Loading up laptops with next-gen gimmicks is always a surefire way to garner the attention of the world’s technorati. And that’s just what the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131, with biometric scanning and even a demobiliser button slapped on the side. But do these original extras make it worth handing over for? Read our definitive Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131 review to find out.
Biometric fingerprint scanning is nothing new in laptops. Sony’s Vaio lineup has been packing them in for yonks. But it’s still a neat addition to the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131, as the demobiliser key. Tap it and when anyone other than yourself tries to move it, a piercing alarm goes off. Think of it as the equivalent of a car’s horn sounding repeatedly in the night and you’ll get the picture.
But if we’re being brutal, these bonus features are simply masking a machine that is no more than a hard-working 13.3-inch laptop. The 1280×800 screen is great for checking out your latest snaps, but, disappointingly, doesn’t take care of widescreen video. It’s a small niggle, but means spying DVDs on the train isn’t as immersive as it could be.
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We have no complaints when it comes to how well connected the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131 is. With HDMI, VGA, two USB ports and a 7-in1 card reader all on board, only the most hardcore of tech fans will be disappointed.
Similarly, the build is nice and solid, with a sharp aluminium-magnesium finish that can stand all but the most nasty of scrapes. It’s not a toughbook though, so make sure you don’t give it too much of a battering.
In fact, the only real problem we have with the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131 body is the keyboard. Compared to similarly priced (and significantly cheaper) machines, it’s as rickety as a Mumbai Rickshaw and rattles like Bez’s maracas. It’s a huge disappointment and if we’re being honest, a bit of a deal breaker.
The mouse pad is, however, more than decent if you decide not to hook up a regular one while you’re at home. The truth is, while the Viewsonic ViewBook Pro VNB131 is a good enough machine, at £720 it’s expensive for what you get. Tread with caution.