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ViewSonic ViewBook Pro review

ViewSonic ViewBook Pro
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £679
inc VAT

Viewsonic's ViewBook Pro has a good quality display and an ExpressCard slot, but its flawed touchpad and relatively short battery life count against it.


13.3 in 1,280×800 display, 1.6kg, 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300, 2.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Viewsonic’s ViewBook Pro bears an uncanny resemblance to Toshiba’s Portege R600 which costs almost twice as much. Like the Portege, it feels well-made but flexes under pressure more than we’d like. The base can also become very warm.

The ViewBook weighs just under 1.7kg, but the internal DVD writer can be removed, cutting this down to 1.5kg. A blanking plate is included, but ViewSonic plans to sell secondary batteries that will slide into this bay. These could be a necessity if you want to work away from a wall socket for long periods of time since the ViewBook lasted just over four hours in our light-use test – less than we’d expect given the low-power processor.

The ViewBook has only two USB ports, instead of three like most laptops we’ve seen. There’s no memory card reader either, but the ExpressCard/34 slot means you could add these missing features later, although most peripherals, such as 3G modems are now USB-based. The Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor performed well in our benchmarks, although 2GB of RAM is stingy at this price.

Touchpads should require only a soft touch to work, but the ViewBook’s touchpad needs firm and constant pressure which makes it unpleasant to use. It even stopped responding intermittently during our tests. In short, it’s the worst touchpad we’ve seen on a laptop in a long time. The keyboard doesn’t feels quite as firm as we’d like, but the large keys are pleasant to type on and responsive enough for working for long periods.

Unlike many most new laptops, the 13.3in screen has a 16:10, rather than 16:9, aspect ratio and has a 1,280×800 pixel resolution rather than 1,366×768. In practice, it makes little difference. ViewSonic is better known as a monitor manufacturer, so we weren’t surprised to discover that the ViewBook’s display had the best image quality of any ultraportable we’ve seen recently. It’s bright with accurate colours, an even backlight and fairly wide viewing angles.

We wanted to like Viewsonic’s ViewBook Pro, but its comparatively short battery life and deeply flawed touchpad let it down. Although the ViewBook has its merits, such as its great display, the flaws prevent us from seeing it as a serious contender to more established competition.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300
Processor clock speed 1.3GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 26x320x239
Weight 1.6kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 7W
Power consumption idle 20W
Power consumption active 35W


Viewable size 13.3 in
Native resolution 1,280×800
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 32MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive model LiteOn DU8A2S
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 2
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem No
Supported memory cards none
Other ports none


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore option restore disc
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £679