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Intel Prototypes World's Thinnest Laptop 200

Posted by kdawson
from the guys-wouldn't-be-caught-dead dept.
aalobode sends us to an article up at BusinessWeek about Intel's design for a new, ultra-thin laptop — almost as thin as a Razr — designed as a fashion accessory. Intel hopes to get the high end of the laptop market growing faster, and so they are particularly targeting female consumers with the new model. It's unlikely that all of the advanced features in this prototype will make it into products, and if they did the resulting laptops would command a daunting price. One feature we can hope makes the cut is built-in cellular Internet access. From the article: "The result, code-named Intel mobile Metro notebook, is less than 0.7 inches thick — about one-quarter of an inch thicker than Motorola's iconic cell phone, making it the world's thinnest notebook. And at 2.25 pounds, it's also one of the lightest small-sized portable computers. Other features include always-on Internet connectivity via various wireless technologies."
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Intel Prototypes World's Thinnest Laptop

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  • Photos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bananatree3 (872975) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:29PM (#19255249)
    photos of the new laptop [reghardware.co.uk]
  • finally ! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:30PM (#19255269)
    something with less girth than me ! I no longer feel inadequate.
  • Re:Neat (Score:5, Informative)

    by ptbarnett (159784) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:46PM (#19255571)
    If I were Intel I would lose the screen on the outside.

    If you were to RTFA, you'd discover that the screen on the outside isn't actually on the laptop. It's on the folio case that wraps around the laptop.

    The case also functions as the battery charger, although the contact is wireless.

  • Re:Photos (Score:3, Informative)

    by curtisk (191737) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:58PM (#19255797) Homepage Journal
    Heres a set of images from the actual article... http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/05/0524_metro laptop/index_01.htm [businessweek.com]
  • Re:Photos (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrNonchalant (767683) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:00PM (#19255847)
    And more pictures [businessweek.com].
  • Re:14 HOURS! (Score:3, Informative)

    by mhall119 (1035984) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:12PM (#19256063) Homepage Journal
    Only the optional "folio" cover uses eInk, the main screen would be a more or less typical laptop screen, though the screen itself extends to the edge of the laptop, there is no plastic "frame" around it like most laptops have.
  • Re:Ergonomics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:59PM (#19256843) Homepage Journal

    Say you've got a Flash device that really and truly only can handle the oft-quoted 100,000 erase cycles. Quality Flash should actually be better than that these days, though some of it is apparently rather worse.

    If your Flash device is "4GB" with a formatted capacity of 3900MiB, and you do nothing but write to it as fast as you can - at, say, 30MB/s - you'll still only be able to replace its entire contents every 130 seconds. At that rate, it'll take you 150 days to hit 100,000 cycles.
    - Dan [dansdata.com] (corrected for spelling)

    Extrapolate to 20GB, and buy some decent quality flash guaranteed for 200k write cycles, add a dash of write-balancing filesystem magic, voila, 4 years before the drive starts to fail if you are doing nothing but writing to it at high speed all day every day. I don't know many people who put that kind of load on their drives, so let's call it an even 24 years with an average of 4 hours a day of full speed writing. So, what was that about "several years"?
  • by pz (113803) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @02:40PM (#19257495) Journal
    The HP Sojourn (a rebadged Mistubushi Pedion) explored this corner of the design space in the very late 1990s, just about 10 years ago [com.com]. I've owned a few of them. Fantastically thin at 0.72 inches (just 0.02 inches thicker than the claimed thickness of the new Intel device), with a then state-of-the-art 2 or 6 GB 9 mm disk drive and Pentium II 233 MMX processor with 64 MB of main memory. Very nice display, too. 2 PCMCIA slots, one USB 1.1 port, but no network interface. Excellent support under Linux including sleep and hibernation modes. To achieve such a slim form factor, the keyboard was chicklet-style (not unlike the HP calculators) which really didn't appeal to the power user. It was marketed to executives with the even-then astronomical pricetag of USD 6k. I bought my first one used at USD 1.5k (they were really bad at holding their value); currently you see them on eBay for under USD 200.

    These are really, really thin. With full-sized keyboards and 12.1 inch displays. Slimmer than many padfolios. I never understood why that part of the design space wasn't more fully populated, as it's such an obvious (to me) win to have a really light, really thin, computer with a full-sized display and keyboard. Perhaps we're coming back to it.

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