nec-versa-n1100When NEC first announced it would be entering the netbook fray, my initial reaction was “my, what an ugly little netbook.” After all, the only thing that seemed to set the NEC LaVie Light apart from the throngs of other netbooks was a rather boxy looking case with an unfortunate color scheme (A black PC with a white keyboard? Really?). But it appears that the case isn’t just ugly. It’s also sturdy.

APC Magazine reports that the NEC Versa N1100 (which is the name the netbook gets when its shipped to the Asia Pacific region), is built with a magnesium alloy which can withstand pressures of up to 150kg or 330 pounds for up to 5 seconds. In other words, if you sit on it, you probably won’t break it.

In fact, the folks at NEC went a step further and tested the netbook by throwing some fake sweat on it to see if the finish on the case or keyboard rubs off when wet. You know, in case the big guy sitting on your netbook in the subway happens to be sweating up a storm.

Of course, while NEC claims that this netbook is more durable than others, the company is not putting its money where it’s mouth is. NEC offers a standard warranty which does doesn’t cover “impact damage or physical abuse.” In other words, don’t sweat anywhere near your netbook. Just take their word that you could without causing any real damage. Mmm hmm.

You can read more about the NEC Vesa N1100/Lavie Light in the Liliputing Product Database.

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2 replies on “NEC Versa N1100 built to withstand sweat, being sat upon”

  1. Not on your life. The last NEC I bought was a ~$2,000+ Versa TXi ultraportable with a DVD drive that was faulty from day one. Even on that expensive model, tech support / customer service was truly appalling, the worst of any company I’ve ever dealt with. The region code of the drive was set to region zero, wouldn’t play region one-encoded DVDs (bear in mind, the notebook was sold new in region one by NEC), and nothing would change it. It’d report that it was changed (and had five changes left), but not actually change.

    I reported it to NEC immediately, and they took almost a YEAR (and letters right up to the president of the company) to get them to replace the drive – even though they acknowledged on day one that it was faulty. Sure enough, when *finally* received the replacement drive let me change the region code properly, and played my region one DVDs just fine.

    Given that their support was this shoddy with a $2,000+ product, I shudder to think how bad the support on a netbook costing 20% as much is going to be.

    Oh, and an addendum: The Versa TXi was also a “magnesium alloy” notebook. The silver finish peeled off within six weeks of purchase where my hands made contact with the palm rest, and the material underneath produced a salty-looking white powdery corrosion. The notebook died when I tripped over the power cord and it fell about three *feet* to the carpeted floor. The magnesium alloy body didn’t provide any level of protection whatsoever – the corner of the laptop shattered – apparently the magnesium alloy casting being extremely brittle. Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn’t count on a magnesium alloy body to protect your machine in the least.

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