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Pocket-sized PC has PowerBook pedigree

OQO re-emerges

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CES It's almost two years since we wrote about OQO's pocket-sized PC. In the twenty months that have elapsed since it 'debuted' at The Register, the OQO was a no show. But in the meantime the 'Ultra Personal' - now slated to appear later this year - has morphed into something much more usable.

OQO boasts a design team that includes former members of the Titanium Powerbook project, and shares the same elegant finish and space scrimping design.

The pocket-sized PC is not so much intended as a notebook replacement, but as a desktop and notebook replacement. Much like the Tiqit, it's intended to be plugged into whatever display or keyboard comes to hand, so you shuttle it between home and the office. It has a display: 800 x 420 that's borderline usable, pen input, and a keyboard that looks better than it feels, which slides down from behind the LCD display. An unusual feature is the coil stylus input, which drags the cursor around the screen without the stylus actually making contact with the screen. Overall, it's a small design marvel. UQO haven't skimped on features: it sports FireWire and WiFi, although the 1Ghz Crusoe processor doesn't exactly feel nippy.

Since the OQO was first shown at 2002 WinHEC, the Tablet PC has been launched with much publicity, but little impact on the market. The success of this device depends on how many people want to sacrifice a little performance for convenience and portability. How many that adds up to is anyone's guess, but allow yourselves a peek here. ®

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