaming. At the optimised setting, it scored 22 frames per second in this benchmark. In battery life tests, it lasted four hours and 12 minutes, running Mobile Mark 2002.
To watch TV, BenQ supplies a portable antenna, but it will pick up one or maybe two channels, at most - so an external roof mounted antenna is recommended.
The case design of the notebook is thin and it has a grey, latch-less lid - which we like.
BenQ has also included its proprietary QMedia bar that is embedded in your desktop background which provides fast access to all of your media functions, including the impressive media centre.
Unfortunately the notebook's trackpad has no scrolling function, and its
VERDICT: If you need a notebook that will last for four hours while on the road, and double as a media centre once you get back to base, then look no further.
SPECIFICATIONS: Intel Centrino Duo T2300 CPU; Intel 945GM chipset with GMA 950 graphics; 12.1in bright glossy widescreen; 80GB SATA hard disk; 512MB DDR2 RAM (upgradeable to 1GB); 8 x DVD burner; Bluetooth 2.0 EDR; Digital TV tuner; Gigabit LAN; 56K modem; 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi; 3 x USB 2.0; 1 x FireWire; VGA; 1 x PCI Express Card (Type II) slot; memory card reader.