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JVC InterLink MP-XP7310 subnotebook

Posted by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief. Dec. 11, 2003

If the Sony VAIO TR2A isn't small enough or cool enough for you, then check out the JVC InterLink 7310. This sub B5 sized elegant unit weighs only a bit over 2 pounds and packs a 1 GHz Centrino processor, WiFi and a wide screen display. Like so many ultraportable notebooks, the JVC isn't sold in the US, alas. However, importers come to the rescue, offering the JVC along with other ultra-cool Japanese notebooks. We received our review unit from ICUBE, an importer located in the US who also has an office in Japan. Dynamism, another well-known importer also offers the JVC, but at press time, charges $200 more than ICUBE. The JVC from ICUBE comes with the US English version of Windows XP Professional, a printed owner's manual (in Japanese), a CD of value-added software (Japanese versions), a Pinnacle Studio 8 CD, an internal and an external battery.

JVC InterLink XP7  notebook

The tiny JVC 7310 comes with Windows XP Pro Edition.


JVC Interlink keyboard

The keyboard.


The JVC has an attractive and unique gloss black finish, reminiscent of a car paint job or the black enamel finish found on high end home appliances. The case is made of metal, and the unit feels solid and well-built. The two hinges have a chrome finish, while the front latch and mouse buttons have a brushed aluminum finish. The inner surfaces surrounding the keyboard and LCD are matt black, to reduce glare. Two speakers surround the three button track pad, and all ports are located on the left and right sides of the notebook. The display section can be swung all the way back, so the notebook is opened completely flat if you wish.

The InterLink has an internal battery that looks modular, though I couldn't find any way to remove it. The unit comes with a standard battery in addition to the internal battery, and that clips onto the rear of the notebook, adding 1 inch of depth and several ounces in weight (see photo below on the right).

JVC Inter Link top

Top view, closed.

JVC Inter Link

Top view, closed with included external battery attached on the rear.

The keyboard is small (as you'd expect on a unit of this size) and has 16mm key travel. You'll likely spend some time adjusting to the small keyboard, but it is touch typeable. Since this is a Japanese model, the keys are masked with both English and Kanji characters. The English letters are actually larger than the Kanji characters and are easy to see. All letters are where you'd expect them to be, but most punctuation are not in the standard US location. If you're a touch typist, this will slow you down. The keyboard has a full row of function keys, and a dedicated number row. The shift, backspace, delete, space, tab and caps lock keys are all in the standard US layout location. Since this unit is so small there isn't room for a trackpad, so instead it has an eraser stick pointing device. The IBM TrackPoint pointing stick lives between the g,h,b and n keys, while the three mouse buttons (left click, right click and scroll) are below the keyboard in the wrist rest area.


Ultra-light subnotebooks are not speed demons compared to their full-sized notebook brethren. High speed, state of the art processors don't jibe well with "miniaturization" because of heat dissipation issues. The cost of high-end processors is also a concern, since you're already paying extra for that small size. That said, the Intel Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Pentium M processor running at 1GHz is plenty fast for even demanding applications. The Intel Centrino technology improves speed while keeping power requirements low. What is Centrino? It's Intel's name for their new notebook architecture released this year which combines their new Pentium M processor, 855 chipset and the Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 WiFi 802.11 network interface. The Pentium M is supposed to be significantly faster than mobile Pentium 4 processors, yet it uses very little power. The M was designed from the ground up as a mobile processor where low power, heat dissipation and excellent speed performance were the goals, rather than being a shrunk down desktop processor. Centrino definitely hit the mark, and represents a very exciting technology.

The JVC comes with 256 megs of RAM and runs Windows XP Professional Edition (US English). That's the minimum amount of RAM you'd want to run XP, and I do suggest upgrading the memory to 512 megs. The memory expansion slot lives underneath the unit, under a round door held in place by three screws. There's one 256 meg 266 MHz DDR micro DIMM slot and the manual states that the InterLink supports a maximum of 512 megs of RAM.

The InterLink 7310 comes with a 40 meg hard drive. This is likely one of those cool new Toshiba 1.8" PCMCIA form factor hard drives, and it's permanently installed.

Screen, Sound and Battery Life

The JVC has an 8.9" wide screen display running at 1024 x 768 pixels. It's an excellent display that's very sharp and colorful. While things appear smaller on screen than they would on a full sized notebook display, I found it reasonably easy to read text, but your eyes may tire after extended periods of time. If you want a B5 or smaller notebook, that's the price you'll pay, as there's no way to fit a larger LCD in a model this size. The JVC can support an external monitor at a maximum of 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution.

The display is driven by an Intel 855GM integrated graphics chipset (a part of the Centrino package) with 64 megs of RAM that's shared with system RAM. That's the same processor that's used on the Sony VAIO TR2A and other Centrino machines, but I was surprised that games which ran on the TR2A didn't run on the JVC (Age of Empires II, Rise of Nations). I did however, get Max Payne to run after updating the Intel video drivers from version 1 to version 2 (these drivers are available on Intel's web site).

Two speakers run along the wrist rest area and provide stereo sound. The sound is decent for built-in speakers. Of course, for serious multimedia, you'll want to use the stereo headphone jack rather than the built-in speakers. The JVC also has a mic port if you wish to record meetings or use the unit for web conferencing. The unit uses a SoundMAX integrated digital audio controller made by Analog Devices.

The JVC InterLink has an interesting battery system. The internal battery seems to be permanently installed. This is a very small capacity battery, and will probably last you one hour. A 2200 mA external battery is included with the unit, and this clips onto the rear edge just behind the internal battery, extending run times to about 2.5 to 3 hours. JVC also makes an extended external battery that will probably last you 5 or more hours on a charge.

Ports, WiFi and Expandability

The JVC InterLink comes with Intel PRO/ Wireless 2100 802.11b WiFi, which had very good range in our tests. To turn WiFi off and on, simply use the slider switch on the left side of the computer. The 7310 also has Intel Pro 10/100 integrated wired Ethernet and a 56k modem. There are two USB 2.0 ports located on the right side of the computer, and an IEEE1394 iLink 4 pin (unpowered) Firewire port on the left side. The VGA port (which requires a separately purchased adapter) is located on the right side, as are the audio out and in jacks.

Software Bundle

ICUBE ships the JVC InterLink with Windows XP Professional. The unit also ships with Pinnacle Studio 8 and their Hollywood FX Editor (in English). Pinnacle is a very nice home video editing software package.


Pro: An extremely small and light subnotebook that's attractive and well-made. For an imported notebook of this size, the price is quite reasonable. Though it's only 1 GHz, the JVC feels decently fast thanks to Intel's Centrino technology. The display is very sharp, bright and clear. It has all the ports you'll need: USB 2.0 and a Firewire port, 1 CardBus PC card slot and a VGA (buy the adapter). Integrated WiFi, Ethernet and a 56k modem will help you stay connected. Cons: Like all subnotebooks, it's not as fast as full sized notebooks, and the high res small screen may tire your eyes after extended use. No included optical drive means you'll need to have your own USB or Firewire CDROM drive to install applications. Standard memory is barely adequate unless you only use the unit for office docs, email and web surfing. Punctuation isn't located in the usual places, which will slow down touch typists. Battery life with the internal battery is very short, which means you'll need to use the included external battery much of the time, somewhat increasing unit size and weight. The VGA-out adapter dongle should be included!



Size: 8.58 in x 1.16 in x 6.97 in. with internal battery. Weights 1.99 pounds with internal battery, and 2.37 pounds with included external battery.

Display: 8.9" TFT LCD display (1024 x 600). Intel® 855GM Chipset Integrated Graphics. 64 megs shared video memory. Can drive an external monitor up to 2048 x 1536 pixels.

Sound: Built-in stereo speakers; monaural mini-jack microphone, Internal mic. SoundMAX integrated digital audio controller made by Analog Devices.

Processor: Centrino technology. Ultra Low Voltage Intel® Pentium® M Processor running at 1GHz. 64K level 1 cache, 1 meg level 2 cache (both On-Die). Intel 855 Centrino chipset.

Standard RAM: 256 megs, expandable to 512 megs. Has one memory slot which takes a 266 MHz micro DIMM.

Drives: 40 GB hard drive, 100MB/s Ultra DMA Transfer Rate. No optical drive.

Ports: 1 PCMCIA slot (supports type I & II as well as CardBus), 1 FireWire (IEE 1394) 4 pin non-powered 400 Mpbs, 2 USB 2.0 ports, RJ45 Ethernet 10/100, RJ11 modem jack, VGA (requires adapter cable), audio in and out.

Modem: Integrated 56K Lucent softmodem.

Ethernet: Integrated Intel Pro 10/100 VM wired Ethernet. Built-in Intel PRO/ Wireless 2100 WiFi (802.11b) wireless.

Battery: Internal battery plus 2200 mAh Lithium Ion external battery included. Extended battery available.

Software: Windows XP Professional.


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