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VIA unveils OpenBook mini-note reference design

by Parm Mann on 27 May 2008, 18:17

Tags: VIA Technologies (TPE:2388)

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Despite the timid reception to its NanoBook, VIA Technologies is pushing forward in the low-cost portable market with the introduction of its OpenBook mini-note reference design.

The design encompasses VIA's Ultra Mobile Platform, based on the VIA C7-M ULV processor and the all-in-one VIA VX800 digital media IGP chipset. There's an 8.9in 1024x600 screen, and a host of connectivity options including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AGPS, WiMAX, HSDPA and EV-DO/W-CDMA.

There's room for three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, audio-in/audio-out jacks, as well as a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS) and a two mega-pixel dual-headed web cam.

It'll support up to 2GiB of RAM and VIA claims the device can run Linux, Windows XP or Windows Vista Basic. Last but not least, there's a 4-cell lithium-ion battery that VIA says will keep you going for up to three hours.

The key to its success, however, may depend on what various manufacturers can do with VIA's reference design. CAD files of the design have been made available to download, giving OEMs and system integrators the ability to tailor the look and feel of the device.

Richard Brown, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc, said:

"The VIA OpenBook builds on the great success of the VIA NanoBook reference design launched last year, which has been widely adopted by numerous customers around the world. Our unique open approach to case design customisation and wireless connectivity flexibility, coupled with the higher levels of performance, further extends VIA’s leadership in the global mini-note market."

The OpenBook seems promising, but the problem, we feel, will lie with VIA's ageing C7 processor. Until its 64bit Isaiah processors make an appearance, VIA may struggle to make an impact alongside Intel Atom-powered competitors. Nonetheless, we'll be keeping a close eye on VIA's progress, starting with this dose of promo footage:

Useful links
Official product page: viaopenbook.com
Official press release: VIA Unveils VIA OpenBook Mini-Note Reference Design

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Probably not, due to the following coffin-nail: “…based on the VIA C7-M ULV processor…”
HSPDA support and Wimax, if the model actually has just either one, at a good price point (<&#163;250) i'd buy it.

Slow CPU asside, that would be a very useful feature.
Hell, if ANY sub-notebook does those at &#163;250, it could be a good deal, true, but there comes a point where you're giving SO much away in the way of performance that the machine becomes a balky pain in the neck to use, right? Where it'd be more sensible to use a smartphone, or spend an extra &#163;50 for the same feature-set but with a better base spec.?
Probably makes more sense if used with the recently-announced VIA Nano processor.