Hitachi creates splash with water cooled P4 notebook

Well no, actually. The idea is it doesn't splash...

Hitachi has begun selling a wondrous-sounding water-cooled notebook computer in Japan, according to a report by IDG Tokyo correspondent Kuriko Miyake. The machine runs a 1.8GHz mobile Pentium 4, and has a flexible tube which carries water over the chips in order to dissipate heat.

And then (here comes the best bit) the heated water is run into a visible tank on the back of the LCD in order to cool down. A Hitachi spokesman tells Kuriko that the tank is simply visible in order to differentiate the machine, and that it could well be hidden. But nonsense, we say - if you made it more visible, iMac-ed the lot, maybe, you could have teensie tropical fish swimming round your notebook. Or a lava lamp-type affair.

Well OK, that's maybe a bit far-fetched, but if you were talking the larger real estate of a water-cooled desktop machine the mod people could surely fit a couple of fish in, and still keep them far enough away from the CPU to avoid turning them into breaded scampi.

But we digress. The advantage of water cooling, according to Hitachi, is that it's quieter than air cooling. The efficiency, however, is about the same. So actually it's a possible solution (if you'll pardon the expression) for high-powered desktop equivalents, and if it's longer battery life you want then you really want a CPU that runs cooler.

The machine in question is the Flora 270W Silent Model, and if we were to digress again we'd suggest margarine might be a better cooling substance, but we won't. It's only on sale in Japan, but will be available to corporate customers outside Japan on request, and Hitachi may get deeper into liquids if reaction is positive.

Hitachi, you may recall, was an early Transmeta customer, also selling under the Flora brand in Japan. And you may care to survey some more Hitachi innovation in the Flora range; if you look here, you will see what appears to be the Japan National Soccer Team special edition Flora (Celeron 600, which we feel underestimated the team's actual performance). But that's enough Floras. ®