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The WinBook XL2 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and some more information about the new WinBook XL2. (Last updated November 2, 1998)

Last week WinBook announced a brand new notebook to their XL line, the XL-2. It is still an "all-in-one" (3 drives and battery all internal) and 2 of the 3 drives have been upgraded to a DVD II drive and an LS-120 floppy drive. There is also a bigger screen, 14.1" and a new AGP video chipset, the ATi Rage 3-D Rage Pro. But the biggest kicker is that is only 1.5" thick and weighs about 7 pounds! So I've asked my contacts at WinBook some questions about this new machine that I thought would be of interest to everyone.

1) Approximate shipping times?
Currently about 4 weeks.

2) NT capable?
The unit is Windows NT logo'd , so yes it is. But WinBook does not pre-install NT nor provides technical support for it.

3) Modem, software or hardware based and what chipset?
Presently the unit is using an internal Winmodem. Lucent 1643 chipset. It is a V.90 56k modem.

4) Are any of the bays modular?
Yes the DVD CD-ROM is removable and so is the HDD... the LS-120 is also removeable. There is currently no option to use a 2nd battery or 2nd hard disk in the DVD bay.

5) Is MPEG-2 built into the video-chip or do you need a decoder PC-Card?
It does not have hardware MPEG-2 but uses the same ATI chipset as Dell (ATI 3d Rage Pro LT) which is quite capable of software MPEG-2. It also uses the ESS Maestro 2EM PCI chipset.

6) Is the DVD reprogrammable for regions?
That's a function of the software. Presently it is.

7) Can the DVD read all CD media (CD-R, CD-RW)?
The DVD is Generation II, capable of reading CD-R's and CD-RW's. The DVD CD-ROM is the Panasonic model 510 (Matsushita, same company)

8) What brand is the touchpad?
Synaptics

9) Can the stick or pad be deactivated?
All units XL/XLi can disable the touchpad, but not the trackpoint (including the XL2)

10) Are the PC-Card bays stacked?
No, they are not, so they are 2 Type-II but you cannot use a Type-III card. They are placed on each side of the unit. But both slots are Zoomed Video and CardBus capable. One of the reasons for this is the heat issues as some cards are rated to operate under a certain temperature while other cards exceed these temperatures (hence the stacking may cause some problems). I suspect another reason would be to keep the unit thin.

I've also been told that the new XL2 is PC98 compliant, which means it is eligible for the "Designed for Windows98" logo. It also supports DMI 2.0 and WfM 2.0. For more information, you can read the WinBook XL2 press release at their website. I am hoping to get an eval model soon so I will post a First Glance review as soon as I receive it.

You may have some better questions that I didn't think of so please e-mail them to me.

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