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back to article Packard Bell pitches UMPC-like laptop

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. Packard_Bell_EasyNote_XSv2 Packard Bell's …

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Only years too late...

Toshiba Libretto?

Sony PCG-U3 ? (on ebay right now, you lucky punters)

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missed the point

XP Home? Surely professional should be on here for business users. Not that I'd ever buy something with the Puckerd Ball branding on it.

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Silver badge

So not Vista then?

I wonder why... </sarc>

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Niche or gap in the market?

I'm not entirely convinced that there is a niche in the market for UMPC or this micro-laptop.

For people who want to carry around an under-specced computer in their pocket, the current range or smartphones, communicators, PocketPCs etc. satisfy that need and can be synced with a full-scale laptop or desktop.

For usability, in the past Psion reached a limit with the usability of a keyboard that you could touch type on when it was on a desk or squirrel* in your hands. This laptop is too big for a pocket and to heavy for extended squirrelling.

At the other end of the scale, for people who want the usabilty of a "fully-fledged" PC, this laptop clamshell design offers better usability than regular UMPCs but doesn't offer the all-round compatibility of a sub-notebook. I would suggest that this machine would still want to be synced with a full-size laptop or desktop. When you look at the price of having both, a pocket-sized machine offers the functionality without the pitfalls and cost.

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XP Home only?

XP Home only?

Why not XP Pro?

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Can they run Linux?

The Vye Mini-V also looks intersting in this range.

If any of these types of device can certify Linux then they might be on to a winner.

Especially if like the Mini-V they can have a SIM card inserted.

Imagine it - a small, bullet-proof, truly portable PC which can be used for SSH and all of the GNU tools etc - this is what many sysadmins have been hankering after for years.

My only concern is that they currently run Windows and in portable mode may need to connect directly to the internet via a mobile phone modem or via an internal SIM card. So it would only be a matter of time before Windows (and therefore the PC) is screwed. Let's face it - visiting certain websites can break Windows these days.

Also, from (say) Debian we have a vast number of top rate tools for free - whereas Windows doesn't really have any.

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Maybe I am thick but I dont get it.

Yes, it is (a little bit) smaller and lighter than my 12" dell laptop but my dell has more features and better battery.

And its still not THAT small. It looks to be only a 7" screen but there is a foot around the screen so the laptop is probably closer to the size of the little dell, thinkpad, or the sony VAIO. Its no thinner than a real notebook and real notebooks are going to have a better keyboard. Not to mention you can swap out parts (like drives and network cards) to upgrade to the new hotness.

Maybe if the display flipped around and worked as a tablet I could see this having SOME purpose. But as a folder it would have to be incredibly cheap, even cheap because its Packard Bell.

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