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ViewSonic Debuts Netbook, Laptop Lines

ViewSonic greatly expanded its presence in the laptop and desktop markets and intends to roll out an e-reader later this year.

These mobile computers represent ViewSonic’s first foray into this space, although the company has played in the all-in-one (AIO) PC space in the past. Most recently, it introduced a new AIO last May, which is about to be re-launched with a touchscreen in October.

The ViewBook netbook has a 10-inch display and an Intel Atom processor; it will start shipping shortly with a $349 suggested retail.

The laptop uses Intel’s ultra-low-voltage processor and has a 13.3-inch display and an $899 suggested retail. The units were designed by an outside firm that has also done work on ViewSonic displays.

Jeff Volpe, ViewSonic’s VP/GM, said these new product categories should help offset the flat sales that have weighed down the display market during recent years. Further details on the e-reader would be forthcoming.

The netbook and laptops will initially go through ViewSonic’s regional and electronic dealers, but Volpe feels the products could find themselves in a mass merchant at some point.

The VNB120 ViewBook netbook uses an Intel Atom N270 processor and has 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It also has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth support and a six-cell battery.

The VNB131 Viewbook Pro is an ultra-low-voltage notebook that comes in at just less than 1-inch thick and has a super multi DVD drive. Features include a Celeron SU7300 processor, 2GB of memory, 320GB hard drive, 1,024 by 600 LED backlit display and the same wireless connectivity capabilities as the netbook.

In addition to the revamped AIO, which is basically the same model introduced earlier this year with the addition of a touchscreen, ViewSonic will start shipping this month a pair of mini PCs, one intended to be used as a media center device for the living room and the other as a traditional desktop computer.

The VOT 132 is a two-part device that can be purchased with or without a DVD super multi drive. The CPU unit alone is about the size of a paperback book, and this about doubles when matched with the DVD drive. It is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom N330 processor, has 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive, and is Windows 7 compatible. It will cost $499, with the DVD as a $99 option.

VOT530 mini desktop, $699, has the same memory and hard drive, but steps up to an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a built-in DVD drive.

The company is also looking outside the PC space. Starting this month, it will ship the VPD400 MovieBook and the VMP70 HD media player.

The MovieBook can play back movies, music and photos in any format at 720p. It has 8GB of internal memory, which can be expanded via an SD card slot.

The HD Media Player has a 4-inch screen able to show 1080p HD content.

The MovieBook and HD Media Player have respective suggested retails of $149 and $129, but Volpe said these will carry $99 promotional price points later this year.