VIA unveils OpenBook subnotebook reference design

VIA's trying its hand once again at the "mini-note" form factor, with a new OpenBook reference design. Its first go round, the NanoBook, was generally panned in light of the ultra-successful Eee PC, but certainly wasn't ignored. The new design is right in line with the new wave of subnotebooks, with an 8.9-inch 1024 x 600 screen, connection options including WiMAX, HSDPA and EV-DA, three USB 2.0 ports, VGA out, a 4-in-1 card reader and front and back 2 megapixel webcams. There's also room for 2GB of RAM and a 2.5-inch HDD, and you can run Vista, XP or your Linux flavor of choice. It's all based around a new VIA VX800 chipset running that trusty ol' C7-M ULV processor, with some video acceleration tweaks to make multimedia possible. You'll be able to get about 3 hours of juice out of a 4-cell battery. The entire design is being distributed as a CAD file under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license, which means OEMs can take these designs and run with them -- and also means that we'll be seeing plenty of versions without all the trimmings mentioned here. The real test of this new unit might come down to price, and since that's up to manufacturers VIA isn't saying where it'll land just yet, but it'll probably be closer to $600 than the $300-ish price points of the last gen.