World's 'smallest, lightest' laptop launches
A 4.8in display, anyone?
A Korean firm’s unveiled what it claimed is the world’s smallest and lightest notebook to date.
UMID's mbook: has a 4.8in screen
The mbook measures just 158 x 94.1 x 18.6mm and weighs only 315g, yet its diminutive 4.8in display has a 1024 x 600 resolution and appears to be stylus operated. A speaker sits on one side of the screen and a 1.3Mp webcam rests on the other.
Two versions of the machine appear to be available, one with a 1.1GHz Intel Atom processor and another with a 1.3GHz option. Both come with 1GB of memory, but the Flash-based storage provided ranges between 8GB and 32GB.
1.1GHz and 1.3GHz models are available
Maker UMID has also claimed the machine’s compatible with a strong selection of communication technologies, including HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.0 and WiBro – a WiMax-like wireless broadband internet technology developed in the company’s native South Korea.
A pull-out aerial also allows the mbook to receive telly signals, but given that it’s DMB compatible – rather than DVB-H – it's probable that the machine’s only set-up to receive TV signals in South Korea.
Elsewhere on the tiny notebook you’ll find a four-in-one memory card slot, a mini USB 2.0 port and a Qwerty keyboard. Battery life should last about six hours.
What it lacks in size it makes up for in portability
The 1.3GHz mbook costs KRW800,000 (£368/$534/€417), while its slower specification twin costs KRW700,000. UK launch dates or prices haven’t been announced. ®
I have a Toshiba Portege G900, which has an 800x480, 3" screen (~310ppi). The (widely-applauded) Touch HD has the same pixel count in 3.8" (~246ppi). One primary reason I don't want an iPhone is that I don't want something with such a low screen resolution; hence my mention of WVGA. (I'd *like* a WVGA phone that doesn't run Windows Mobile, but that's not an option at the moment.) I have a 204ppi desktop monitor which I'm happy to use for a full desktop.
The only reason I don't put my G900 on a table and type is that it falls over (nice one, Tosh). I'll put it on a table for web surfing, though. 20" is about my comfort range (dodgy eye surgery means I'm a little fuzzy beyond that anyway). My experience with a Libretto is that having a latop on your chest while lying down, or immediately in front of you on a sofa, works fine.
I wasn't intending to strap it to anything. A notebook that fits in the hand can be held close to the screen. Want to type two-handed? Rest it on something handy (e.g. a window ledge), and lean in. I don't see the issue.
But you're right that this kind of thing has been thrashed to death before - I was just hoping that the silence was one of understanding. :-)
@ Andrew Garrard
I'm not sure what phones you've been dreaming about, but the iPhone is about 165 dpi, the Nokia N96 is less than that.
The reason no one brought up the >245 dpi of this thing is because we didn't think you'd need it spelling out again. Your 'phone' might have smaller pixels, but when was the last time you put it on a table and typed on it? Take your imaginary phone, install Windows on it, install a few applications that were designed for 83 dpi, hold it 20" away from your eyes, have a little think about what you've seen, then come back and we'll continue the conversation.
Were you planning on strapping this device to your face? In public?
I would LOVE to run Open Solaris on that box!
Hmm. Well, I'd rather have a Lifebook U50 (or Vaio P) for the resolution (1024x600 is a bit low), but I have to say that the price for this one is more appealing. This is significantly smaller than a Libretto - and my 70CT is dwarfed by my mini-note. I'm not sure I like what they've done with the Q and Tab keys, though (or space bar, if you have a Google for a better picture)..
As for "why", because it's a proper PC that genuinely (just) fits in a pocket, or is light enough to leave in a bag the whole time just in case you want it. Subnotebooks are PCs to have with you when you didn't know you were going to need one - if it's small enough and light enough (and cheap enough), there's no reason not to carry one with you. It also appears to have a half-decent keyboard (in as much as I learned to type fast on my Libretto but can't on a phone keyboard). It's not quite a mythical Psion FX (I want an Epson 7.2" 1920x1080 display - the *only* circumstances under which I want a 16:9 display), but it's a good effort. They've also done exactly what I'd do: give it a decent battery and let the USB port handle all the expansion.
I'm impressed that no-one's had a go at the dot pitch yet. It does, of course, have larger pixels than all the 800x480 mobile phones on the market - but normally someone's complained by now. :-)
@Didier - Huh? People know how to type on offset QWERTY keyboards. I have a non-offset Kinesis Advantage, and can only use it in Dvorak mode because it feels weird in QWERTY. Regular grids are okay for thumbing, but if this thing has pretensions of being a "proper" keyboard, they did the right thing.
If only I had any money these days...
Smallest, Lightest / Psion 5mx
I have LONG felt that Psion made 2 massive mistakes that have led us to it's sorry demise;
(a) the enhancements of the Series 7/Netbook *should* have been focused on the Series 5 i.e. Xscale proc, removeable lithium ion battery, 12- bit colour screen, changeable OS, etc. The only difference would have been a WVGA screen of 800 x 480 pixels or even 800 x 360 and SDinstead of CF. The Series 7/ Netbook were ALWAYS going to be too big and expensive to make sense for anyone other than writers/journalists and some students.
(b) the resources sunk into the cancelled "Hildon" PDA device with Motorola should have been applied to the Revo with their reliable partner (Sony)Ericsson instead.
The combination of the 2 would have meant that the Nokia Communictor line wouldn't have had a "lock" on keyboarded PDAs running the EPOC/Psion OS since 2000 and we wouldn't have to put up with their backward hardware choices for so long - only now changing with the e90!
Psion would have been able to add WWAN via Bluetooth and then integrate on later models.
To return to the actual laptot, I personally think it's great having caught wind of it on Dynamism and Engadget some time back and can only concur re the wider LCD.
This would surely give Sony's P Series something to think about even though the latter has both a larger screen and keyboard as this one *can* actually fit one's jacket pocket for a 72 gramme saving against a Psion 5!
Just make sure that it can also run Windows 7 as well as XP Home and that it can accept 2GB RAM and I'd definitely grab one too; the Linux compatibility would be icing!!