Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Portables Intel Hardware

Intel Prototypes World's Thinnest Laptop 200

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel Prototypes World's Thinnest Laptop

Comments Filter:
  • Photos (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:29PM (#19255249)
    photos of the new laptop []
    • Re:Photos (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fx.Dr ( 915071 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:37PM (#19255401)
      Setting a tiny notebook against a tiny Asian woman kind of negates the 'WOW factor' of such a slim notebook. I would have suggested having Ving Rhames hold it, but that's just me.
      • Re:Photos (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:44PM (#19255535)
        Yeah, doesn't really capture the scale. I bought one of these, but I set it down at the wrong angle and now I can't find it...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by kurokaze ( 221063 )
        huh? there was a laptop in that pic? all I saw was the girl :P
      • Re:Photos (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 19thNervousBreakdown ( 768619 ) <davec-slashdot&lepertheory,net> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:51PM (#19256719) Homepage

        They're making a big mistake if they market it too hard toward women.

        You really don't have to try that hard, chicks love laptops, and if it's thin, light, and looks decent, they'll snap them up by the dozen. The problem is, there's plenty of dudes out there that won't be able to handle that it's marketed toward women--never mind the 2 1/4lb weight, built-in bluetooth + wi-max + 802.11 + EVDO, and 14-hour battery life--if you buy it, you're gay.

        Of course, the only thing they'd have to change is make another cover for it that looks like a wallet instead of a purse and not mention that it's "for women" (what, does it latch on the right or something? keyboard designed for a longer index finger? breast rests?) and they could sell to everyone. Then again, I imagine it'll end up like the Mustang.

      • That and its with while a technical achevemet isn't much in the wow field for people. A MacBook Pro is 1" thick and this is .7" Thick. While I am sure it is really tough to get it down to that size it doesn't seem ultra thin. Espectilly comparing an open Laptop to a closed Rasor. The MacBook Pro Open is as thick as a samsung sync closed. While it is thinner not much a wow that is thing. Unless you work normally with Dells.
      • by Kijori ( 897770 )
        Unless she's actually a very large Asian woman and it's a clever trick!
      • by exley ( 221867 )
        I would have suggested putting her in one of those sailor school uniforms, and then I probably would have pre-ordered five of those laptops by now. But that's just me.
      • Setting a tiny notebook against a tiny Asian woman kind of negates the 'WOW factor' of such a slim notebook. I would have suggested having Ving Rhames hold it, but that's just me.
        Ving Rhames rather than the ladies pictured? Dude, that's not only "just you", but you might want to get your own self out of there. That subset of the human population should have a membership of zero.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by curtisk ( 191737 )
      Heres a set of images from the actual article... laptop/index_01.htm []
    • Re:Photos (Score:4, Informative)

      by MrNonchalant ( 767683 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:00PM (#19255847)
      And more pictures [].
    • Reminds me.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      Reminds me of when I bought my ultra slim Sony Vaio laptop, with a Pentium 300MHz processor. I thought it was pretty cool. Eventually I grew tired of waiting for it to boot up, load programs, do anything. Maybe if it comes with a tight Linux distro.

  • 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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      awesome that you were modded informative but too much information
  • 14 HOURS! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:31PM (#19255289) Homepage Journal
    Being super slim is a nice feature in of itself, but then I saw this (emphasis mine):

    Using flash memory in place of the standard hard-disk drive, Ziba and Intel have managed to make this laptop just 0.7 inches thick. The use of flash resulted in a side benefit: the laptop consumes less power and offers up to 14 hours of battery life. At 2.25 pounds, it's also among the lightest notebooks around.

    WOW. Can you imagine having a laptop with 14 hours of battery life? You could pretty much work on it all day, then charge it while you're sleeping at night. Assuming, of course, that the figures aren't overinflated estimations. Still...

    One thing I'm disappointed by is the lack of any sort of specs. (Or am I just blind?) What kind of processor, how much memory, how much flash disk, and what kind of graphics card this thing has are all factors that would figure into purchasing this or not. For my own needs, I think the size of the flashdisk would be the biggest factor.

    I'm not so keen on the purse idea. While it might appeal to some women, I have a suspicion that it would be at risk of theft at all times. Better to use a more nondescript bag than a fancy cover with an external screen that shouts, "Steal me! I'm expensive!"
    • It sports a Core 2 Duo processor along with WiFi, WiMAX and Bluetooth connectivity.
    • I'd buy it if it even had half that battery life. I've seen too many laptops who's battery life is 3 hours. That's when it ships. after 6-12 months of usage they drop to 2-2.5 hours. Try getting through a 3 hour lecture with that. I used to laugh at the kids in university who would scramble for a seat near a power outlet just so they could make it through the lecture without their battery dying. I'd rather just use a pen and paper at that point. Myself I used a palm pilot with a folding keyboard. Th
    • by jfengel ( 409917 )
      I wonder if that's because of the e-ink display. A display that uses the ambient light rather than requiring a back light can save a lot of power.

      But (at least in the present state of technology) it's probably a crummy video game machine. (In fact, as far as I'm aware, that technology doesn't yet refresh fast enough to play movies properly.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mhall119 ( 1035984 )
        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.
    • I'm not so keen on the purse idea. While it might appeal to some women, I have a suspicion that it would be at risk of theft at all times. Better to use a more nondescript bag than a fancy cover with an external screen that shouts, "Steal me! I'm expensive!"

      The summary states that it was designed as a fashion accessory. Do you know what 'fashion accessory' means? It means something a woman wears that shouts, "Steal me! I'm expensive!" Just ask my wife.

    • From TFA, "The computer also is built to enhance security, boasting a fingerprint reader and a mechanism that lets users kill a hard drive by remote control ."

      This quote was under the subheading "The Wow Factor".
    • Since this would have a keyboard you could type on with more than your thumbs, you could get rid of your old laptop, your PDA, and your Blackberry. This would be what I am looking for in a laptop; e.g. it is thin enough to fit into a briefcase yet has good battery life and storage. With this I could take notes, write, work on spreadsheets anywhere in an unobtrusive manner. This product should be re-targeted at business customers.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:31PM (#19255301)
    they'll release a new model soon that will cost $200 more just because its pink.
  • Neat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:36PM (#19255385) Homepage
    That is a beautiful laptop. And apart from the Macs, there aren't many beautiful laptops out there IMO. If I were Intel I would lose the screen on the outside. Though it raises the WOW factor a whole lot, it's not practical when traveling, especially if you carry the laptop around like it's a purse as shown on the first picture.
    • by garcia ( 6573 )
      That is a beautiful laptop.

      It's "beautiful" if you like wearing what appears to be a woman's handbag over your shoulder. I don't care for the way it looks at all. I want something that 2.25 lbs and connects to wireless networks that doesn't make me look like I'm utilizing a fashion accessory.

      Perhaps they should just sell it like every other laptop except tout its ~14 hour battery life, weight, and thickness.

      The unit's primarily designed for entirely wireless communications with reconfigurable antennae abl
      • What about E/GPRS? That would encompass a lot more coverage area than the ill-fated WiMAX.

        Does anyone bother to RTFA?

        This model's embedded chips let users access cellular, Wi-Fi, or WiMax wireless broadband networks. (Intel is expected to release embeddable chips that access all these networks in late 2007, early 2008.)

        Embedded cellular connectivity could change the way laptops are sold. In the U.S., cellular network technology varies by carrier. So PC manufacturers might have to start selling speci

      • It doesn't look like a purse without the carrying case: laptop/image/slide4.jpg []

    • 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.

      • by tsa ( 15680 )
        OK you got me there, but the reason why they should lose the screen are unchanged. It will get damaged during travelling.
        • OK you got me there, but the reason why they should lose the screen are unchanged. It will get damaged during travelling.

          You think? That e-ink stuff is supposed to be pretty tough, and it flexes so it shouldn't crack like an LCD would. I suppose it might get scratched, which would be unfortunate.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:36PM (#19255391)
    Anyone else here remember when it was social suicide to even admit you knew how to turn on a computer, let alone use one? Now they come in pink, with armstraps. Somewhere along the line I have slipped into a strange parallel universe. If anyone from my homeworld can read this, please send help.
  • by robbkidd ( 154298 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:37PM (#19255415)
    I'll get tarted up if it means I can have one.
  • Ergonomics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:39PM (#19255427)
    Intel's design for a new, ultra-thin laptop -- almost as thin as a Razr

    And just like like the Razr, the keyboard is flat. And just UNlike the Razr, you'll want to type a lot on this thing, and the flat keyboard will make it a very bad experience.

    I hope the other benefits of the technology (flash drive, 14 hours online battery life), carry on to "thicker" laptops.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tsa ( 15680 )
      I have never come across a laptop with a good keyboard. Portability of a laptop comes at a high price. You lose a good screen, good keyboard, good video card... the list goes on. If you want an ergonomic computer, buy a desktop.
      • Nicest laptop keyboards I've ever used are on an RDI Powerlite [] and older models of Tadpole SPARCBooks. They're actually better than most dekstop PC keyboards that I've used. Shame that my Powerlite only has a 50Mhz processor and is so heavy that your legs go numb after ten minutes of having it on your lap.

      • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
        I have never come across a laptop with a good keyboard. Portability of a laptop comes at a high price. You lose a good screen, good keyboard, good video card... the list goes on. If you want an ergonomic computer, buy a desktop.

        You're right, but I'm not sure why things should go further downhill. Then, some other posters mentioned we could just attach external input devices.. which is also a good point I guess (but then it's less mobile).
      • by cerelib ( 903469 )
        Thinkpads have great keyboards. Also, the trackpoint is amazing. I honestly do not think I could ever buy another brand of laptop. I do not know how people put up with touchpads. Hopefully the trackpoint will make a comeback.
        • by treeves ( 963993 )
          My ThinkPad T43 has both, but I usually use the touchpad. I like the location better, or at least it's what I've gotten used to.
      • Powerbooks / Macbook Pros. They have a keyboard so nice I prefer to type on it over a desktop keyboard. Very low impact, low travel, and the perfect feedback / resistance.
        • by tsa ( 15680 )
          That's funny, I have a MBP (typing on it right now) and I don't like the keyboard much. And the screen. It more than makes up for those with the OS and everything else though. I'm very happy with the machine.
        • My last 3 laptops have been: First Gen iBook, First Gen Al Powerbook, and First Gen Black MacBook. The iBooks keyboard was a piece of shit, the Powerbook's was great and the MacBook's is so good I have a really hard time typing on anything else.

          I'm not much for 'clicky' desktop keyboards, you have to move your fingers too much. An almost perfectly flat keyboard sounds very appealing to me. I suppose it all depends on your point of view.
      • The macbook has a good keyboard. Strangely the macbook pro doesn't.

        The macbook pro has a good screen but the macbook doesn't (though, as noted here yesterday, the pro's is not good enough for people who object to temporal dithering). According to comments posted yesterday, Toshiba makes some laptops with screens for such people.

        A good video card is subjective - I consider my 6150 a great video card because it allows me to run a 3D GUI without overheating the case. My aunt has a laptop with a built in 660
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AP2k ( 991160 )

      I hope the other benefits of the technology (flash drive, 14 hours online battery life), carry on to "thicker" laptops.
      Naa, you can keep your flash drives. I actually like having my hard drive die in several years instead of several dozen thousand read/write cycles.

      CAPTCHA: whitely
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sparr0 ( 451780 )

        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 [] (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 repvik ( 96666 )
        with >1,000,000 write cycles per block at a blocksize of 64kb with special routines to distribute the write load, "wearing out" a disk is going to take literally ages.
    • Actually I don't think that a keyboard with a slight slope is a good idea ergonomically-wise. Of course it has a big personal element in it, but a tilt means that you bend your wrists slightly upward. The more expensive Kinesis keyboards []have a design where you actually have your fingers lower than your wrists to keep the strain from the wrists.
    • The battery life is partly because they are using the Ultra Low Volt (ULV) chips, which run at about 1.33GHz at most now, but they take a third the power of the 2.33GHz chips. Intel's ULV chips start with a letter "U", so if you can find the processor model, that's an easy way to tell.

      There are several notebooks out there that run 8 to 11 hours, just that they are slower and generally cost more than faster, hotter notebooks that drain their battery in 3 hours.

      I think that more battery life was squeezed out
  • Big deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:39PM (#19255437)
    A couple of years ago I had a Sharp Actius MM20 that was .62" thick vs. the .7" of Intel's latest. Granted there's more to Intel's prototype than small size, the 'ultra-thin'ness was the focus of this sub. And for the record, the RAZR V3 is .54" thick.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
      The spec I read said the V3 is around .6 inches and the V3i (what I have - but I lack a micrometer or caliper) is .55 inches. Not sure about the RAZR's linux-based successor, which is coming out soon, but it's even thinner. Regardless, it's really not "almost as thin" as a RAZR; when you're talking about a phone barely over .5 inches thick, .2 inches is a very large percentage of its thickness.
    • by pieterh ( 196118 )
      I am still using a Sony X505 which is 0.38" to .8" thick (it tapers). It cost me $4000 and suffers from a short battery life but is absolutely lovely to carry around and use. A kind of supermodel notebook - beautiful enough to make the uselessness not matter at all.

      If Intel can make something similarly slim, with a long battery life, I'm a client.
  • '...but people familiar with the matter say a PC maker will announce plans to start manufacturing the machine later this year.'

    Apple makes PCs, right?

    Seriously, the day someone makes a computer about the size and weight of a real notebook will be great. Most of the computer notebooks that are in the comfortable reading range (12" screens plus) are just a little too heavy (3.5 lbs. plus). It doesn't sound like much, but when you carry it around all day, along with the rest of the crap required in moder
    • by Chirs ( 87576 )
      Just curious what you consider "the rest of the crap required in modern life"?

      I carry my keys and my wallet. Maybe a pen. No phone, no pda, no laptop. My watch died last year and I haven't replaced it.

      Oh, and I do linux kernel development for a living.
      • Just curious what you consider "the rest of the crap required in modern life"? I carry my keys and my wallet. Maybe a pen. No phone, no pda, no laptop. My watch died last year and I haven't replaced it. Oh, and I do linux kernel development for a living.

        I'm an airline pilot - so, perhaps my stuff requirement is a bit higher than most - but, in general:

        1 - The cell phone is an absolute necessity; I don't have a landline, as it's overpriced and would be underused. With my schedule shifting around so f

  • "Other features include always-on Internet connectivity via various wireless technologies." Hmmm, by automatically joining unsecured wireless access points, perhaps? Turn on your laptop, commit a felony! (According to some Michigan prosecuters, at least)
    • In order to be successfully prosecuted for a crime, the prosecution generally has to show intent. Having your laptop accidentally connect while you're passing by a store does not (or at least should not) constitute an intent to defraud internet access. In the case of the guy in Michigan, he was parking next to the store every day and deliberately using his laptop on their WiFi without patronizing the establishment. Even when that's not illegal, it is rather rude.
  • FYI: Magnesium case (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciaohound ( 118419 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:43PM (#19255533)
    "Champagne-colored" or not, the use of magnesium is encouraging. The thinness is worthless if it's not sturdy enough to withstand being sat on, stepped on, jammed in a bag or purse, or even just twisted in your hands. I have never bought myself a laptop, because the real road warriors require sturdier case materials than I care to spend, but I worked with a lot of old GRiD laptops and, man, they could withstand rough handling. Not dropping -- mag will shatter -- but just about anything else users could dish out.
    • Am I the only person with some High School chemistry knowledge that is very worried about wearing a huge chunk of magnesium with a Lithium-Ion detonator^W battery attached to it....
      • I think the likelihood is about the same as the lithium inadvertently acting as a mood stabilizer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
        Magnesium in a proper alloy for a computer case is rather difficult to ignite [].
        • Ncie link. They did manage to ignite magnesium alloy, so it is a possible risk.

          BTW - did some research.
          Ignition temperature of Magnesium = 473 C
          Ignition point of Aluminium = 760 C

          Temperature of Lithium Burning = 760 C
          Temperature of Magnesium Burning = 2204 C (!!)

          So I stand by my worry that a Lithium battery fire could ignite a magnesium case fire. And add the worry that the temperatures woudl be MUCH greater.
          • by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
            Alloys do not melt or ignite at any predictable function of their components' melting or ignition temperatures. Field's metal is the most fun eample of this, due to it's melting point of only 144F, despite all of its component metals having melting points above 300F. Magnesium+Aluminum might not burn at all, or it might only ignite at 3000C, or it might ignite at 300C.
  • Ultra Metro Man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by simpl3x ( 238301 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:46PM (#19255581)
    The details look suspiciously mac like, and I would much rather have a tough shell than a screen on the outside so that I can carry it without a sleeve. I'm jitter enough thanks to my Blackberry!

    One day I'm hoping for that Powerbook 2400 replacement...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by s.bots ( 1099921 )
      From TFA:

      Ziba hopes to see the computer sold with a special protective folio that, at first glance, looks like a fashionable cover for a personal diary. The folio, which clings to the laptop with embedded magnets, is equipped with contacts that connect the laptop to an external digital screen.
      The screen is on the case. You can still get a "manly" tough ass case or build your own out of the skulls of your foes.
  • are the affordable (not necessarily 'cheap') laptops, using LinuxBIOS [] to boot minimal X (in under 10 seconds) that can login over the network, using no local hard drive or flash drive (of course you can always add those), with CPU's that don't run hot enough to cook your sperm, with a battery life actually measured in days instead of pitiful hours?
    • Those laptops are all headed to "developing" countries.
      If you hadn't specified Linux, I'd also consider citing Toys 'R' Us for its educational selection.
  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:04PM (#19255907) Homepage Journal
    It's not a purse [], it's European!
  • Why would you leave great features out of a high-end product? I thought the whole idea of high-end was that you got all the good stuff with it.
  • I've been noticing for a few years now that laptops are in high demand, often by people who don't seem to have a really great reason for wanting them. It seems that a lot of the demand has to do with people wanting something that looks cool and will allow them to show off in coffeeshops.

    And it seems like the manufacturers realize this, and are playing to it.

    The biggest problem with laptops is proprietary parts. There are many people who have broken their power supply, battery, screen, keypad etc. and desper
    • Standardization is good, but I think there are some serious drawbacks to it in the laptop market. While I would love to be able to build my own laptop in the same way I do with my desktops, part of inovating the laptop market is making it more mobile. Laptops were introduced because people wanted mobile computing, but today's laptops can still have a lot of room for improvement. Even this new thin laptop has room for improvement on just mobility alone. The great thing about the proprietary parts, is tha
  • Making a laptop thinner is good so long as the keyboard doesn't suffer. Laptop keyboards can be flimsy enough as it is.
  • 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 []. 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.
  • What is this? The 1980's?

  • Sharp's Actius MM10 notebook (review [], run Gentoo on it []) is about 6 years old now, and it's just as thin as the Intel prototype. It had one of the first Transmeta chips, the Crusoe at 933Mhz. I own one, and it still gets used to this day. It runs Linux now, because only that OS supports WPA2 with its wireless chipset (Prizm2). I love this thing so much that when it's display got damaged I payed for an out-of-warranty repair.

    The newer MM20 model is slightly thicker, has a built-in optical drive, and runs

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith