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Given BenQ’s recent troubles, I wasn’t too sure I’d ever get to see the new T700 7.2-megapixel touch-screen ultra-compact. I took a look at its more conventional sibling the X725 back in June, and a couple of other models before that, but it looked like the company’s attempt to squeeze into the European digital camera market was about to come to a shuddering halt in the midst of executive financial shenanigans, corporate re-brandings and the transfer of its digital camera manufacturing to the little-known (in Europe at least) Taiwanese company Ability. It has to be said that this transfer doesn’t bode well for the future quality of BenQ cameras, since Ability itself manufactures an undistinguished line of low-grade generic cameras for the OEM re-badge market, but at least for now we’ve got the T700 to look at.
However on closer inspection, it quickly becomes apparent that we’ve seen most of the T700 before. With its flush-folding 3x zoom Pentax Sliding Lens optics and its 3 inch, 230kp touch-screen monitor, is a close cousin of the Pentax Optio T30 which I reviewed two months ago. And when I say close cousin, I mean very close, in the way they mean it in some of the more rural parts of America’s deep south.
At least it doesn’t have buck teeth and a banjo. From the front at least the T700 is virtually identical to the X725, with a stylish and extremely slim stainless-steel case, available in black, red, white or the silver model shown here. The camera’s official measurements are 91mm x 59mm x 16.9mm, although as usual the actual thickness, including the monitor surround and lens bezel, is a little thicker at approximately 18.5mm. This is still very thin, and BenQ’s claim of “The world slimmest 3-in touch screen camera” is justified. It’s thinner than the Pentax T30, but only by around half a millimetre. Its weight of 120g minus battery is very light, but is in fact the same weight as the Pentax.