BenQ Australia Joybook R43-PV03 (9H.0ESAP.V03)
- Inexpensive, good portability, good for multitasking
- Underwhelming performance, lacks FireWire
This notebook is suitable for anyone who wants an inexpensive dual-core machine for home, school or office use.
Price$ 1,249.00 (AUD)
The BenQ R43-PV03 has a lot going for it: it's inexpensive, ships with a dual-core CPU, and sports a good-looking 14.1in screen. At 2.3kg, it's also easy to carry, and a decent choice for anyone who wants a machine for school, work or home use.
It costs only $1249, but runs an Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 CPU, as well as 1GB of RAM and a 160GB, 5400rpm hard drive. These are more than decent specifications for multitasking, watching movies and working on photos or videos, even though its test results were underwhelming. In our WorldBench 6 benchmark, the Joybook scored 65, while in our MP3 encoding test, in which we convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s, it took 1min 45sec. Both of these results are slower than what we were expecting from a machine with a T7250 CPU; the MP3 test, in particular, is about 18sec off the time we expected.
Instead of using an Intel chipset, BenQ has built the R43-PV03 with a SiS M672 chipset, which also has an integrated SiS Mirage 3+ graphics adapter. You won't get any decent 3D performance out of it – as its score of 125 in 3DMark06 indicates – so gaming with this notebook is out of the question.
But don't let that put you off. The R43-PV03 is still great for running everyday productivity applications and photo editing software, plus it'll easily handle multitasking – you won't notice a slow-down while simultaneously browsing the Web, listening to music and working in an office document, for example.
Physically, the R43-PV03 is built well enough. It has a latch-less lid with strong hinges, which hold the screen in place even if the notebook is bumped. Meanwhile, it has a strong set of speakers, which provide loud and clear sound.
There are three USB 2.0 ports, D-Sub, microphone and headphone ports, 10/100 Ethernet and 56Kbps modem ports, as well as one ExpressCard slot. However, it doesn't have a FireWire port, so getting video off a camcorder could be a chore. Photos can be copied to the notebook through its 4-in-1 memory card slot, which can handle SD, xD, MMC and MS cards. For wireless connectivity, the unit has Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and these can be activated and deactivated through a simple key-stroke combination, rather than physical switches.
The keyboard is comfortable to type with, thanks to its full-sized keys. Only the arrow keys and the delete and function keys are slightly small. Navigation is by way of a touchpad; we just wish that the buttons for the touchpad were separated, as both the left and right buttons share the same physical button.
It's easy to work with this notebook while it's on your lap, and only the left-hand side gets a little warm when the notebook has been running for a while. A vent and fan extract warm air from the notebook's chassis; the fan's operation is audible, and could possibly be distracting if you use the notebook in silent environments.
Away from an outlet, the R43-PV03 will last 1hr 42min while running a DVD. It should last longer while running typical productivity applications and even longer if power management profiles are implemented.
For protecting your data, BenQ supplies its DataTrove software, which can be invoked during start-up by pressing the Alt and F10 keys. With this program, you can save images of your hard drive to an external hard drive, and easily restore it if anything ever goes wrong.
Some features that are missing from this notebook are a webcam, FireWire (as previously mentioned) and a PC Card slot. However, you can use the ExpressCard slot to plug in a FireWire card and other add-ons, such as a TV tuner or 3G data card.
Indeed, the lack of these features isn't enough to dampen our enthusiasm for this unit. It performed reasonably well, it's very well built, has a good screen, is easy to carry, and it will only cost you $1249. If you're after a budget notebook, the R43-PV03 is a valid contender.
Join the newsletter!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo recalls ThinkPad notebooks after overheating hazard
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Which 2018 Smart Speaker Should I Buy
- 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
- FTNetezza Developer - Brisbane locationACT
- FTTest ManagerOther
- TPBusiness & Change AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Solution Architect - Brisbane locationNSW
- CCBack End DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Lead UnixOther
- TPSenior Project ManagerQLD
- FTReporting AnalystQLD
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- CCProject Manager -AgileWA
- TPSystem AnalystACT
- FTMid-Level Drupal Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT
- FTSolution Architect - MDMOther
- FTAWS AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Network Engineer - TelcoVIC
- TPNetwork EngineerQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTClient Relationship Manager - HealthcareVIC
- CCProject EngineerNSW
- CCApplications EngineerNSW
- FTArchitect - ServiceNowOther