The BenQ Joybook R53 V14 is a value notebook, delivering good performance at a decent price. Proving its worth as a business and gaming tool, it scored 11899 in 3DMark 2001SE and 84 in WorldBench 5. The new game standard, FEAR, played very well on it, for a notebook, with an average frame rate of 12fps on high settings at 1024x768 resolution in 32-bit colour. That may sound low, but FEAR is an incredibly demanding game. It played at 97fps with optimised display settings.
The R53 V14's design is a stylish curved magnesium alloy case weighing 2.8kg and feel of a very sturdy build quality. On the body of the notebook are four shortcut keys and a built in mic. A nice touch from BenQ is the red LED built into the headphone socket so you can jack-in in the dark. The Joybook employs the world's fastest 15.4in widescreen notebook display, with a 16ms response time and a native resolution of 1200x800 pixels. The sound quality of the speakers is similarly impressive.
Oddly missing from the R53 V14 is Bluetooth and the ability to vertically and horizontally scroll from the trackpad, which is extremely frustrating considering that BenQ included this feature in the Joybook 5000 back in June last year. Other than these setbacks, it is a great value notebook that comes with one month of Skype Voice-mail and a suite of BenQ apps for easy backup, power management and entertainment.
VERDICT Good performance, but the lack of scrolling on the trackpad is annoying.
BenQ Joybook R53 V14
Phone: (02) 9352 8800
Specifications: Intel Centrino Pentium M 1.73GHz; 128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X600; 5 x USB 2.0, 1 x FireWire; 75GB HDD; Realtek HD Audio; 1GB DDR2 RAM.