The BenQ Joybook Lite U101 was first announced last month, and at the time it looked like another case of netbook-by-numbers. It’s only just now launched in Hong Kong, and according to these BenQ slides we may have missed a couple of distinctive features (as long as you remember that, in netbooks, “distinctive” can mean as little as an extra memory card supported). The screen is the key difference, being true 16:9 aspect rather than the more typical 16:10.
Full-sized BenQ Joybook Lite U101 slides after the cut
That means more visible area when you’re watching widescreen content. Now while the thought of watching a movie on a netbook might be strange – after all, the U101 does only have an 10.1-inch LED-backlit LCD – it’s not so hard to imagine using them as a portable media player. In which case, you’d be even more loathe to give up any of that precious screen-estate to black bars.
We also now know that the keyboard is 90-percent the size of a regular desktop QWERTY, which is still slightly behind the 93-percent of the Samsung NC10 but only a little. The WWAN option has also been fleshed out as 3.5G HSUPA (though I think BenQ mean 7.0 rather than 70Mbps, unless they’re confusing it with WiMAX) and unlike many netbooks there’s draft-n WiFi rather than just b/g.
Still no word on pricing, however, nor when it will be available outside of Hong Kong.