VIA Technologies has introduced its new VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design that should try to grab a piece of that growing ultra portable notebook market. As you may know, this part of market is currently dominated by Asus's EeePC ,but according to recent events this could easily change.
The VIA's OpenBook might not be powered by an "almighty" Atom processor, but it sure packs some interesting specs under its 8.9-inch design. Its LCD is capable of showing 1024x600 resolution. The dimensions of VIA's OpenBook are at 240 x 175 x 36.2mm with weight of just under the 1 kilo. This small ultra-portable is powered by VIA's 1.6GHz C7-M ULV CPU in combination with the VIA VX800 chipset. The chipset offers DirectX 9 support over its Chrome9 HC3 IGP that can address up to 256MB of shared system memory.
Other specs include up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, up to 80GB of hard disk capacity, Gigabit Broadcom Ethernet, 4-in-1 card reader, a 2 mega-pixel dual-headed camera and Realtek HD audio. The press release does mention that SSD is an option, but it doesn't appear on the list of OpenBook's specs. As for the rest of the connectivity options, VIA has decided to implement two internal modules, with the first one featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional GPS connections and the second one offering a choice of WiMAX, HSDPA, or EV-DO/W-CDMA options.
This tiny notebook also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port and audio in/out jacks. According to the VIA press release, these specs are enough to run Windows Vista Basic, Windows XP and all popular Linux distributions. This VIA's CPU with 3.5 Watts TDP should help in the battery life area, and according to VIA, this little thing can do up to three hours with a 4-cell 2600mA lithium-ion battery.
With the Atom just around the corner, and ultra-portables with bigger 10-inch screens coming after Computex, we'll just have to wait and see how much luck VIA's OpenBook will have. If this version was with VIA's upcoming Isaiah CPU, the story might be a bit different. As always, the price will make the final buying decision.
The price will play a big role and we still don't know how much Via will want for one.