LAPTOPS: SIZE MATTERS?

Hi All.

What do you expect from your computer when you are on the go? A word processor? A mail client? A browser? And, some space to store your music and videos, possibly? For all this, you lug around a heavy laptop because you don’t have any other option, right? Wrong. Take a look at these ultra mobile personal computers (UMPCs) and the range of products on offer will stun you. Just as big (or small) as a pocket notebook, these laptops pack in enough power inside their tiny frames to help you survive without your laptop while on the move.

Of late, the market is flooded with a bewildering range, and format, of UMPCs. From HTC Shift, which combines a phone, to the latest ASUS Eee PC, which brings cheap computing to your fingertips, the UMPC has had a somewhat tumultuous journey that is now culminating in usable products for the masses.

Typically, a UMPC comes equipped with an operating system such as Windows. In most cases, though, it is some version of Linux, or even Windows Vista Business Edition, to keep costs and computing requirements to a minimum. They are now going beyond their realm of being only portable and having restrictive keyboards.

There is still some negative feedback about screen size but one has to realize that if the computer is to be truly portable, the screens won’t be getting any bigger.

Let’s take a look at five interesting products available in the market…one of these could well be what you are looking for!

The big daddy of personal computers and business laptops, HP also offers UMPCs. And its recently-launched Mini-Note 2133 is perhaps the most powerful of all the products available. As with all things in HP, bling was ignored in favor of productivity. So, instead of a 7-inch screen, the Mini-Note offers an 8.9-inch one—a full two inches more that do make a big difference.

Additionally, the hardware specifications are equally robust, with the capability of putting in 2 GB RAM to support even Windows Vista. Of course, it does offer FreeDOS and Linux, but we guess there would be more takers for Windows.

Complete with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0, the HP Mini-Note also offers optical drives—something not every UMPC offers. Even the quality of the screen is typically HP—a scratch-resistant WXGA screen.

The cheapest model in the Mini-Note range does not include the operating system or some of the fancier features. This variant is also targeted at the educational segment, which means that it is a stripped-down one offering just a 4 GB flash memory module.

The fully loaded one comes at about $849 (about Rs35,000) and includes Windows Vista Home Basic and a 160 GB hard drive.

So now you can put your laptop in your personal kit no need to carry another one. Have fun on your next trip?

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~ by gizmoghost on May 1, 2008.

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