Toshiba yesterday announced and released the libretto U100 mini notebook. The libretto U100 is a 2.1 lb device that runs Windows XP. So witness: Toshiba has left the PDA market and released a mini notebook, Sony stopped selling CLIE devices and released the VAIO U70 mini notebook. Hmm.
Toshiba libretto U100 Mini Notebook Overview
Toshiba announced the rebirth of its libretto brand in the U.S. after an 8-year hiatus, even though the brand has been alive and well in Asia during that time. The libretto U100 features a 7.6-inch widescreen LCD, built-in 802.11 b/g wireless using a half-size mini-PCI wireless card, a 60GB hard drive (1.8-inch hard drive), a 2.16 pounds carrying weight, 1.2GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage processor and 512MB of RAM and runs the Windows XP Pro Operating System. Impressive specs for such a small notebook.
Toshiba recommends the optional libretto DVD Dock with a DVD SuperMulti optical disk drive accessory. The libretto DVD Dock enables the user to burn data to a CD or DVD or watch movies while on the go. This functionality allows the libretto to serve as both a portable mini-notebook and DVD player in one
Libretto U100 specs
- Processor: Intel Pentium M processor4 Ultra Low Voltage 753 (1.20Ghz, 2MB L2 cache, 400Mhz FSB)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
- Display: 7.2-inch diagonal widescreen TruBriteTM TFT LCD at 1280×768 native resolution (WXGA)
- System Chipset: Intel 855GME Chipset
- Graphics Controller: Intel Extreme Graphics 2, 16MB-64MB shared VRAM7 (DVMA)
- Memory: 512MB (standard) DDR 333 MHz memory
- Hard Drive: 60GB (4200 RPM) HDD (1.8-inch)
- Wireless: Atheros 802.11b/g integrated wireless2 Wi-Fi and BluetoothTM (2.0+EDR)
- Ports: RGB (mini connector), 2 USB 2.0, i.LINK (IEEE-1394), Headphone jack, RJ-45 (10/100 Ethernet) LAN port, RJ-11 V.92 Modem port, and Docking connector.
- Battery: 6-cell lithium-ion battery
- Dimensions: 8.27″ x 6.5″ x 1.17″
- Weight: 2.16 lbs
- Warranty: Standard, limited three-year warranty
Notebooks, PDAs and Tablet PCs on Crash Course?
Okay, so now we’ve had the Sony VAIO U50 (BargainPDA.com U50 Review), OQO, Vulcan (okay, the Vulcan was 2003 and dead now but anyway) and Toshiba libretto U100 that are seemingly trying to encroach upon PDA size, but with all the power of a regular PC. Toshiba and Sony both stopped selling PDAs in the U.S. and have now both attempted to push a mini notebook device in the U.S. market. We hear that palmOne is working on something a little different from a typical palmOne PDA. Microsoft is taking the original Tablet PC form factor and getting manufacturers to shrink it down to a mini Tablet PC/eReader type of device that’s just a little bigger than a PDA (view more on that here). All interesting stuff.
But I’m not here to say mini notebooks will replace PDAs by any means, I actually think these current $2,000 notebook devices will fail, they’re too expensive and once you shrink them to a certain size it’s just too hard to use them. The power and functionality that was crammed into the mini notebook device can be rendered useless by its too small size. But I do think that we’re going to see PDAs and mini notebooks come to a compromise, so we’ll maybe see for example a device that doesn’t run Windows XP but is bigger than a PDA and offers more Storage and functionality than is typical. In fact, such a device exists already, the Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 is a clamshell style Linux OS based PDA with a 4GB hard drive, and is a nice example of something we might see more of.
Microsoft Mini Tablet PC
OQO mini notebook
Sony VAIO U50 mini notebook