BenQ Australia Joybook S41 V18
- HDMI, Performance, SRS
- No S-Video, Lacking media features to compliment the HDMI port
We like the steps BenQ has taken with its new range, including the HDMI port and a solid component base. We do feel that more could have been added to enhance the media aspect of this powerful machine, but otherwise it's a pleasure to use.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
Alongside the Joybook S32W-PV14, BenQ's new Joybook S41 (V18) is a pleasant improvement over the previous generation of BenQ notebooks. The new design is considerably more stylish, the components are in the same ilk as any other top-quality vendor on the market and the key features, while open to improvement, show that BenQ has its eye on the needs of the expanding notebook market.
No quality notebook would be complete without Intel's latest Centrino Duo platform. The Joybook S41 offers an Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 2GHz CPU with an 800MHz front-side bus and a full 4MB L2 cache. Also under the lid, so to speak, is 1GB of DDR2 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS graphics processor. All this helped the Joybook S41 to some reasonable results in our benchmarks and is a good representation of what you'd expect from a notebook at the pinnacle of the mid-range bracket. Our review model has Windows Vista Business installed, but the operating system is an option to consider when purchasing.
One key feature of the Joybook S41 is its HDMI port, which provides a digital video and a digital audio signal to your TV or home theatre. We do feel that more could have been added to boost the media aspect of this notebook, such as a media remote or even some media controls, but an HDMI port is a nice addition indeed. Although the Joybook S41 also offers a VGA port for monitors, there's no S-Video port for TV output, leaving those without HDMI ports on their TV or sound system without any alternative.
A DVD re-writer is included and there's 160GB worth of hard drive space to fill. Also featured are a 1.3-megapixel camera, a screen capture button and SRS surround sound emulation. SRS widens the sound stage to make the two speakers seem like they are further apart. The internal speakers produce a reasonable sound at acceptable volumes, but lack bass. The SRS feature provides the internal speakers with a volume boost, but was most notable when the Joybook S41 was plugged into a set of more powerful speakers. The screen has a native resolution of 1280x800 and has good contrast and brightness, though it's not exceptional. The viewing angle is about average for this price bracket, meaning it's comfortable to view the screen from a reasonable variety of angles or even share the screen with a friend.
In WorldBench 6 the Joybook S41 scored a healthy 75, which is in line with the better notebooks available today. With only 1GB of RAM installed there's always room for an upgrade if you feel the need. In our MP3 encoding tests the S41 scored as we would have expected, taking 89 seconds to encode 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files in iTunes and 131 seconds in Cdex.
In the battery test it scored a little over the average for this hardware, lasting 104 minutes in our DVD rundown test. This test drains the battery by looping a DVD, which incorporates the optical drive and the speakers for maximum strain on the battery.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10's power-throttling feature will benefit battery-hungry laptops
- Microsoft's next Surface may be a Chromebook competitor for schools
- US says laptop ban may expand to more airports
- Intel's Cannonlake PC chip shipments may slip into next year
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPFront-End DeveloperNSW
- FTIntegration DeveloperWA
- CCSenior IT Project ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTCitrix Engineer/Designer - AWS experience essentialNSW
- TPAV Design SpecialistNSW
- TPService Desk OperatorQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTFront End Web DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Linux AdministratorNSW
- FTProduct LeadVIC
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTAudio Visual / Video Solution Architect | $100 p/hrVIC
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst Forecaster - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTIT Service Desk Manager - Team LeaderNSW
- CCSystems Specialist - Network Systems l Port MacquarieNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTTechnical Expert | 3mth+contractVIC
- CCIT Information ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW