VIA, a HP partner, has introduced a new OpenBook Mini-Note reference design with several new wireless connectivity options and an even lighter design.

VIA Technologies today introduced the new VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design targeted at the global market for ultra-portable notebooks. The VIA OpenBook builds on the VIA NanoBook reference design launched last year.

The VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design introduces a host of new innovations, including the next generation of VIA Ultra Mobile Platform, based on the VIA C7-M ULV processor and the new all-in-one VIA XV800 digital media IGP chipset. Together, the ultra compact and power efficient platform is claimed to deliver richer computing and multimedia features, including a 8.9" screen (1024 x 600 pixels resolution), VIA Chrome DirectX 9.0 3D graphics, video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1 and DivX video formats, a VMR capable HD video processor and 8-channel HD audio.

The VIA OpenBook features a flexible internal interface for high-speed broadband wireless connectivity that provides customers with the ability to select from a choice of WiMAX, HSDPA and EV-DO/W-CDMA modules appropriate to their market. Additional connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AGPS. In addition, under a unique collaboration approach, the CAD files of the external panels of the reference design are offered for download under a Create Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license to give customers such as OEMs, system integrator, and broadband service providers greater freedom in tailoring the look and feel of their device.

Measuring 1.43 by 9.46 by 6.9 inches and weighing 2.2 pounds, the VIA OpenBook supports a wide range of operating system environments such as Microsoft Windows Vista Basic, Windows XP and various Linux distributions. The device features up to 2GB DDR2 DRAM and can be equipped with a choice of hard disk drive and solid state storage options. The VIA OpenBook also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, audio-in/audio-out jacks as well as a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS) and a 2-megapixel dual-headed web camera.

Check out our hands-on impressions of the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (powered by VIA technology and offers similar physical measurements) to get an idea of how one of these new Mini-Note ultraportables would look like.

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