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Packard Bell pitches UMPC-like laptop

Why lug a big notebook around?

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When a manufacturer unveils a computer with a 7in display but with practically notebook-class capabilities, most observers might assume it's a UMPC. However, Packard Bell claims the latest addition to its EasyNote range really is a notebook - it just happens to runs on a UMPC chipset.

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Packard Bell's EasyNote XS: is a 7in LCD too small for a notebook?

The EasyNote XS is just 3cm thick and weighs 950g, but retains the traditional laptop design, rather than opting for a style that merges the 800 x 480 display into the keyboard, as does Samsung&s Q1 Ultra or the Linux-based Pepper Pad 3.

The XA is based on a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M processor and accommodates up to 1GB of memory, in addition to a 1.8in 30GB hard drive. Not enough storage space? Well, there's no reason why one of the device's two USB 2.0 ports couldn't be used to connect an additional external storage device. That said, just two USB ports isn't many compared to traditional notebooks, which sometimes have up to six of the connectors.

Sadly, the EasyNote's Wi-Fi link only operates over the 802.11b and g standards, instead of the more advanced n standard, but the inclusion of a four-in-one memory card reader is a nice feature. Bluetooth is optional.

Packard Bell said the device runs on Windows XP Home Edition, as many larger notebooks do, and that it incorporates a full-size keyboard, touch-pad and a VGA webcam.

The XS provides a battery life of up to three hours' usage and it has stereo speakers built in, should you want to turn it into an UMPC personal stereo.

The EasyNote XS is not yet available in the UK and a retail price has yet to be confirmed.

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