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Tongfong S30A: The zero figure notebook

The low-down

There’s no doubt that mini-notebooks have been given a new spice of life with the VIA Nano processor. Many mini-notebook manufacturers have gone for the VIA Nano because of its low power consumption. Be it Samsung, Lenovo or HP – they all have VIA Nano powered mini-notebooks. The opinion is unanimous – the VIA Nano is the ultimate processor when it comes to modern day mobile computing … and now that includes notebooks. The VIA Nano processor has shown up in one of the thinnest notebooks I have ever seen. The leading Chinese manufacturer, Tongfong, has put the VIA Nano processor in its flagship notebook, the S30A.

Stand-out features

The unique feature that makes the Tongfong S30A stand out is that the DVD optical drive can be swapped for a 3-cell battery. The unit comes with a 6-cell battery and if you go for this option, you end up with 9-cells, increasing the battery life by 50%. This feature has made quite an impression in the notebook market.

Its discrete S3 Graphics Chrome 435 ULP graphics processor, which is DirectX 10.1 compatible and capable of 1080p video output, provides an enhanced high definition video experience. There’s even an HDMI port.

As size and weight are critical factors in the notebook market, the 33mm thick Tongfong S30A is a truly ultraportable device, with the weight of a mere 1.4kg whilst still boasting an impressive display of 13.3 inches.

Other bits worth mentioning

Available with Windows Vista or Windows XP, the Tongfong S30A has a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive and a DVD Super Multi Drive (unless you remove it for the extra 3-cell battery). In addition, it gives you a 4-in-1 card reader, an express card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, 10/100Mbps Ethernet and 802.11 b/g wireless.

The entire device runs with a 1.3GHZ VIA Nano processor with 2GB RAM.

The nitty gritty

Operating System Windows XP or Windows Vista
Processor 1.3GHz VIA Nano U2250 processor
Chipset VIA VX800 media system processor
Memory 2GB of DDR2
Storage 2.5 inch SATA hard drive
Display Bright 13.3″ display
S3 Graphics Chrome 435 ULP graphics
LAN 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
Wireless Wi-Fi connectivity, 802.11b/g wireless
I/O Ports Two USB 2.0 ports, express card slot, 4-in-1 memory card reader, HDMI and VGA ports
Battery life  6-cell battery, option for an additional3-cell battery
Weight 1.4 kg
Special features DVD Super Optical Multi-Drive, Wi-Fi connectivity, DX10.1 graphics support and HD audio
Colors Black and yellow

What people are saying

“The 13.3-inch laptop has been built around VIA’s 64-bit 1.3GHz+ Nano U2250 processor, which has been coupled with the unified VIA VX800 chipset, featuring the discrete S3 Chrome 435 ULP graphics unit and 2GB of DDR2 system memory. This enables Tongfong’s S30A ultra thin notebook to provide support for HD video and DirectX 10.1 graphics. The platform also enables the netbook to provide a built-in HDMI port for a true HD experience”, said Softpedia.

H2BM caught up with the Tongfong S30A at the Taipei Computex trade show:

“…The new notebook, which is exceptionally thin and weighs a mere 1.4kg, is capable of playing high bit-rate HD video and is DirectX 10.1 certified.” 

Pricing and availability

The Chinese manufacturer is yet to reveal details on pricing and availability. CNet has hinted: “A similarly slim unit like the Toshiba R600 can cost over S$3,000 (US$2,007.63), while the S30A is expected to go for half that price.”

Author Name:Subhankar Kundu
Published Date:09 July 2009
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