BenQ Australia Joybook R45 (PV-04)
An inexpensive laptop with thief-catching ability!
- Attractive design, good usability, HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, price
- Palm rests heat up quickly and don’t feel solid, screen has small viewing angle, poor speakers
The BenQ Joybook R45 balances attractive design and lots of features against weak speakers and palm rests with heat issues. What tips the scales in favour of this notebook is its low price.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
Although the BenQ Joybook R45's price of $1199 puts it squarely in the 'entry-level' notebook category, its good performance, chic style and wide range of expansion options means it's a laptop that shouldn't be underestimated.
BenQ's sense of style has been fairly impressive of late. From the Joybook S32B (BV14) to this unit's predecessor, the Joybook R43-PV03 (9H.0ESAP.V03), the modern styling has very much appealed to us. The Joybook R45 continues this trend.
Although the faux leather cover doesn't look like the genuine article, BenQ has managed to avoid the worst of pleather's usual sins, producing a rubberised surface that feels and looks pleasant.
Despite weighing just 2.5kg without the power supply and 3kg with it included, the notebook has an impressive array of ports and slots, especially considering it is only 34cm in length, 24cm in width and 4cm in depth. On the left, an ExpressCard/54 slot allows a wide range of devices, such as eSATA port enablers, to be connected and an HDMI port allows for an easy connection to be made to the latest home entertainment devices. On the right sits a FireWire connection. Four USB 2.0 ports allow for further connectivity. On the rear is a D-Sub port, which means you can easily connect to a projector or external monitor.
Instead of the typical button panel, only buttons for power and toggling the wireless adapter are present.
The full-sized keyboard is easy to use, and the keys are responsive, which should help cut down on spelling errors and aid touch-typing. After a few hours of use, however, the keyboard and palm rests are prone to heating up and this may cause some discomfort.
Instead of having speakers built into the main body of the unit, BenQ has installed them directly below the screen. They produce tepid sound and lack clarity and bass.
The screen itself has a very limited viewing angle and is fairly reflective, but it produces great colour contrast; DVDs are displayed without ghosting or dithering issues.
Above the screen is a two-megapixel webcam that works with the built-in microphone to provide easy Web conferencing — and security monitoring. With the bundled ArcSoft software, you can set the notebook to 'camera monitoring mode' so that the webcam will detect movement. If your laptop is stolen, the software will e-mail you a photo of the person using it once it is connect to the Internet.
Inside the laptop is a 1.83GHz T5550 Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Graphics processing is supplied by an NVIDIA GeForce 8400M G graphics card, while storage comes from a 120GB, 5400rpm hard drive. That's plenty of space for Windows Vista, stacks of programs and personal files.
In our iTunes test, which strains the CPU by converting 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3 files, the T5550's middling strength shows itself with a score of 1min 35sec. This is a little slower (by about 20sec) than we expected. The WorldBench 6 score of 70, however, is reassurance for users who wish to use the notebook for Web browsing, office programs and watching movies.
The weakness of the Joybook R45's graphics processing is made clear by the 3DMark06 score of 1105, which translates into an inability to play most modern games. In this unit, the independent graphics card is mainly there to facilitate content playback via the HDMI port. The NVIDIA card's advanced settings allow for the screen size to be adjusted when the laptop is connected to an HD-capable television. This is a useful feature, and many notebooks we've seen in the past haven't been able to do this.
In our worst case scenario battery test, the Joybook lasted 1hr 30min. Although it isn't a spectacular time, you'll still be able to watch many DVDs straight through. It's also a decent time considering the low price of the unit.
For connectivity, the R45 offers Gigabit Ethernet, which is a welcome surprise for an entry-level notebook; 802.11b/g wireless and a 56Kbps modem are also present.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- 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
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- 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
- CCContracts OfficerNSW
- FTService Desk/Technical Support - Windows OS & MS Office SuiteOther
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- CCFront-End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Data AnalystNSW
- FTDevOps EngineerOther
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther
- FTAgile Business AnalystOther
- FTSAP SD ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTSenior Test AnalystACT
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTCustomer Service OperatorOther
- CCAngular DeveloperNSW
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)VIC
- FTEnterprise Solution ArchitectOther
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther
- TPSCRUM MasterVIC
- FTSAS Solution DesignerOther
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerOther
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectVIC
- CCBusiness Intelligence Analysts (SAS, SAP UI5, or SQL) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW