There is good news, though. Along with a D-Sub video-output port, the ViewBook Pro comes with an HDMI port, which makes it quick and easy to connect the laptop to an external display or big-screen TV.
We can't imagine many MI5 operatives wandering around with a ViewBook Pro, but perhaps they should. The laptop comes with a couple of safety features, most notably the fingerprint reader nestling between the trackpad buttons. With this, users can log into the machine securely without having to enter a password.
Usefully, it's also possible to associate specific applications with each of your fingers. Swiping the relevant finger across the scanner launches that application. Most convenient of all, perhaps, is the fact that the fingerprint scanner can be used to log into your favourite Web sites quickly -- you may never have to type a password into your browser again.
The ViewBook Pro isn't particularly quick, but it's not especially slow either. Its 1.3GHz CPU failed to produce a score in our PCMark05 benchmark test, but, overall, the specification is fine for everyday tasks such as browsing the Web, editing video and watching standard-definition movies. Anything more strenuous -- gaming, for example -- will prove a bridge too far.
One would assume that the ViewBook Pro's lacklustre performance would afford it strong battery life, but that's not the case. The laptop lasted 1 hour and 36 minutes in Battery Eater's intensive Classic test, which runs the battery down as quickly as possible. With less extreme use, you can expect the ViewBook Pro's battery to last in the region of 3 hours.
People will probably laugh at you for buying the ViewSonic ViewBook Pro, as it's such a poor imitation of Apple's MacBook Pro. If you can overlook that, however, you'll find it's a pretty decent laptop. Although slow, it makes for a worthy travel companion.
Edited by Charles Kloet