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Ultraportable laptops & Ultrabooks Reviews
15,670 Reviews

ViewSonic ViewBook 130 review

£649 inc VAT

Manufacturer: ViewSonic

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

ViewSonic's ViewBook 130 is a half-price take on the MacBook Air – but will it have only half the style, performance and build quality?

ViewSonic's ViewBook 130 is a half-price take on the MacBook Air – but will it have only half the style, performance and build quality?

Screen quality of the ViewSonic ViewBook 130 is average for the type, a 13.3in high-gloss reflective widescreen, nicely LED backlit, that will - so to speak - lose its shine once you're forced to use the laptop near a window or overhead strip lighting.

There's some moderate massaging of the truth in the weightwatching department, since the company's listed 1.45kg spec was not matched by our lab scale's reading, closer to 1.53kg.

Much more troubling, we're not sure how ViewSonic measures its laptops' battery life, but we'd contend it's not with any industry-standard test. ViewSonic says: up to 8 hours. We say: less than 3 hours 20 minutes; in deference to our MobileMark 2007 Productivity tests.

Meanwhile in our application performance tests, the ViewSonic ViewBook 130 showed a usable turn of real-world speed, hitting 64 points in WorldBench 6. To give some context, that may equal last year's Samsung X360 ultraportable, but it's well short of an Air's score of 83.

On a subjective note, we found the Windows 7 Professional interface slower than we'd like, with less-than-snappy responsiveness as we moved around the operating system.

ViewSonic ViewBook 130 top view

Top view of the ViewSonic ViewBook 130... but it's not quite as metallic as it may look

Gaming possibilities are unsurprisingly limited by the low-power integrated Intel graphics in the ViewSonic ViewBook 130. We saw 6fps in our standard FEAR game test.

ViewSonic is strangely keen to promote the sound quality from the ViewSonic ViewBook 130's underslung stereo speakers, claiming them to be ‘meticulously reckoned [sic] and fine-tuned to output 20% more impact'. In reality, they're as thin and weedy sounding as most netbook's.

Overall build quality was solid feeling, and despite the ersatz plastic construction - sprayed silver to resemble real aluminium - it felt reasonably tough and flex-free.

NEXT: Our expert verdict >>

ViewSonic ViewBook 130 Expert Verdict »

1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV SU7300
3MB cache
13.3in (1366 x 768) 16:9 LED-backlit glossy LCD
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
Intel GS45 + ICH9-M chipset
2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 RAM
320GB 5400rpm SATA HDD
3 x USB 2.0
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
1.3Mp webcam
built-in mic
Intel GMA 4500M graphics
multi-card reader
ExpressCard 34 slot
multi-touch trackpad
1.3Mp webcam
audio in, headphone jacks
stereo speakers
31Wh removable battery
330 x 221 x 18mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Mock-metal plastic isn’t unusual in the sub-£1000 laptop price band but be aware that the ViewBook is trading on the prestige of a certain laptop hewn from more durable aluminium. Despite pretensions of mixing with the upmarket ultraportables, the ViewSonic ViewBook 130 is after all a relatively affordable thin ’n’ lightish notebook, and one that remains cool and mostly quiet in use. We can't help thinking that for the same money, some highly capable 15in laptops can be found elsewhere. But this 13in notebook has excellent connectivity options and slimmer style, leaving its biggest let downs an oversold touchpad and mediocre battery life.

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