Perhaps somebody at VIA forgot to send FIC the OpenBook memo, but the company has just unveiled a new budget ultraportable seemingly based on the previous-gen NanoBook reference design. The notebook is unusual because FIC intend both VIA and Intel powered versions: the CE2A1 will run VIA’s C7 processor while the CW0A1 is based on Intel’s Atom. Both will have an 8.9-inch screen, 160GB hard-drive and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
Connectivity is courtesy of WiFi b/g and Bluetooth, together with wired ethernet. There’s also a memory card slot, VGA output and at least two USB ports.
Speed will obviously be the significant difference between the two versions, with the C7 running at 1.2GHz and the Atom at 1.6GHz. However the power demands of the chips have an impact on battery life. FIC will offer 4-cell or 6-cell Li-ion batteries, rated at 5-8 hours for the CE2A1 and 4-6 hours for the CW0A1. It would be interesting to see how those figures might change if VIA’s new Nano processorwas used instead of the older C7; the company claims the Nano is four times faster while in the same power range.
FIC has not announced pricing nor availability details for the notebooks. It already has a C7-powered 7-inch UMPC, the CE260, in its range.