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The Joybook R45 is an odd mix between premium and entry level. It's certainly built solidly enough, and when closed it paints quite the attractive picture. Even the brown vinyl surrounded by a silver trim, designed in faux-leather style gives it a nice, refined touch, if a little fake.
The standard battery extends beyond the back of the laptop, but only slightly, and given the laptop's 14.1-inch size this shouldn't cause any issues with fitting it in satchels or laptop bags.
The interior is a mix of black, silver, grey and a single red trim, along with glowing red buttons for power and wireless — giving the impression that we were typing on a Cylon, which is all types of cool. Nonetheless, the cheap silver plastic may offend some in its old-school nature, and the single bar used as a both left and right mouse buttons requires far too much pressure to activate.
Being a mainstream laptop, the R45 comes with a fairly standard set of ports — four USB, HDMI, D-Sub, FireWire, headphone/microphone, Express card, SD/MS card reader, and gigabit Ethernet and modem jacks.
A DVD+-RW sits on the right-hand side, a 2-megapixel camera on the top, while internally the machine is driven by an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz), 1GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 8400M G graphics chip, and a 160GB hard drive split equally into two partitions. Those who want to do more than just office work or internet browsing may wish to upgrade the 1GB RAM to 2GB, especially since the laptop runs the resource hungry Windows Vista Home Premium.